Healing The Narcissistic Athlete, sounds a little deep right?

I’ve thought for a while about this when I gave a TED talk what would I title it? Some of the titles were “From Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur,” or “Healing The Imperfect Athlete.” Then Monday morning, I was laying in bed, and I got a helpful little random email notification from Quora for an article called “Does narcissism get worse with age?”

It hit me, that’s it.

Healing The Narcissistic Athlete.

That’s the reason why I fight for 9INE POINT so hard when people try to tell me it won’t work.  It’s because they aren’t defining success the way I am. For me, 9INE POINT exists because I hope if this thing tells enough stories of a variety of athletes, hopefully at least one athlete younger or older won’t end up like this narcissistic version of me.

Don’t get me wrong I’ve come along with this these last fear years because I’m more aware of my tendencies. No lie I’m excited to see the version of myself at 27 then 30. They weren’t joking with they said growth was uncomfortable. But this 25-year-old version of Jacolby is still somewhat seeking some form of validation through success that’s never going to come or fill a void.

Going from achievement to achievement but never being satisfied because there is always more or another level. The version that refuses to let anyone get too close to him or have any type of relationships that go beyond the surface level. I’ve gotten better with this, but internally, criticism and patience are like my kryptonite. The idea of being the king of the castle drove me until it scared me a little seeing a glimpse of what that could look like even through all the good.

It’s Admired In Sports

In sports, that mindset was great and admired because it’s characterized as drive, determination, hunger, but in reality, it was just feeding my mental health tornado. Getting bigger each amount of admiration, praise, notoriety, and special treatment I received. Especially, when I figured out if you’re good enough you get to make the rules. People show up on your schedule, they stop to accommodate you the way they wouldn’t even do for their own family.

Showing the world you’re humble yet deep down you think you’re going to be the greatest to ever do it. It’s a pedestal that I helped people build aiming at perfection to be the best at everything. Even though deep down there was a flawed, insecure kid that needed this athletic identity for strength. Later that switched to business. The storyline behind Fight Club is starting to make a lot more sense.

It took me taking an extremely painful embarrassing L that crushed my ego and the downward spiral that it took me down for it to hit me. For the first time in my life, I couldn’t control or plan the narrative. I truly had to stop and slow down.

Not All Bad

This mindset is somewhat a blessing and a curse. Being somewhat narcissistic has given me this ability to dream big to see no limits or anything I can’t overcome. For the most part, everything that I’ve said I wanted to achieve for sports, school, etc I’ve willed to existence. It’s given me this Superman complex to want to change the world knowing that if I work hard enough I will. Guess you have to weigh the good with the bad.

Give Yourself A Chance To Heal

Once I really saw a clear reflection of the Jacolby in the mirror all of the past actions hit me with guilt, because before I never really considered how much my actions could be negatively affecting people. Even though you can have the best intentions at heart. I had to understand that you have to let go. No text, call, apology or good deed may fix the damage that’s been done. But you owe it to yourself to forgive yourself and carry forward the lessons so hopefully, you don’t repeat history again.

Created My Therapy

Funny thing one of the best treatments for narcissism is talk therapy. So who would have guessed when I started The Started With A Dream Podcast January 2018 I was gradually creating my own rehab for Healing The Narcissistic Athlete. Each athlete I get to hear their story is giving me a feeling of peace and acceptance. For any athlete going through something similar just know your not alone, it will all work out. We are all Imperfect Athletes healing the best we can. Just like in sports we just have to get a little better each day.

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Jacolby Gilliam

Jacolby is the founder and publisher of 9INE POINT Mag. As a former walk-on, he realized there are so many athletes with stories that are not being heard or told for various reasons. 9INE POINT Mag was born, as a platform to help athletes and those that support them share their stories and journey, regardless of your NCAA division, playing status, pro or semi-pro. Jacolby feels that every athlete has a journey that can inspire other athletes in the midst of theirs.
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