The Transition Game: Week 12

Welcome back!

Communication, that’s a word that has caused me an unbelievable amount of grief. Although it’s not so much the word as it is my lack of skills and numerous bad habits. Conditioning from unhealthy cultures, trauma from relationships, depression, and lack of education are a few of the contributing factors to my struggles with communication. What did my lack of skills and bad habits bring me? Wasted opportunities, low self-esteem, and a whole lot of trouble. That isn’t a pattern I’d like to continue, so I was excited to dive into this section of the program.

I knew I had issues with my communication, it was made abundantly clear in romantic relationships. However, once I began to pull on that string, I realized how much it had impacted other areas of my life without me even noticing. I never communicated with my coaches, it was only ever “yes coach!” no matter how much I disagreed. I can only imagine where I would be if I had practiced better communication skills and been able to find a better understanding with my coaches. I never spoke my mind with coaches or told them where I thought I fit. I had a coach that we didn’t agree with as a team, we were frustrated as hell and jealous of the other teams in our association. Some guys spoke their mind and sat on the bench, I chose to “smile and nod”, never say anything besides “yes coach”, even though I never listened or did anything that the coach asked of me, I played a ridiculous amount of minutes that year and was named a captain. All of which further reinforced some poor communication habits.

Something that struck me was the lesson on arguments, “You can’t win an argument. You can’t because if you lose it, you lose it, and if you win it you’ve lost some respect.” I have never been one to argue, nonetheless, I had never viewed arguments from that perspective. It is 100% true. I have been on both sides of it many times. I’ll bet that you have too. Unfortunately, in my struggles since graduation, it has happened much more frequently. Excited to get back to my old self (with many improvements of course) would be an understatement. Of course, the listening portion of this section caught me red-handed. I have a few terrible listening habits. I’m always thinking about what I’m going to say next instead of giving my full attention. If someone is talking about something I don’t find interesting, I’ll be daydreaming in about 10 seconds. I’d go on but, I already sound like a horrible human being. These are some of the things I have been practicing a lot. I’m happy with my progress, I’m much more patient with my communication and it’s paying off. This will be another section I revisit frequently.

Esty

The Transition Game: Week 11

Welcome back!

 

 

I have been doing a lot of work with my goal setting and now since completing the imagination section of my workbook, I’m seeing how much the sections tie together. It’s exciting, but I find it intimidating too, I know I’ll have to use everything I have learned thus far to get to the places I imagine myself in the future. I have been a bit run down and unmotivated again lately but I know a lot of that comes from letting some of my new habits slide as well as some uncertainty in my life. Even just getting back to practicing gratitude daily, just writing down three things I’m grateful for once a day has a huge impact on my mindset. Another realization I have had is that I still need to lean into my support system more, with all the great people around me it’s ridiculous to try and do everything on my own and then be frustrated when I get lost.

 

 

One of the first things asked of me in this section was to imagine my ideal life in 5 years.

Here’s what I have so far:

  • Making $100,000 per year
  • Ton’s of freedom/flexibility, never missing out on family or friends because of work
  • house with a yard
  • steady job/jobs that I enjoy
  • Two dogs
  • home gym
  • I’m in great shape with healthy and consistent routines
  • love myself and feel pride in where I am and who I am
  • Consistently eating time into my hobbies (dirtbikes/motorcycles, working out, guns, beer league, etc.)
  • I’d like to be living in Cochrane or Canmore and working at the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary

 

Looking at what I wrote made me realize that I need to focus and set goals around discovering what path I might like to walk in order to get to that place, from firefighting, personal training, marketing, working at the Wolfdog Sanctuary, or who knows what else! I need to bite this off in small chunks and just chip away until I’m there. Staying positive and grateful is going to be a sizeable challenge but I know it’ll make the journey immensely more enjoyable and rewarding. 

 

 

Another exercise in this section that helped settle me down and feel less stressed was answering these four questions:

  1. What is your dream? “To be free”
  2. What holds you back from pursuing your dream? “My fears and doubts”
  3. How can you grow the optimism and courage to make your dream become a reality? “Practice! Practice everything in this book consistently, practice positive self-talk and gratitude, envision my dream every day, and use those SMART goals!”
  4. What will your life look like when your dream is achieved? “Peaceful and bright, fulfilling and free”

 

The pictures in my head created by this little exercise lift a weight off my shoulders and provide extra motivation to get to that place I see so clearly in my mind. It’s little things like this I need to do a better job of remembering when things get hard. I have always had a great imagination and I used to let it guide me a lot more, time to get back to that.

