Mental Toughness Life Skill #1 – Prepare Yourself to be the Aggressor (Part 6)

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(This is the sixth part on this very in depth look at how a daily preparation process can get you to live life to its fullest.  In the last part, I talked about how important it is to make this preparation process an ingrained habit for you. Once you do often and see the power of self-confronting questions, it will be part your daily routine. Instead of wasting your time answering useless emails or petty texts, you will be using this precious morning time to get you ready for war. Now instead of ducking for cover, you will be in attack mode. This simple change in your life will make a huge difference in how your purse and overcome the negative situations in your life.)

If this morning prep work all seems like a chore for you to do, you can make some adjustments with your empowering-questioning by making the whole experience more enjoyable. One of the ways I do this is that I teach my clients to look for the positive gains that they have been making.  I want them to practice seeing all the positive accomplishments in the gym, personal life and at work or school piling up. While doing this inner reflection, some of the sample self-questions that you can ask yourself can be:

How have my life changed for the better since I became mentally tougher?

What can I do to continue my success I am having with getting over future obstacles with this mental toughness program?

How do I feel about self since I know I have gotten mentally stronger from this program?

How can I use the momentum I am getting from my recent accomplishments to get over my next adversity?

These are just some more examples of self-confronting questions that you can use every day. Again, there are no rules or rigidity when it comes what type of questions you would like to ask yourself. As long as you get a mental response and frame of mind that puts you in the mood to go after your problems with some heavy gusto

By reflecting on your past glories, especially your most immediate achievements, you can bask yourself in the glory and relive the moments that you chose to reminisce on.  Many studies have shown that the more you enjoy the process of learning a new and difficult new skill, the more likely you will continue with the program no matter how unpleasant it can be. One of the purposes of this preparation period is to make you feel good about yourself and knowing the hard work and sacrifice you are making is slowly paying off big time.

So during your morning preparation is chance for you to really enjoy some of the rewards of this challenging program. When reflecting, really indulge yourself in those satisfying moments where you overcame past challenges. Internalize the lessons learned. Spend time analyzing and dissecting those pivotal and defining moments that pushed you on. Really savior how good it feels while you conjure up your past memories of implementing mental strength over your adversities. You want to repeat and re-experience this feeling of strength, toughness and pride over again and throughout your life. And the only way to do this is to win the upcoming day with an aggressive mentality.

What you are doing is using the momentum of your past accomplishments and the life lessons you have learn from each triumph to carry over to today’s challenges. You should feel good about yourself as your self-perception is very crucial to your mental toughness growth. How you view yourself is a strong indicator of how you will respond in a crisis. If you see yourself as a pushover, you probably will cave in very easy in the pressure is on. On the other hand, if you envision yourself as a person not to be crossed, you will always strike with assertive authority. This does not mean that being aggressive is about being malicious or mean. If you think your morning prep work is about gearing yourself to be a big time asshole, you are totally misguided. You can be nicest person in the world but you must view yourself as having the potential to be merciless against anybody or bad situation that wrongs you. It could be the simplest of problems or something way more serious. If any situation could cost you your well-being, it is a must that you have the capability to fight for your life. It doesn’t matter if you are a MMA fighter, facing a masked intruder in your home or having a date with leukemia. If it comes down to you seeing your family or never being with them again, you got to know you can be as ruthless as the worst of them. You never want to be in a predicament where your life is at stake, but if you are, you must know you have the goods to get yourself out of the dangerous situation. Your morning preparation work is all about making sure you see yourself as this relentless machine that will aggressively crush anything that gets in the way of whatever you want.

(To be continued)

Today’s WOD:

10 burpees

10 hill sprints

Before you start today’s WOD, spend some alone time so you can reflect. It can be on your drive to the workout, during your mobility work or just sitting under a tree. Grill yourself with this basic question that you will ask yourself often during the training – “Why do I need to be mentally tough?” When I first started my mental toughness training, my strong purpose was because I was tired of being pushed around from people. Although this purpose changed slightly over the years as I found different nuances from it, this theme was pretty much the same for me. During the preparation process, it would only take a few minutes for me to ask my questions of purpose and needs and I was more than ready to deliver aggressive action against the WOD.

So today, let whatever emotions, feelings or memories rise up. Some of the responses may be painful, but try your best not to censor them. As long as they are honest and real, they can be implemented and used for ammunition for the upcoming WOD. You want to go into the WOD with as much motivation as possible because burpees and hill sprints are evil by themselves so the combination of them together is just a wretched experience. If you are unclear with your purpose and need, you won’t make it past the first two rounds. That’s how hard this WOD is.

Once you have stimulated yourself with these self-empowering questions and feel that your now in an aggressive state of mind where you are ready to battle, begin the WOD. Just be careful that don’t go full-blast at the first couple of rounds. You don’t want to start the workout like a screaming madman either. If so, you will burn out and won’t be able to finish the WOD. Nor do you want to pace yourself either and save your energy for the end. Being aggressive is a balancing act. With practice, you will find the medium. The important thing here is that you must always have aggressive thoughts roaming around in your head. When needed, you can apply as much action as needed from your aggressive mind set.

Trust me, with this WOD, there will be many moments where you will think that you can’t go on. When the treat of quitting becomes real, you must refer back to your needs and purpose. You must see how getting through the WOD will help you achieve your purpose and needs to be mentally tough. For example, for me when I felt like I was about to give up during the WOD, I would change my purpose statement of “I am tired of being pushed around from people” to “Getting through this WOD will stop others from pushing me around.”  I have a client whose purpose was “I am sick of living in fear.’ For her, whenever she was trouble in the WOD, she changed her purpose statement to “Finishing this WOD and I won’t live my life in fear anymore.” By putting on your attention of how the WOD can help you attain your purpose and needs, you will able to endure the physical and mental punishment.

So in conclusion, you want to get in touch with your purpose and needs to becoming mentally tougher during your preparation period. By doing so, you will be motivated to become aggressive during the WOD. However, once you start you don’t want to forget about them either. You will refer to your purpose and needs several times during the WOD, especially when you are most vulnerable.

So ask yourself the hard questions before the WOD today. Let your feeling and thoughts simmer with you. When you are ready, go to it.

Destroy and annihilate your weak past.

Scaled back versions of this WOD

1. Do only 6 reps of burpees

2. Walk up the hill instead of sprinting

3. Do only 4 sets

Acceptable alternatives

1. You can run on the treadmill at the highest incline for 30 seconds.