Dear Warrior - You're Never Alone
Growing up, I was known as the hustler and the go-getter. You might be too...
I wore that "title" like a badge of honor throughout college. I actually prided myself on my ability to push through adversity and “just keep going”. Because of this, I’ve always been self-motivated and found it easy to set goals and persist along the journey to achieving them.
This strategy in its purest form certainly isn’t a negative thing. It’s great to be self-motivated and determined. I believe that this sort of work ethic has been a critical ingredient in helping me achieve my goal of collegiate softball. But it wasn’t until years into my softball journey that I realized I was missing a few other vital ingredients.
For a long time, I considered setbacks and adversity to be my greatest opportunities to PROVE what I was really made of. I’d imagine myself standing at the bottom of a steep mountain with my eyes fixed on the highest peak. I couldn’t wait to get climbing and see how far I could go and how strong I could become in the process.
For the most part, this was true. The further I climbed, the stronger I became. The more adversity I faced head-on, the more prepared I was to tackle the next obstacle. The same will be true for you as you continue your journey with softball, academics, and any other pursuits that you may embark on!
But I had forgotten about one of the most important ingredients to have on any long journey.
This ingredient was my support system. I became so consumed with my goals but I never stopped to look around at those around me - my family, friends, teammates, coaches. Loved ones who wanted to help, support, and love me along the way. As I continued to climb further up my mountain, I started to feel lonely as I began to face new challenges I didn’t know how to handle. I needed help but was too afraid to ask. For so long, I held the belief that I HAD to do it all by myself.
I truly believe that sports can be a great avenue to teach us mental toughness. They teach us how to be strong in the face of adversity and to push past the perceived limits of our mind and body. I think this can be a double-edged sword; sometimes the sports industry takes this concept a little bit too far.
It may lead us to believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness. This was the trap I fell into. I believed the lie that asking for help meant that I wasn’t good enough. I wanted to prove to everybody how tough I was and felt like I was failing if I asked for help. But this mindset is the furthest thing from the truth. Now, I’m here to tell you the truth behind this hard lesson that I learned while climbing my mountain.
The truth is that you don’t have to do this all by yourself and mental toughness does not give you immunity to struggles. As you continue your journey as a softball player and a person, you’re going to be confronted with hard things. They may be new challenges that you don’t have a clue how to handle. That’s okay - it means you’re about to grow!
When hard things happen, don’t feel like you have to face them all by yourself. Be kind to yourself and allow yourself the freedom to not have all the answers! You can turn to those around you for help and support. Let them love you and join you on this journey that you have embarked on.
If you take a step back and look around, you’ll be surprised at how many people really are in your corner and want to love you along your way.
The truth is that asking for help and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is one of the bravest things we can do. I’ve found that when I open up and let others join me on the journey, I have more joy and peace in the midst of even the hardest adversity because I don’t feel like I have to face it all alone. Letting others into our story doesn’t always guarantee that the hard things go away, but it certainly helps to lighten our load.
Let them help you. Your voice and your story are important and you deserve to be heard.
You are loved,
A Delaware native, Bekah Good studies psychology and plays softball at Arcadia University. In her free time, she loves to go for runs along the Delaware Riverfront and be with her family. After graduation, she is most excited to begin her graduate education in counseling and compete in triathlons with her dad.
"...you don’t have to do this all by yourself and mental toughness does not give you immunity to struggles...asking for help and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is one of the bravest things we can do."