 

 

Write you next week,

 

 

Esty

The Transition Game: Week 9

Welcome back!

I just completed the workbook section titled “A Goal is the Goal: Determining your Direction”. I was excited for this section as I have recognized my lack of direction and goals since hanging up my skates and the issues it has caused me. The times in my life when I had goals, direction, and a plan are the times I felt the happiest, I often felt invincible. I haven’t had much of any of that in the past year and as you can guess, I have been miserable and never felt weaker. The book asks a couple of questions to get you thinking before eventually leading you to create your bucket list. 

Here is what I have so far:

  • A long motorcycle trip with friends (W)
  • Complete the Lava Man with my buddy Tupps (W)
  • Get the sleeve tattoo I have been talking about for years (W)
  • Build a small house in the forest (W)
  • Travel (Iceland, Europe, Canada) (D)
  • More hikes and adventures with Mando (my puppy) (D)
  • Always have two rescued dogs for the rest of my life (starting when I have a yard) (W)
  • Live comfortably while working minimally (D)
  • Learn Muay Thai (D)
  • Dirtbike again (D)
  • Own small gun collection and practice consistently (D)
  • Own a Dodge Challenger Hellcat (W)

I look forward to what my facilitator has to say about my bucket list so far especially, the “D’s and W’s” or Desires and Wants. The next step after writing my list was placing either a D or a W after each item to help focus my attention. This allows me to start building an action plan for those items labelled with a D for desire. Once I finished labelling my list I was tasked with sharing it with someone I trust and they had to ask me why I labelled items as desires. I was able to clearly explain why they were desires and the person I shared with was incredibly supportive and excited for me. I felt on top of the world after writing it all out and sharing it. Being as competitive and willful as I am it helps to share things like this, goals, aspirations, and dreams. Once I tell someone I am going to do something it is easier for me to find a way to make it happen than it is to back down.

This has been a really interesting section for me, I haven’t really thought about anything like this since finishing school and hockey. Even before, my list was only: get a scholarship, play pro, have a family. Sitting down and really thinking about what I want to do with my life after going through all these changes was refreshing, revitalizing, and energizing. My next step is to start setting out five things I can do every day that will get me closer to the desires I listed. Looking at my desires, my five things for today could be: 1) Message Muay Thai trainer about prices/availability 2) spend 10 min online gun shopping 3) spend 10 min looking at hikes/adventures to go on with Mando and choose a weekend 4) Ask Dad if he would want to split costs of a Dirtbike and keep it at our acreage 5) Spend 20 min looking at travel costs and options for bringing Mando along.

I’m nervous but excited to share this list with you because now I can’t back down! 

Write you next week,

Esty

The Transition Game: Week 8

Welcome back!

What have I been up to since I last wrote? I took some time to go back through all the work I have done and revisit some things while taking a couple of weeks off. I have been back training hard in my good buddy’s garage gym which has been a blessing. My shoulder is feeling great and I’m feeling stronger both mentally and physically every day. I need to be mindful of being sucked into only relying on training to regulate myself and ensure that I don’t let my newer habits slip as I dive back into an old favourite. I have completed the online portion of the “Who Are You?” course, surprise surprise, it was a real wake-up call just like every other lesson thus far.

The first thing that struck me was a clip from the movie “The Replacements” where one of the characters describes his fear of “quicksand” not actual quicksand, the kind of quicksand related to performance. The game starts, everything is going well, then you make a mistake, and then another, and another, you start to freeze, another mistake, another, next thing you know, you are sitting on the bench and your coach is ripping into you. Quicksand is something I struggled with my whole career because I have always been self-critical, the smallest mistakes eat away at me, I begin to focus on them, I start “gripping my stick too tight” and making decisions I usually wouldn’t make. The result is a terrible performance.

