Mental Toughness Life Skill #1 – Prepare Yourself to be the Aggressor (Part 7)

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(This is part 7 is this series on how to get yourself in attack mode in your life. Getting geared up for the WODs is relatively easy. You find the motivation within yourself and you go into the workout with a never say die attitude. However, the hardships you faced in life are different than a 20 minute WOD. Some challenges takes days, weeks and even years to overcome. In order to stay focused and motivated, you must remind yourself daily of your long term goals.  Drilling yourself self-questions is one of the best ways to keep you on your edge. Today’s blog will continue on this theme and show you more creative ways to get you ready to face and conquer your upcoming skirmishes).When it comes to creating reflective self-questions, there are no rules.  Use your imagination and freedom to find inner motivation and fuel.

Deep down inside, we all know which buttons to push in ourselves. If you are struggling with this self-reflective process, try to be as specific as possible with your questions and responses. If you ask yourself a personal question, don’t be vague with your responses.  The more specific you are with your answers, the more they will stimulate a high emotional reaction out of you.

One of the best methods to get a jolt out of yourself is to use these types of self-questions with “fill in the blank” responses.  They are great self-questions starters to help you get in touch with your past successful endeavors and strengthen your mental toughness mentality.  Just fill in the blanks with your own specific and personal memories.

“How did overcoming ……, help me become mentally tougher?”

“What are some of things that I had to do to persevere over….?”

“What did I learn about myself when I overcame ….?”

“How do I feel about myself  now that I triumphed over….?”

“How grateful do I feel for fighting and winning the battle over…?”

“How proud do I feel about myself for not giving up and getting over….?”

Again, the key to using these types of “filling in the blank” self-questions or any types of confronting questions is to be a free and improvise as much as possible. The only rule is you must get some kind of reaction from these questions. If some of these questions get a lack of response out of you, discard it and go on to another one.  However, I don’t suggest throwing it away forever. This is a life long process, so what doesn’t inspire you today may stimulate some fire in you down the future.

You always want to start your day off with a built in edge so revisiting your past triumphs will purposely and unconsciously lift your morning spirits and body language. Nothing is worse than starting off the day in a self-defeatist mood, especially when you know you have an huge hardship in your life to deal with. By making daily positive acknowledgments  to your past toughness achievements should propel you to feeling confident about handling the upcoming road blocks that stand in the way of you reaching your life long dreams.

If you think your self-reflective answers will get redundant and repetitive, they won’t as long as you continue to grow with your mental toughness development. The key is to make sure you don’t answer them with just perfunctory mechanical responses. If you catch yourself repeating the same response day after day, that means you are not thinking and is just going through the motions. Having a mind that is lazy is the worst thing you can do on this cerebral program. Being incurious about yourself will lead you to being on cruise control with this program and in life. If that happens, you are ripe for a knockout and letting people walk all over you again.

Mental toughness is all about your thought process so force yourself to be inquisitive and dig deeper in your psyche. Look for subtle nuances about how your last experience of over coming adversity is somewhat different from your most recent one. The more you probe and dissect your triumphs, the more meaningful these self-questions can be. If you are not getting anything out of these morning preparation sessions, it is a sign that you are not confronting yourself hard enough or running away from some sort of truth that scares the shit out of you. If so, what you fear may be extremely potent against future adversities. A goldmine of pure fucking power that will get your opponents to quiver and bow to you. You just have to learn how to harness this fear to your advantage.

This self reflecting process is all about helping you uncover what is your real driving force is. When you discover your deep inner motivation factors it will be extremely galvanizing. It’s all about learning who you really are as you begin to rip apart that mask of weakness that you’ve had on your face for years. Learning about what you are made out is time well spent. This is your opportunity to investigate your new level of strength and feel how empowering it is. The self-reflective questions I listed are only suggestions. Come up with your own personal ones that you know will light an aggressive bomb within yourself.

(To be continued)

Today’s Litvinov WOD –

6 sets

Heavy deadlifts – 5 reps

Barbell thrusters – 5 reps

400 meter run (approximately)

This Litvinov WOD is going to be a doozy. Out of all the WODs that I have posted on this site, this is by far the most challenging. I’ve done this deadlift/thrusters combo with the run and each time I do it, I always wonder very early in the WOD why in the hell am I putting myself through this misery. As awful as you will feel during the WOD, you will hundredfold better and more satisfying after it is over. So, this great sense of accomplishment does outweigh the extreme discomfort that is inevitable with this punishing Litvinov WOD. You just have to finish this Litvinov WOD to experience the rush of supremacy. However, before you get there, the whole experience is going to suck ass big time. My finally warning to you all.

So here is good time to practice being in the aggressive state of mind while being calm and control. During your preparation period, let your thoughts, emotions, memories stimulate you into almost being in a state of rage. If you get to the mindset that you just want to trounce  somebody in the gym that looks at your wrong, pull back your thoughts. In other words, if your thoughts are boiling with emotions, let them reach a high temperature and then calm yourself down. Go into the WOD with your thoughts simmering instead of fuming. However, know that when you have to, you can access your mind immediately to be inciting with the most aggressive and raging thoughts you slightly tapped into during your prep period.

This does not mean you are going to pace yourself either. I highly suggest you go all out and sprint during the last 50 or so yards of the 400 meter run. This will ensure you keep up the integrity of making the WOD as intense as possible. By this point or half way through the second set, you should really feel the staggering effects of the Litvinov. This is the time to retrieve your emotions, thoughts, positive self-talk to get you in the highest level of aggression needed to help you defeat the onslaught of negativity and the threat of quitting that is coming in a big hurry.

For me, when I tap into this ultra level of aggressiveness in me, my mind becomes angry and becomes to take on a life of its own. Instead of telling me what to do, my mind is screaming and shouting at me with to never give up like how I use to. What surfaces in me is years of frustration and flashback of weakness that is exploding in my mind, that I can’t make it stop. The bad memories begins to encompass all my thoughts and I fucken hate it. I just can’t help myself but get pissed off at myself for giving up when I was should have fought back. By channeling in on this bent up emotion and seeing the WOD as a metaphor for my weak past, I am furious at myself for my lack of action against personal adversities. Now I am roaring back and directing my high-power emotions to finishing the WOD, no matter how bad I’m hurting. Its the only way I can make the real pain of the years of mental suffering leave my soul.

During it all, I vow to myself to always and for the rest of my life to fight back.

When I could get you all to do the same, I will have done my job.

Today it begins.

Scaled down version of this Litvinov WOD –

1. Omit the thrusters or do strict military presses instead.

2. Run 200 meters

3. Walk the 400 meters.

4. Do only 4 sets.

Acceptable alternatives:

1. You can use a barbell or dumbbells for the thrusters

2. Run on a treadmill or jump rope for a minute over the 400m run.