By Beverly, SO Sports Editor
2017 will always be a truly special year to me. It was in January that I made a promise to sit on the sidelines from writing sports articles for SO Magazine. It was a way to devote my time to other aspects of my life.
Looking back, life just seemed to be piling up with commitments both on-field and off-field, and like many 20-something young professionals, the overwhelming feeling of having to devote time wholeheartedly to this awesome side project, didn’t quite feel like I could find a healthy balance.
SO I decided I needed a break. This was hard. I was such an avid fan of writing for this section, particularly researching possible interviews and sharing content on the latest in the sporting world. Ideas for SO had always been bubbling away in the back of my mind.
Now as we kick off a new year, here is what I’ve learned from my time off last year. I’m back, well-equipped and ready to return to the field…
Learn to grow and invest in truly being your authentic self.
2017 kicked off with a trip to Auckland with my older sister and a group of girlfriends. I took the time off for some proper rest and relaxation. New Zealand is absolutely breathtaking.
Kicking this back to sports, the moments when you recharge and refocus allows you to ask yourself some bigger life questions (well timed for the start of a new year). An area I wanted to improve on was whether I was striving to be authentic in relationships.
What did I learn? As hard as it is, it is SO worth striving to be your genuine self around others. No need to impress. No need to feel like you are not worthy enough. It’s simple. It’s always key to remember that you’ll shine brightly when you are just being you.
Take bold risks. Be willing to make commitments.
When you think of someone performing at an elite level at a particular sport, you understand they had to take bold risks and commit fully to their profession.
As someone who feels so risk averse, I took a leap of faith to travel to the US briefly at the start of the year. This was not originally on the cards for me. No matter how uncharted the future seems, we need to be OK to make commitments, be decisive and pursue things in life that often will draw us to something meaningful looking back.
Practice detachment daily.
This was by far a huge lesson for me. One that I can admit, I struggle with on a daily basis as an over-planner and someone who thrives on coordination, routine and order in my day.
If you are sports obsessed and religiously tune into your favourite team each week, think about how you would feel if you missed a game or tried to let go of checking scores on your phone. What difference would it make?
Often in our fast-paced and on-the-go busy lives, we have a fear of missing out. We end up constantly thinking of all the options. Sadly, we can be too attached to our work, money, time and technology. Ultimately these things won’t define who you are as a person.
Being over-worked, over-committed and burnt out, can lead us to never appreciating what truly matters. Letting go, detachment and allowing yourself to live in the present moment helps us see the beauty in life. This is absolutely priceless.
Cultivate meaningful relationships.
There are certain sports stars who actively live in the limelight of being famous and happily share intimate details of their personal lives with the media or on social media.
Be bold. Take a detox. Cut down sharing things about your personal life on social media. Lesson learned: investing in solid relationships outweigh what you are trying to portray to others online.
Real, lasting and deeper friendships take time, effort and a lot of patience. It’s worth keeping a lot of things offline, as a way to cultivate better and stronger bonds with those you love.
Do what you love, love what you do… always.
Anyone who is able spend day in a role they love would agree, it feels like you never have to work a day in your life! I can imagine this is exactly how a player, coach or anyone pursuing their dreams in the sporting world would feel.
When you choose to pursue what you are called to, nothing can ever compare to a fulfilling and rewarding day, and sharing this happiness with others, especially if you feel like you have made a small difference in the world.
SO… 2017 was a good chance to unwind, take a break and relax.
I’m happy to tackle on more with SO sports this year. If you have any ideas, stories that inspire you or would like to feature in an article, shoot your details over to the SO Magazine team, I’d love to hear from you!