The times I knew exactly who I was and what my job was I thrived and stayed out of the quicksand quickly becoming known for my consistent performances. The times I didn’t, I became known for the exact opposite. Long have I struggled with self-doubt, the earliest times I can recall were at elementary school age with math and my messy handwriting and in my first year of Football. These doubts became my reality as I was focused on them, I struggled with math all through school, my writing is still terrible, and I barely played that year. The difference with Football being, I worked my ass off to gain confidence, skill, and knowledge of Football and became a key part of the defence and leader each season after. I created an identity for myself as a hardworking, fearless, and aggressive player regardless of sport. From age 12 – 20 this identity never wavered and my confidence was at all-time highs, it showed in my performance and I was rewarded as I climbed the ranks each year.

Where I struggle to form an identity now, is in my work career, relationships, and life after sport. All areas where I have been disappointed in my performance. On top of refining what I had written in my workbook the online section asked me to create a visual of who I am, I used the free version of Canva so some of the images aren’t the best for what I was going for but it gives me a much clearer image in my mind of who I am/who I want to be. Take a look at the bottom of the page!

To clarify these images represent to me the identity I have been working to solidify which is that “I am protective, willing, and animal lover, creative, sensitive, social, unique, disciplined, intense, compassionate, and mechanical.”

One part I love about this section is the “a little bit more” 4 words that can change your life. I only ever really practiced that concept in the gym, making sure I did more reps than anyone else, or an extra 5LBs. Branching out and applying it to the rest of my life has been challenging and will take some getting used to. When I do, I feel fantastic, a little more cleaning, a little more weight, a little more water, a little more time organizing, a little more time researching. It all adds up and I need to remember that applies to more than the weight room.

I can’t wait to move on to the “Goals” section of my workbook after another great session with my facilitator and find some more direction.

Write you next week,

Esty

Addiction: Community, Compassion, and Healing

“Addiction is not a choice that anybody makes; it’s not a moral failure; it’s not an ethical lapse; it’s not a weakness of character; it’s not a failure of will, which is how our society depicts addiction. Nor is it an inherited brain disease, which is how our medical tendency is to see it. What it actually is: it’s a response to human suffering, and all these people that I worked with had been serially traumatized as children. All the women had been sexually abused. All the men had been traumatized, some of them sexually, physically, emotionally neglected. And not only is that my perspective, it’s also what the scientific and research literature show. So, addiction then, rather than being a disease as such or a human choice, it’s an attempt to escape suffering temporarily.”
           – Dr. Gabor Mate 

I want to shine a floodlight on addiction, I want to stand on the rooftops and shout with a megaphone so everyone can hear me, maybe just maybe what I have to say will change one person and give them a clearer understanding of what addiction is and who it can affect. Society paints a dark and dirty picture of addiction, and this perspective is one filled with stereotypes and stigma. It is an ugly perspective that portrays the drug addict in a dark alley with other street people injecting heroin, streets lined with drug addicts overdosing and living in tents, its a casino with someone pouring their mortgage payments into a slot machine, its sex, strippers and internet porn, its bags filled with expensive designer shopping bags purchased online in secret. The ugliest dirtiest stigmatized perspective of addiction is the LIE we are fed that people become addicted by their own free will. The idea that we are addicted because that is the life we chose and we chose not to stop the behaviour, versus the side that states it’s a disease and with treatment and detox we can be a valuable member of the community. I agree that with treatment addictions are manageable for those that find themselves in that position. However, we need to address and clearly understand what starts people on the path to becoming addicted so we can take a more preventative approach.

Addictions are side effects and characteristics we develop as a result of chasing new ways to cope with issues we are struggling with. They allow us to escape for a short period so we may keep living with the burdens of trauma. Society views addiction in black and white and not enough is being done to slow the epidemic at this moment in time. Addicts are stigmatized as people who society can throw away and they are viewed by the public as people that have less value in our communities. We are seeing more and more of the stigma-based approach of “not in my back yard”. Many people seem to want to empathize with addiction as long as it stays out of their neighbourhoods. Addiction affects everyone and everyone is worthy of acceptance, compassion, housing, and love no matter what they are struggling with.

