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  • Writer's pictureVera Jo Bustos

Feeling Stuck over COVID-19?

What are your plans for dealing with COVID-19 and beyond?

My junior year in high school I was on the phone with a college coach who was recruiting me. We did the usual small talk before she got to a question I knew was the reason she called. Get through the façade and see if I was a fit for the program. “How many shots have you gotten up this week?” “Ummm…I don’t know maybe around…” I was immediately cut off. “Let me stop you right there. If you can’t give me a definitive answer, if you don’t know the exact number of shots you got up this week, how serious are you really about getting to the next level? We know you are a shooter – but to be the best at this level means you have to be different. You need a plan. You need accountability.” You best believe I had a plan in hand from that moment on.

What are your plans for dealing with COVID-19 and beyond? What can be controlled? What is out of our control?

Those are just a few questions on most minds. Our lives have been turned upside down. Since the outbreak – I have seen two types of people:

1. People who are making excuses not to get better.

2. People using this time to learn, grow, develop, gain insight, and separate themselves even more.

Over the past two weeks, I have worked with a handful of athletes who have expressed the desire to take their game to the next level. After each session, they are left with an action plan to get an edge and a step closer in attaining their goals. They know what they are supposed to do. They have the blue-print in hand. The secret. The edge. But the follow through? Inconsistent – at best. They don’t follow through with the plan.

Are you practicing according to your dreams and goals?

A common saying we use at PGC Basketball is, “You can’t base your game off of hope.” In the same way – you can’t base your life off hope. You have to put in the work. Success is a choice – not an accident. Who is someone you find successful? Ask them what steps they needed to take to get to where they are. I bet they will have a list. An action plan they followed. Consistently.

“I’m bored,” has got to be one of the craziest things I hear during this time. Now more than ever before there are so many FREE resources floating around on the internet. What dreams do you have in your heart? What excuse are you holding onto that’s standing in your way from going after it? That scholarship you want? Make an action plan in how you will get there. That business you always wanted to start? Create your business plan. That book you always wanted to write? Start with an outline.

The hardest part in chasing your dream is taking the first step. If you take a hard look – Netflix, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook are the things that are often holding you back. One year from now what good will that series you binge-watched get you? The hours staring at your phone scrolling? The frustrations you allowed to take over?

Frustrations are everywhere. Even where you least expect them. My youngest sister shared a story about her trip to pick up some milk and bread last week. She opted to avoid the craziness of the grocery store and went to a local gas station that carried a few food items. Standing in line with milk and bread, she carefully stood six feet behind the person in front of her. Soon thereafter, she felt someone standing right behind her. “I felt her breath on me,” she said. The woman then told her, sarcastically and rudely, “Well, are you in line?!” “Yes, but we are in the middle of a pandemic here. I am abiding by the rules. Can you please give me some space?” The woman continued to mouth off and muttered unpleasant things under her breath.

During times of pressure and challenging times, we often revert back to our most deeply held habits. Sadly, this means these tough times will bring out the ugly in poor characters. The greedy. The uncompassionate. The selfish.

But more importantly we will also see the helpers. We will find those going out of their way for others. People volunteering their time to go shopping for the elderly. People choosing to support their local mom-and-pop stores through carryout and delivery. People continuing to show care, compassion, and kindness.

It’s always a matter of choice. I choose to focus on the positives from these challenging times. On what I CAN control and on the actions I can carry out today. Focus on what I can do to make myself better. Focus on how I can be better in my relationships. Focus on how I can become a better trainer. A better speaker. A better writer. A better human being.

A thought – Energy goes where attention flows.

A question – Where will you CHOOSE to give your attention?

An action plan – 1. Be grateful. 2. Do a morning routine that grounds you before watching the news/scrolling on social media. - Workout - Pray - Read - Journal - Meditate 3. Choose your focus – what are you spending your time on? 4. Minimize anxiety producing things.

Position yourself to be in a beautiful state of mind. If you can develop the habits of mindfulness and resiliency today – imagine the life you will create for yourself tomorrow.

The way you do anything is the way you do everything. At the end of the day this is bigger than any single one of us. What you choose to focus on can make this world a better place, or a living hell. The question remains: What will you choose?


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