3 Essential Lessons to Learn About Mental Health From Simone Biles

Many driven people have an amazing ability to “play through the pain”. Whether it’s an athlete putting on a bandage and mentally blocking her injury to win a trophy, or an accomplished professional athlete who sheds tears as she misses her niece’s birthday party due to a work-related emergency, me found that many top performers possess an uncanny ability to overcome obstacles to “white ankles”.

While this is admirable to some extent, the danger is that these people often get so good at putting their feelings aside that they actually forget that those feelings exist. This leads to feelings of burnout and makes them prone to psychological or physical injuries. The key is to take the time before and / or after stressful events to consider the emotional toll they are taking on you.

I actually address this in my book Nervous Energy: Use the power of your fear in a technique called “To-Do List With Emotions”. Basically, you spend a moment thinking about what you are doing to work towards your goals. Observe what emotions arise in you during this activity, and then create a self-care plan to respond to.

In the examples above, the self-care plans could be booking a massage and taking a week off from the gym; or plan a “Just us Girls Day” to catch up with your niece. The point is to make sure that you are not so focused on your goal that you forget to honor and nurture the superhuman side of yourself that has overcome temporary obstacles.

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