Addiction is not a disease to fear nor something we should shun people for struggling with. Addiction is a reprieve and a coping mechanism to allow a person an escape temporarily from the suffering they are experiencing, often it stems from a place of unresolved trauma. Addiction provides a place of distance and numbing from problems to allow a person to cope and live to fight another day. It allows them to shut off the pain, forget the trauma and other problems, the escape is a safe place, the quieting of the mind that allows a person to get through another day.

So where do we begin when we are trying to assist someone with an addiction? We as a culture need to start being more trauma-informed, we need to be willing to openly have conversations that allow a safe space to be heard without bringing judgement and condemning the choices that others have made in an attempt to cope. We need to meet people where they are, not where we think they should be. We need to be able to provide tools that allow addicts to engage in their own wellness and allow the person to undertake their recovery plan at a pace they are comfortable with. Getting to the root of the issues that led to the path of addiction will be a lengthy process and must be self-guided to allow for true healing.

When we begin to take our blinders off we will see that everyone is suffering from pain that we have no idea about. Everyone could be dealing with something that is negatively impacting who they are and how they are managing their lives. Having an open mind and educating yourself on topics like addiction and mental health makes it much easier to feel compassion toward all beings, including yourself.

The more time we take to understand our struggles and learn techniques for successfully managing these struggles the greater our capacity for compassion becomes. Firstly with ourselves and then for others. Our world can transform into a kinder more empathetic and compassionate one by starting with self-love and compassion for ourselves. Once we learn that we are worthy of acceptance and love with all our flaws we will begin to recognize a world of wounded human beings, not a world of dehumanized monsters. We now have tapped into a new degree of love and understanding with an ability to be empathetic human beings in a world lacking just that. The path toward ever greater healing and wholeness may well be never-ending, so in the meantime, perhaps we can all be less judgmental and more compassionate toward those who are using various addictions to cope with their pain. If we can remember that addiction is more than just substance and alcohol abuse, that it could be anything that is a distraction or an escape from pain, we will become aware that this affects almost every person we know. When we are lying in the judgement of someone else, we are often seeing something we recognize in ourselves but do not want to see.

More statistics and articles on addiction in men:

How Addiction Affects Men Differently

Addiction Among Males

Hurt People Hurt People. Healed People Heal People.

The Transition Game – Week 7

Welcome back!

Since last week I have completed the workbook portion of “Who Are You?”, have kept up with my gratitude practice, completing 3 lifts a week plus lots of rollerblading and hiking with my pup, spent as much time in the sun as I can, and have been reaching out to lots of old friends. I am feeling great and have even been able to support a few friends going through hard times which has been very rewarding.

I loved this lesson in the workbook, it was fun to reflect on where I came from, what made me who I am and put pen to paper to lay it all out clearly. In the book it says most people draw a complete blank when you ask who they are, I immediately wrote a page about who I am with no hesitation. That felt great, I can’t wait to see what my facilitator has to say about that and what I wrote. It speaks to how much better I have been feeling, if you asked me that question a couple of months ago I probably would have said “I don’t know, who cares, why are you asking me that?!”

Here is what I wrote:

“I am a hard-nosed Calgary kid who built my own success out of the willingness to do what others would not and the refusal to be intimidated by anyone. I am an animal lover and crazy dog man. I love rap, rock, tattoos, guns, motorcycles, and violent sports but I am highly sensitive and soft on the inside just like the men in my family before me. I am intense but also the biggest goofball man child in the world once you gain my trust. I am an only child but was never lonely, I made my friends my siblings and my Dad always laughed and called me a social butterfly. I am unique, weird, quirky however you want to put it but I have always loved and embraced it with no fear of being judged.”

I’m not sure if I did that right, but either way, it felt good to write, it felt good to remind myself of all these things. After I meet with my facilitator I will likely rewrite it, there is another section at the back for a second draft. I look forward to that as well.

Another task in my homework that had a big impact on me was after some readings I wrote notes about all the ups and downs in my life. Then I had to ask myself “why am I doubting myself, why would I do that”. Which I was already asking myself before getting halfway done with my notes. For starters, my ups list is three times as long as my downs list. Looking at the ups, the times I defied the odds, the way I impacted people around me. When I had a clear picture of who I was and believed in myself, I reached every single goal I set for myself. Yet, here I am after spending 20 years that way, doubting myself every day in every way. Insane. That’s the only way to describe it, it makes no sense. This work has been so eye-opening, it all seems so simple yet I was completely stumped and lost. I guess I just wasn’t asking the right questions or any at all.

