As we continue to navigate our way through this global pandemic, we all find ourselves wading through the unknown and dealing with the inevitable anxiety that accompanies it. Add onto that the stresses of moving forward with your children’s education, your family’s health, work, and more, and it’s no wonder so many of us are struggling with our decision-making process!
Even though so many people have taken this time to get their priorities in order, they still find themselves facing seemingly insurmountable hurdles. One of those hurdles is processing all of the new information being thrown at us on a daily basis.
In sport, I constantly emphasize to athletes and parents alike the importance of knowing who you are surrounding yourself with. If you choose a group of friends that opt for parties every night or slack on their studies, you may find yourself leaning towards making similar decisions.
The same thing goes with COVID decisions. Despite social distancing measures, thanks to social media and good old fashioned phone calls, we don’t live in a bubble, and we’re constantly taking on information which is influencing our decision-making process. Whether it be the friends we speak with, or the news we watch, our choices are swayed by our surroundings.
During these pivotal times in our life (whether you find yourself in your first semester of college on a sports scholarship, or smack dab in the middle of a worldwide pandemic) it is important to take a step back and think, “What is the influence that this person is having over my life?”
We will always be faced with people who live their lives differently than us. This doesn’t mean you have to let go of everyone who is doing something you don’t like (you’ll never find that “perfect person” who lives exactly the same way you do.)
This also does not give us free rein to blame every decision we’ve ever made on the people in our lives. You are responsible for your own friends and who you surround yourself with, and you need to take on that responsibility with intention.
Right now might be the perfect time to get all of your priorities in order, and make sure the information and people you’re surrounding yourself with will truly be beneficial to you. These practices will get you far as we make our way back into the world!
Interested in hearing more about this topic? Listen to my latest appearance on The Sports Project as I discuss the importance of examining your influences with host Steve Prawdzik.
If you’d like to dive deeper into this and other topics, be sure to check out my weekly appearances on Instagram Live with Sports Anchor Erin Coscarelli! These conversations are broadcast live on Erin’s account at @erincoscarelli, and are also posted to my IGTV at @sportsdreddie. Be sure to follow both of our accounts so you won’t miss our next live broadcast!
Dr. Eddie O’Connor is a nationally recognized clinical and sport psychologist, and has traveled the country speaking to schools, universities, teams, business organizations, and academic conferences about how to overcome obstacles to excellence.