How would you like to live under a microscope? Would you be able to live up to expectations that are not fully your own? This week many NBA players have been opening up on their struggles with depression and anxiety. In a society where you are judged by every move and decision you make it forces these players to hide inside their own bodies worried about how they would be viewed if their fans really knew what was going on in their worlds. These players grow up dreaming of being the next Michael Jordan and winning NBA championships, but nothing can prepare them for these life challenges that sometimes comes with living life in the spotlight. Why must they be forced to live secret lives scared if others find out what the consequences may be. Would their next contract be renewed? Would it mess with team chemistry? Would they be considered an outcast?
Often times I have struggled with similar feelings and emotions albeit in a much smaller spotlight. The feeling of being put on a particular pedestal worried about how others would see me if they only knew what was going on inside. The fear of judgement can be very challenging. How can you relate whether at work, in your relationships, at school, or even at church? Will people treat you the same after finding out the real truth? People are hiding with their struggles all around us. Will we even take time to notice?
Here are three things to remember if you are currently dealing with something or know someone who is. The most important thing is to realize you are not alone. So many people keep this to themselves because they are embarrassed to think they are the only one dealing with this. Everyone else has their life together while here I am dealing with these negative thoughts and feelings. YOU are NOT alone. Secondly, find someone you trust to talk about it. Once you bring the fears to light they can no longer hold power over you. Finding a safe place where this is no judgement will allow you a space to explore how to overcome what is currently holding you back from being your true self. Lastly, how can you help someone else who may be dealing with this exact same struggle. Pay it forward. In doing so not only will you be changing the world one life at a time starting with yours.