The quote at the start of the lesson sums it up best. “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thanks for all the support, I hope through sharing my reflections you have been able to do some of your own!

Write you next week,

Esty

The Transition Game: Week 5

Welcome back!

Since I last wrote I have had another facilitator meeting, finished “Attitude Determines your Altitude” in my workbook and began some of the homework that comes with the lesson. I have been procrastinating less but still have a long way to go, I’m working out more consistently and have worked my gratitude practice into my warm-ups which puts me in an even better headspace than training alone already did. Using my scheduler remains to be a huge challenge, I always have a plan in my mind and I need to just prioritize putting it down on paper when I first sit down to start my workday. I know it will benefit me and I have to remind myself of that each morning to get it done.

As always, this most recent lesson has been an opportunity to look myself in the mirror, analyze my past, and help shape my future. In my workbook, the first thing that struck me was I was asked to indicate whether my thoughts were positive or negative when it came to school, my sport, myself, and home life. It was hard to have to circle negative on each, but a needed wake-up call. Especially once realizing that the results I am getting or have gotten in those areas are not the results I want. Immediately I flashback to my hockey career and remember the years I had the most success, I would have circled positive for all but school (I don’t think there has ever been a time in my life where I would circle positive for school). I was very fortunate to have some great coaches when I first entered the elite levels of hockey, one coach made it mandatory for us to send him positive self-talk emails on game days, if you didn’t, you did not play. Many guys thought this was just plain stupid, they refused and were punished, or they didn’t commit and never saw the full benefits. With a nudge from my parents backed by the fact that the coach had a very successful professional hockey career himself, I committed to it. The impact it had on my on-ice performance and overall confidence blew my 13-year-old mind.

I tried to find the old emails but had no luck. From what I remember they went something like this:

“I am a physically dominant shut down defenseman, I am a solid skater and excellent positional player. I am a leader and will not allow my teammates to be intimated or taken advantage of.” We then would set goals for that specific game, mine were usually something like this. “I will have 20 hits with impact, 5 hard shots on net with potential for tips or rebounds, 5 blocked shots, and will be a +2 with 1 assist”. I was amazed to see that when I consistently did this, I not only truly began to believe it, but I reached those goals more times than not and it took me from barely making the team to being a sought after defenseman every year that routinely wore a letter on my jersey.

Somewhere along the line, I forgot about all of this, and by the time I achieved my dream of earning a hockey scholarship I had allowed it to be completely washed away thanks to my ego. I did not have the success in college I had dreamt of for the previous 8 years and thanks to my hindsight 20-20 vision I realize that was largely due to an unchecked negative shift in my attitude.

For my homework, I have to journal my daily changes in attitude for 1 week. Thus far I have gone from “I’m too tired to train today, I don’t have time” to “I will make time, working out will increase my overall energy and help improve my sleep”. Today I added “chores are stupid, annoying, never-ending, I have better things to do” and changed it to “Put on some music, have some fun with it, get it done and reduce my overall stress in the process”.

Thanks to everyone who has been keeping up with this blog, I’m truly enjoying writing it and It’s helping me more than you know!

Write you next week,

Esty

The Transition Game – Week 4

Welcome back!

Good news, since last week I have completed both the book and online lessons for Habits, got back on the workout train, have been much more productive, and have made progress in changing my bad habit of procrastinating tasks I dislike. My facilitator made it very clear to only focus on one habit at a time and I felt changing this one first would have the greatest impact on how I feel day to day. My gratitude practice is still really lacking and I need many reminders to do it daily, now that I am back to working out I have put a notepad and pen on my dumbbell rack and will incorporate my gratitude practice into my warmup ritual. Using my scheduler is another big challenge for me that I have yet to consistently integrate into my daily and weekly routines. I love having a plan, I hate having things planned down to the minute and that is my character strength score of 1 – which means I am very flexible as opposed to traditional. Often, I find myself completely disregarding everything I planned on paper which in turn causes me to think “well why the hell am I wasting time on this, I got way more done when I just winged it”. That is NOT a growth mindset and I will continue to work at using my scheduler consistently AND STICKING TO THE PLAN.

