“I‘m so out of it, Bill. Depression, anxiety, stress – I’m overwhelmed and whipped. I simply can’t pull it together for another round.”

The 11th round is over. And that means one more round – three tortuous minutes – left in the bout. In the corner, the fighter, his trainer and cutman, have 60 seconds to somehow pull things together.

The warrior is battered, bloodied, and exhausted beyond any ability to stand – truly overwhelmed and whipped. Yet, he knows he’s supposed to confront his opponent one final time. He knows he must answer the bell.

No, he chooses to answer the bell. And out into the ring he goes.

And isn’t that the way it is for most anyone enduring a mood or anxiety disorder?  Battered, bloodied, and exhausted by the pummeling taken from depression, anxiety, stress, and seemingly ten-jillion other miseries – and being faced with the decision of whether or not to answer the bell.

I’ve always liked that expression, and have used it many times over the years – still do. Yes, when the going gets extremely tough I’m quick to say to myself, “Bill, it’s time to answer the bell, my friend.” And when it’s all said and done, no matter the outcome of what I was facing, what a great feeling to be able to say, “Nice job, Bill – you answered the bell once again!”

What a huge take-away!

So how is it with you? When you’re faced with a troubling event or situation – say, not wanting to face another day – what do you use to gut-up for Round 12?

Maybe it’s about one or more of these…

  • Getting out of bed on those days when your mind, heart, and body tell you you’re incapable of facing the world.
  • Approaching that anxiety-generating person, place, thing, or event that 99.9% of the time equates to avoidance.
  • Taking-on that project at work or school you dread with every ounce of your being.
  • Looking at yourself in the mirror – and your surroundings – and feeling so totally detached, dissociated, and lost.

Any of those hit home?

Look, I know overcoming other-worldly barriers like those above isn’t easily accomplished by pulling a quip out of your back-pocket. But I also know we need to have something to push us forward. And for me it’s been about challenging myself to answer the bell – each and every time.

And I’ll tell you something very cool about my use of the expression. Success builds upon success. I found that after truly answering the bell so many times, this amazing fact solidified in my heart and mind…

“Dang, Bill, there really hasn’t been a time when you didn’t answer the bell. Oh, the situation may not have gone as you would have liked, but the fact remains – you’ve never ducked a challenge!”

And when we get to the point where we’re making self-statements like that, whether or not we’re consciously aware, our anxiety and mood woes are becoming ills of the past.

That’s powerful, don’t you think?

Don’t ever question the fact that you’re a warrior. Yes, you’re so often battered, bloodied, and exhausted beyond any ability to stand. No doubt about it, you’re overwhelmed and (seemingly) whipped. Yet, you know you’re supposed to confront your opponent once again.

You know you must answer the bell. No! You’ll pull it together for another round by choosing to answer the bell. And after doing it time and time again, you’ll gain a confidence and power you never thought possible.

Believe me – been there, done that…


image credit boxrec.com

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