In one of my previous posts, I wrote about how stress has had a major impact in my life.
I really want to tell you about the lessons I’ve learned along the way (so far). I also want to help you understand how the right mindset can be very useful in overcoming such obstacles as stress.
Let’s start at the very beginning.
At age 20, I began working out seriously. Not just now and then, but four to five times a week with a healthy diet and a new friend who introduced me to Olympic weightlifting. I was shocked to experience the physical as well as mental benefits of working out on this level. Thus the foundation of my identity as an adult, had been created.
It’s hard to describe just how a lifestyle can change your mindset and your life in general. I quickly discovered, that all I learned in and out of the gym, I could adapt to everything else in life. Let me explain.
Getting to the gym is not always joy and happy times. Some days it’s pouring rain or snowing heavily and your bed is just sooo warm and comfy. Having set your mind to a specific goal, like reaching a new personal record in a given lift, determination and drive is what gets you on the bike to the gym, just wearing shorts and a sweatshirt in that pouring rain.
This determination and drive is what I adapted to everything in my life.
Suddenly my grades went sky rocket, the relationship between me and my now wife became even more intimate, and my focus on most tasks was just spot on.
But to every positive, there’s a negative. I learned that the hard way. As my life improved, I started demanding too much of myself. Eventually this resulted in a major crash.
It was April 2016. I was working as a sales trainee at a company that sells kitchens. The following months, I had promised the costumers more than I could handle, and things just started collapsing in my head. My mood went down, my self esteem went down, and all seemed dark and grey from my point of view.
That April morning, just as I kissed my (then)girlfriend goodbye and was about to head to work, everything crumbled and I just started crying. My (then)girlfriend looked at me shocked and afraid. Ofcourse she held me close and gave me comfort, because of that amazing woman she is. My wife is the ground pillar of my life, but I’ll save that story for another time.
The following months was a nightmare. My lust for food had disappeared and every morning when I woke up, I considered just staying in bed untill I could sleep again (though sleep was a rare phenomenon at that time). Everything was just so grey!
I started seeing a therapist, and gradually feeling a little better. I learned that all this stress I had put on myself, was the result of having a father who struggled with alcoholism. No wonder I demanded such unrealistic things from myself. My whole life I had been forced to be an adult when my sister and I visited my father during the holidays.
Having learned that, I can now look back and understand what caused all this havock in the first place.
A lesson I would like to share with you, is that life will knock you down, there will be bumps along the way, but getting back up and facing your demons is crucial if you want to move on. Ofcause you can stay on your knees and crawl for the rest of your days. But then you are controlled by whatever knocked you down. If you get back up, the world is at your feet and you can start living the life that you deserve.