The Habits section of the Success Strategies program has been a great challenge but also my biggest opportunity for growth yet. I have realized how many poor habits I have which makes it difficult for me to not beat myself up. I have to constantly fight my utter disappointment in myself with each bad habit I recognize in my homework as well as when they pop up throughout my days. This is going to take years of hard work and dedication to break all these bad habits and replace them with good ones. I am very familiar with years of hard work and dedication however; I am not so used to it being on the mental side of things. Going back to the first blog post I wrote I talked about how during my Hockey career “I was the athlete equivalent of a Formula 1 racecar being driven by a gorilla”. This has rung true yet again, after writing down all of my habits both good and bad, all the good ones were physical (eating healthy, drinking lots of water, staying in great shape, staying very active even when working out is a challenge) and the bad ones were mental (stressful thinking, negative self-talk and self-doubt, mistrust of people, skepticism of all things society, procrastinating tasks I dislike or think are stupid, pushing my feelings down, putting up emotional walls).

I truly cannot wait to rid myself of the “gorilla” but I have to stay patient, focused, and increase my dedication to this work. Through the work that I have done so far here is what I’m noticing (on days I stay on top of it):

  • Decreased symptoms and feelings of depression
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Increased motivation
  • Better sleep (less dependant on cannabis)
  • Less autopilot and more present in the moment
  • Exhausted… but from the work, workouts, and mindfulness not for seemingly no reason
  • I’m starting to get excited about doing things again (rollerblading, walking, outdoor hangouts)
  • Looking for new hobbies instead of just letting myself rot, though this has been hard due to covid, at least I want to find something, I’m interested in trying Muay Thai and can’t wait for things to open up and to get vaccinated so I can dive in.

There is much work to be done, but for the first time in a while, that doesn’t bother me or stress me out.

Thanks for checking in, write you next week!

Esty

The Transition Game – Week 3

Welcome back!

So what’s new? Well since I last wrote I completed the online portion of “Defining your Role”, had another meeting with my facilitator, and completely went off the rails with all my new self-care habits.

The online portion was great, it helped me solidify the lessons I learned in the book and allowed me to add more to my strengths and weaknesses as a family member. An area that I have struggled to define my role and find my identity within. The facilitator meeting was a highlight as always, these meetings bring so much clarity, direction, and energy. I’m always ready to run through a wall by the time I complete my course work and have that discussion. It has kept me far more accountable than anything else I have ever tried.

Why did I completely go off the rails with my self-care? I thought about omitting this, but the whole point is that I’m real with what I experience and how I feel. We had to say goodbye to a dear family member, Trooper. Those of you that are close with me know all about Troops and what he meant to our family and those that know me at all know I’m a crazy dog person. Those of you who were lucky enough to know Troops, well you know why his name was Trooper. From being dumped in someone’s back yard with a massive gash across his face and eye, multiple eye surgeries, knee surgeries, and cancer. Troops went through a lot in his 13 years, and man did he ever live up to his name.

The loss rocked me, you’re never ready for that kind of thing, but I really wasn’t ready. I don’t know if it’s just that I have been very lucky and not suffered much loss in my life. Maybe it’s because I’m an only child, Trooper was the closest thing I ever had to a brother. Maybe I am just a crazy dog person, whatever it is dogs are the key to my heart, whether it’s filling it or breaking it. All this made me realize I hate the word pet, I don’t know about you but “pet” sells every relationship I have ever had with a dog so incredibly short. In my crazy dog person opinion, there is only one word worthy of the unconditional love and joy we get from dogs… FAMILY. So needless to say I have been a bit of a mess. It has been cry, then work, then eat, then cry and repeat, nothing else. Should I have kept working out? Yep! Should I have continued to practice gratitude? YEP!! Should I have pushed extra hard to use my scheduler? For sure! I did none of it, not even one of them one time. From the time I got the news that he was starting to go until a week after he was gone, I didn’t even try to do any of these things. All I wanted to do, all I still want to do is sit, process, cry, and remember. I let it cripple me, and honestly, it wasn’t until I started writing this that I realized the best way I can honour him is to be a trooper myself.

