I just heard someone say that when your mind is telling you you’re done, you’re only 40% done. We have all experienced this in a workout. You are doing a 5 round workout and in round 3 your mind is telling you that you cannot go on, that there is nothing left. Yet you finish the workout. We have all seen the poster of the guy digging the tunnel and he is quitting but he can’t see that he right about to break through to the other side with one more shovel full of dirt.
We know that we can learn to overcome this voice with practice. If we continue push past our limits we find that we create new limits. If we expect more of ourselves, we get more from ourselves. The difficulty here is that pushing our limits is uncomfortable: it downright sucks. The harder you push, the harder life pushes back. It takes mental and physical strength. The key here, just like in the gym, is consistency and progressive overload.
Train your mindset consistently. Try to be uncomfortable every day. However, what was uncomfortable yesterday is easy today so you have to keep pushing the boundaries. It is easy to trick yourself by doing something that once was hard for you but now is relatively easy. Don’t fall into that trap. Keep pushing.
Get out of your comfort zone today.
Most people view Mondays as an ordeal. It’s “Here we go again!” another week of work and getting back to the grind. I understand that, in fact, I often still feel like that. It’s normal to have negative emotions, but before I let the negative emotions take hold, I try to shift my mindset.
I take a moment to be grateful for all the good things that happened over the weekend. Then I take another moment to think of all the exciting things I have in store for the day and the week. Yes, it’s raining and cold. Yes, I’m tired and cranky. Yes, I am going to stop eating crap. Yes, I am going to work out. Yes, I’m going use Monday to my advantage. Yes, I get to play with my son and cook for him and feed him. Yes, I get to coach people and try to make their lives a little better. When you start looking for positive things, you find more positive things. All it takes is that shift in mindset.
Take some time today and look for some good things about Monday.
When I get injured it’s easy to get wrapped up in a wave of negative emotions. I feel stupid and I get down on myself. “How did I let this happen? This is going to set back my training! What about my #gainz? Fuck it, I’m eating ice cream!”
Injuries, like any set backs, are an ever-present concern. With hard training comes the inevitable bump, bruise, sprain or worse. We have to learn strategies to deal with injuries. Just like any obstacle we can let them stop us or we can find a way around them.
The first step is to take responsibility. Even if you were struck by lightning, you have to own it. It’s your injury and you have to take 100% responsibility for it. Don’t blame others. Blame will only make you angry and slow down the process that will get you better. Take charge of the injury and figure out what has to be done whether it’s resting or doing rehab or getting the proper medical care.
The second step is to frame the injury as an opportunity. Maybe training has taken away time from another part of your life that needs some attention. Maybe this injury will allow you to train other neglected aspects of your fitness. Maybe this injury can teach you something about your body.
Step three is to manage your pain. Whether that pain is physical or emotional or both, you have to confront it and deal with it. Alcohol and sugar and drugs will numb the pain but won’t make it go away. You have to be brave and do the things that heal the pain. Sometimes it means having hard conversations with people. Sometimes it means doing rehab exercises or meditation. It could mean changing the way you eat or other habits in your life that make the pain worse. Living with pain over time will make you miserable so confront it now.
What you don’t want to do, what will ruin you, is to let the injury stop you dead in your tracks. Don’t let the injury turn you off of the thing that you love. Don’t let it make you bitter. Don’t let it turn you off your path down the road of self-medicating and self-destructive behavior. Don’t let it stop you from reaching your goals or being the best version of your self. You reside in your body but you are not your body. Your body may fail but that doesn’t mean your light has to diminish. Keep finding ways to be and do your best no matter what.
In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.
People with a fixed mindset believe that they are naturally gifted or, worse, naturally failures. The former give up when they fail because they feel like they have reached the limits of their potential. The latter never start in the first place.
How do you develop a growth mindset? Plant the seed every day through positive self talk. Tell yourself every day that you’re a hard worker and a person of integrity: a person that gets the job done. This extrinsic cue will help you start to be the person that believes in working hard to get results.
“Be, Do, Have” Be the type of person that works hard. Once you start thinking of yourself as a hard worker, you will start to do the things hard working people do. When you start acting like a hard worker, you start getting the results and you will have the fruits of your labor.
Do not believe that you have to have something first before you can start doing. Don’t tell yourself that you need new running shoes before you can go for a run. Start telling yourself that you are a runner. When you wake up and tell yourself you are a runner, you will then act like a runner and get up out of bed and go for a run. When you start running every day, you will then have the things that runners have.
“The greatest adaptation from CrossFit happens between the ears.” –Coach Greg Glassman