Courage Under Pressure
Who among us hasn’t had a moment, a day or a week where we felt the pressure in our lives – professionally and personally – to “go out there” and do what is expected of us even when all we really wanted to do was get back under the covers?
Simone Biles modeled for athletes, girls and people everywhere that “it’s okay to not be okay.” The 24-year-old, Team USA gymnast, withdrew yesterday from the team final competition at the Tokyo Olympics after receiving the lowest vault score of her Olympic career. Biles realized that she was not feeling well – emotionally – and became concerned about her mental health and her ability to do her job, i.e., to be the star athlete she is expected to be.
Biles, who is widely regarded as the “GOAT” (Greatest of All Time) of gymnasts, shared: “I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times. I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but damn sometimes it’s hard.”
After her sudden withdrawal from competition, she said, “We also have to focus on ourselves, because at the end of the day we’re human, too. We have to protect our mind and our body, rather than just go out there and do what the world wants us to do.”
Who among us hasn’t had a moment, a day or a week where we felt the pressure in our lives – professionally and personally – to “go out there” and do what is expected of us even when all we really wanted to do was get back under the covers? How often have we mentioned to a friend or family member that we aren’t feeling quite right and been told “there is nothing wrong with you, just push through it.”
I remember when my mother died suddenly six years ago. I took five days out of the office and then went back to work. All I really wanted to do was step back – get into bed, cry and grieve her passing. But I felt a responsibility and dedication to my clients and so I refused to admit to myself – or anyone else -that I was not okay.
Simone Biles just gave us all permission to check in with ourselves to see how our physical, emotional and mental health are faring and to step back when we aren’t feeling well. It’s okay to not be okay.
Thank you, Simone, for your courage under pressure and for being a role model for us all.
For those of you interested in executive coaching and who might like to join a group, please drop me an email or call at 215.260.4881 so we can chat about what you need. I am here to support you, and just an email away.
Wishing you permission to step back when you need to,
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