I’m ready to get back to my new routines and I’ll remember this the next time life squeezes a lemon in my eyes. During those hard times is when I need to put in an extra effort to stick to my workouts, gratitude, and scheduling. Have I been told that before? Yes, of course! My facilitator even gave me plenty of reminders but I have a bad habit of learning things the hard way which is another item on my long self-improvement list. Funny enough, my next lesson is “Habits – Why Do You Do What You Do” which I am quite enthusiastic about as I am such a creature of habit. Whether they are healthy or unhealthy, I’m notorious for my habits and looking forward to finding out why and better yet finding out how to break those unhealthy ones!

Write you next week! Till’ then, keep on being a Trooper!

Esty

The Transition Game – Week 2

Welcome back!

Since last Thursday I have received my PES (Profile Evaluation System) results, had my kickoff meeting with my facilitator, and completed lesson 1 in my workbook. Let’s start with my PES results, this is the most accurate and insightful personality evaluation I have ever done. Some of the results caught me off guard but after reading the explanations and having a discussion with my facilitator things started to make sense. Going through the results with my facilitator was awesome, it helped me see where these things pop up in my life and what they can cause me. We highlighted a few scores that I need to be mindful of which helped me connect the dots to some of my past experiences. I was very nervous before we started but as soon as we started discussing it, I found myself having fun, laughing and telling stories. My facilitator got to know and understand me on a much deeper level while I gained a clearer picture of who I truly am.

The scores that surprised me at first were in dominance and competitiveness. On a 1-9 scale I scored a 9 assertive in dominance (the opposite end of the spectrum is 1 cooperative), and 8 winning oriented competitiveness (the opposite end of the spectrum is 1 team oriented). These threw me off as I always thought of myself as a team-first guy who was very cooperative. After digging into it, I realized that what was going on in my head was this: “Hockey is a team game, I want to win, so we need to play as a team”. I’m not team oriented, I’m winning oriented, but I need the team to achieve the win. Here is where my 9 assertive dominance score kicks in “if you aren’t being a team player, you don’t care about winning, so f*** you why are you even here?” which explains all of the conflicts I had with my teammates. I only see one way to get the win and anyone who isn’t thinking the same way pisses me off. Another example of these scores shining through in my career is my “practice how you play” mentality. I believed this with my entire being, and I was a very physical player. For me, that meant never letting a teammate off the hook in practice because I would never let an opponent off the hook in a game. If I had a chance to throw a hit, I was throwing it, as hard as I could. That was my job, that’s what I needed to do so we could win. More hits in practice, for me, meant more hits in games. Yes, this often made it difficult to make friends but I didn’t care, I wasn’t there to make friends, I was there to win. My friends were typically guys who thought the same way as me, we’d laugh about running each other in practice, we loved the battle and to us, it was just iron sharpening iron. To all my former teammates that hated me or just hated when I ran them in practice, sorry man, I just wanted us to win.

Lesson 1 Defining your Role was interesting and a bit frustrating for me. it exposed some insecurities and honestly really made it clear that I don’t have a solid identity when it comes to my family or work life. I was asked to list my strengths and weaknesses as an athlete, student/employee, and family member. It is further broken down into the categories leadership, mental strength, communication, and habits. I rattled off my answers as an athlete with no problems. As a student/employee, it was a bit of a challenge. As a family member, I was completely stumped and I’m still trying to put some answers down. Makes sense why I feel so lost since I hung up the skates, at least now I know I need to find my identity and focus on defining those roles for myself and it will make a huge difference in how I feel day to day. I’m really looking forward to my next facilitator meeting and finding even more clarity. The workbook helped me to draw some parallels between how I felt in certain roles on certain teams and how I feel in certain roles in my life today which is what clued me in. The moral of the story, define your roles! ALL OF THEM, or you’re going to have a bad time. If someone gives you a role, have a deep and meaningful conversation about it. Maybe you are a little nervous to have that kind of conversation with that specific person, but trust me just do it. What you’ll feel if you don’t is far worse than the anxiousness before the conversation.

Thanks for the support!

Write you next week,

Esty