October20 , 2021

    Mental Pressures Can Derail Anyone Including Olympic Athletes

    Cathy Spaas discusses what it takes to provide an environment accepting of mental health needs.

    In the past decade, times have changed rapidly due to social media adding to all the pressure professional performers and artists continually deal with. Overstimulation is everywhere, and it’s making people more insecure and restless. Feeling restless creates higher stress levels, leading to lower resilience and getting frustrated faster, often accompanied by not feeling great about yourself, resulting in even more insecurity and self-doubt. 

    If we don’t address these issues with openness and kindness, many more people living their lives in the spotlight will crash, burn, or just quit altogether. When you need to perform at the highest echelons of your field, your mindset needs to be at its best.

    Self-care is critical. When Simone Biles or Naomi Osaka step back from competing, it shows how serious everyone should take their health and mental wellness. Olympic athletes are seen as almost superhuman. If stress can derail their work, no one should feel bad about taking a mental health day or taking care of yourself at the front of your priorities, even above your career. 

    Health is everything. If you don’t have that, you won’t even be able to chase your dreams. 

    Knowing how an overstimulated brain functions and reducing stress levels should be basic education when you step into fame, but most people haven’t been taught how to unlock their full potential and greatness while also staying true to themselves. Instead, they end up losing themselves under the intense pressure, the constant host of demands that are being put on them, and by trying to conform to something or someone they are not.

    It’s easy to see that this is a very destructive environment for anyone in it, and the only way to break this pattern is by owning the fact that this is not okay and to start integrating new values, so these stars get to be treated as people, instead of machines.

    Most celebrities didn’t ask to be role models, but it’s part of their job whether they like it or not. Unfortunately, sometimes this can create a lot of pressure to keep up appearances of a great life and personality, while behind closed doors, insecurity and doubt sneak in.

    Nobody wants to disappoint their fans or entourage, so they try to conform to the image that the world puts upon them. It’s exhausting and nerve-wracking!

    Thankfully, taboos are being broken, and honest conversations create open discussions and receive a lot of recognition from others. For example, Kendall Jenner recently did a fantastic job of bringing attention to mental wellness by sitting down and talking about it. When someone like this speaks up, it gets easier for others to do the same. It’s absolutely a great way that professional athletes and stars can use their fame to highlight how important mental health is. 

    We live by example, so by setting boundaries and staying true to themselves, these celebrities are leading the way for others to feel more comfortable about following their path. 

    The revolution lies in their openness, not hiding themselves because that’s what society has dictated thus far. Of course, we are all forced to comply with a particular role or image, but our individuality is absolute strength. 

    Simone Biles deserves a gold medal in my book for bravery. When she said physical health is mental health, it sent the right message that the two are not mutually exclusive and one is just as crucial as the other. 

    Too often, it is forgotten that: ‘What you resist, will persist.’

    So, the more taboo they put around mental health, the more the issues behind the scenes have grown. Expanding the conversation and creating space and support to feel accepted, overcome the challenges, and evolve in this area, will lead to much better results and happiness for all of us in the long term. Isn’t that what it should all be about?

    No one is served with our heroes and stars becoming burned out, so let’s get real and help them discover how to start using the brain and their mental health to work for them instead of against them. Body and mind both need to be at their absolute best if you want to perform at the highest level of your game.

    Safety is key! By creating a safe environment, whether at home or in the workplace, where people can truly be and express themselves the way they are, flaws and all, they will already feel more accepted and less isolated in their journey. Showing understanding and accepting what is generates space for people to be themselves, and that is the most significant gift you can give anyone; permission to shine their true colors.

    Secondly, letting go of judgments would fix many problems, both for the person who is being judged as for the person who is judging, because either way, it’s bringing your energy down and not serving your highest good nor potential. Rather focus constructively on the way forward instead of staying stuck in a place that doesn’t feel good and aligned with the person you want to be. Before you pass judgment on someone or feel yourself doing that in your mind, try reminding yourself that you’re not in their shoes and that everyone is fighting a battle or struggle you don’t even know about.

    A more positive perception and open-minded attitude towards all topics on mental health will help anyone involved in their growth process because they are given the space to evolve without hiding and feeling like there’s something wrong with them.

    It’s great to make mental support more accessible. I’m a fan of creating an approachable way to think and work on their personal growth. Having a therapist or psychologist in the office brings it closer to the employees and shows them how valuable having a healthy mindset is to their company. This is commonplace for lots of businesses in Europe. Its benefits for the employer are clear. Workers who feel supported will undoubtedly feel a greater sense of pride in themselves and their job, leading to increased productivity. No one wants to work harder for a boss who doesn’t care about their employees. 

