Second Shot: Trent Shelton on how to get real with your life and do the ‘dark work’ to be your greatest self

Second Shot
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Trent Shelton is the embodiment of what it means to take a second shot at your life. After his NFL career ended, he found himself struggling without purpose.

“I thought my purpose was football,” he says, “when I lost that, I feel like I lost my life.”

Since then, Shelton has taken what he learned from his own journey and shares it with others who may be struggling. So far he’s reached over six million people online.

If you find yourself in a difficult or dark place, Shelton says you’ve gotta do the work.

He says “If you’re in a place right now, and it’s a dark place, I will tell you this – you’ve got to do the dark work. The most important work that you do is the work that you do on yourself.”

Shelton says he found that ‘finding your purpose’ is not the best way to look at moving your life forward in a positive way. Purpose isn’t something you find, purpose is who you are.

If you’ve reached a challenging, confusing, or difficult time in life, it’s usually compounded by seeing the curated and perfected lives of others on social media. It can essentially make it difficult for people to really find out who they are and be comfortable with it.

For starters, don’t get hung up on titles or positions.

“You have to realize, your titles, your job, is what you do it’s not who you are,” he says, “it took me getting stripped of all my labels to find out who Trent Shelton really was at the core.”

When you’re trying to distill down what really matters, Shelton says he has a conversation with an at-peace, content, 90-year-old version of himself to better understand what it takes to get there. Trenton says doing such a thought exercise helps you really get down to what really matters and what doesn’t.

For more from Shelton, visit

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