    However, although the support may be there, I have learned that you can never force someone’s engagement in this area of life. Instead, they need to want the help which can certainly be promoted further in all our professional and personal relationships. 

    For example, when I coach you, you need some commitment to doing the work. Unfortunately, there is no golden pill or quick fix, so working towards them is the only way to achieve results regularly.

    As a coach, that’s what makes me happy; supporting performers and artists on their journey to bring their vision into reality, but make no mistake, it’s all about taking responsibility for yourself in the first place. But, unfortunately, not everyone is always ready or willing to step up their game and take a good look at themselves.  

    You can never force the commitment for someone to fully show up for themselves, so it’s critical for anyone who wants to experience growth in any part of their life to:

    • Be conscious.
    • Take responsibility. 
    • Do the inner work.

    This all starts within yourself, so when you get to the point where you are willing to commit to this, you are ready for coaching! Again, offering these services in the work environment makes it easier for people to get aware of their situation and prepared to choose growth and happiness.

    A lot of high achievers are also highly sensitive people. Being a highly sensitive person (HSP) is not a disease or condition that you suffer from. It’s a genetic characteristic trait that around 1 to 5 people in the world possess and which occurs as often in men as in women.

    High sensitivity is a trait with many layers:

    • You can experience a higher sensitivity in your senses.
    • You can feel overwhelmed in crowded places or by overstimulation.
    • The right hemisphere of your brain is more activated, meaning you have high levels of empathy, creativity, and/or a solution-oriented way of thinking.
    • Your brain processes information on a deeper level. You sometimes see, feel and experience details others don’t even notice.

    You can compare us, HSP, as people in the X-Men. We have a vast set of extra abilities, but they can also restrict us. Your brain is constantly working overtime, which can lead to you being the absolute best, but which also generates higher stress levels and can even cause anxiety to kick in.

    When feeling overwhelmed, we can start overthinking everything and become insecure because the most minor things become more significant when you keep going over and over them. 

    Since our brain functions differently, and especially a lot of artists, creatives, and top performers are highly sensitive without even knowing about it – it’s crucial to understand what is going on inside of you. 

    My job is to provide you with the techniques, strategies, and support to overcome the challenges that come along with this amazing trait, so you get to experience the power of these qualities fully because this is precisely why you are amazing at what you do. So, you can thrive as the best in your field and still feel happy and fulfilled about yourself and your life in the meantime. The Universe wants nothing less for you than to be the star that you are, so claim your shine and own it!

    A lot of pieces from the puzzle often fall together when you can understand why you experience some things differently from others, or why you care so bloody much, or why you can’t seem to let go of certain things, simply because your brain functions differently.

    Once you realize this, you can start working on the challenges that come along with being an HSP, so you can fully embrace the qualities that this characteristic entails. There are so many benefits accompanying this trait, and the sooner you own that, the sooner you get to step into your greatness. There’s a diamond in all of us. You just need to find it and let it shine.

    Keep Reading

    The Practice of Self-Love in Entrepreneurship

    We currently live in a world where everyone’s actions are constantly monitored via the internet. Anything that anyone does, posts, or says is observed,...

    Don’t Knock It ‘Till You’ve Tried It: How to Incorporate Spirituality into Your Daily Work Life

    As a CEO, I take a business meets spirituality approach towards running and maintaining a sustainable and thriving business. Over the past ten years,...

    Breaking Into Yoga for Entrepreneurs and High-Performance Achievers

    Earlier this year, we started thinking about everything going on in the world and how entrepreneurs experience stress daily. We wanted to figure out...

    Hydrow: The Ultimate Low-Impact At-Home Rowing Experience

    Rowing is among the most romantic and elite of all watersports. Silently sweeping back and forth, the world watches every four years with rapt...

    How the Social Media Comparison Trap Wreaks Havoc on Our Well-Being

    Sometimes it is hard to believe that less than 20 years ago, social media was primarily non-existent in our lives, and now many of...

    Revolutionizing Addiction Treatment: The Felt Sense Polyvagal Model

    The last two years of pandemic life have resulted in a state of global trauma and soaring rates of addiction. For example, 92,000 drug...

    Psychology Expert and Life Coach Talks Therapy and Mental Health Checks

    MP sat down with Dr. Cheyenne Bryant, renowned psychology expert and life coach, the President of NAACP; branch #1069, Founder of Dr. Bryant Institute,...

    Founder and Chair of marriagehelper.com Talks Rescuing Your Marriage

    MP spoke with Dr. Joe Beam, Founder and Chair of Marriagehelper.com. Beam is an internationally known and respected sexologist and authority on love, marriage, and...