Mental Toughness Life Skill #3– Using Positive Self-Talk and Visualization (Part 4)

images 28

In the WODs, you are training yourself to fight when you feeling at your worse. Now you must apply the same combat mindset when faced with life’s problems. The problem most of you are facing is that you are stuck in a negative self-fulfilling cycle when countering an adversity. For those who are mentally weak, the battle is already lost  in your head before the fight has even begun. This pessimistic state of mind is warping your outlook and destroying your sense of hope. When you are up against your worse nightmares, you must have hope to get you started and keep you going.

Even if it’s a glimmer of hope, a little is enough to help you break out of negative funk. It all comes down to how you process and perceive a challenge. This mental toughness training is all about teaching you to have the ability and confidence to wipe out any problem that you face. You accept that it may take some time and  and you will go through some fucked up suffering, but you grind away at it. It is about being patient and methodical during the bad times because you know you will get the last laugh on your enemies.

This is the hope I am talking about and not something you try to get in a church. I’m not preaching spirituality, but spouting off the belief  in the wonderful satisfaction of revenge. When you develop your resolve through this training, you will be able to tolerate tons of pain and emotional humiliation because you know you have the capacity to come up on top. As bad as the adverse situation  was, it will be all worth it because the joy from kicking your adversity to the curb will feel so freaking amazing and empowering. Literally, life changing if you know how to build upon this victory. This training will teach you how to see use each personal accomplishment as a stepping stone towards your development of mental toughness.

So a positive mindset is based and built on the momentum you get from getting through the WODs and life’s problems. It does not come from wishful thinking or praying. Sorry, my religious mental toughness followers, but praying is useless when it comes to fighting your opponents in life or get you through a rough CrossFit WOD like “Fran.” Overcoming adversity must come from within yourself.  When it comes to battling your oppressors, you will discover that a little will go a long way. A tiny bit of  hope is better than no hope. And when you are bury in debt or dealing with cancer, you will need all the resources you can muster up.

It all begins in the mind. The odds may be a hundred to one against you, but you will always bet on yourself. As long as you have a shot to defeat the adversity, you are always in the game. And for us mental toughers, that’s good enough for us.

When one truly believes they can do something to overcome any adverse challenge, it will elicit self-effort. And tireless effort is what mentally toughness is all about. The ability to believe and continuously seek an answer to a problem is how you must live your life. Practicing positive self-talk will help get you there.

(To be continued)

Today’s CrossFit WOD –

6 rounds

Thrusters – 10 reps

400 meter run (depending on outside weather)

This WOD was posted at my box the other day. When I saw it, I almost ran out of the place and so did the others when they took a look at this dreadful WOD. High rep thrusters combined with a 400 meter run is just wrong. I can’t imagine a tougher combination on the legs and lungs than this one.

As dishearten and unenthusiastic I was to start of this WOD, I knew without a doubt that I would finish it, if it was the last thing I ever do. There would be no way in hell, I would let all those thrusters and a run break me. That’s how strong my conviction is when it comes to finishing any of the WODs, particularly the ones that gives me the heebie-jeebies like this scary bastard.

However, as I got to the third round of the WOD, my doubts of finishing started to take over my frame of mind. I had a hard time catching my breath after the thrusters and running only added the uncomfortable feeling of extreme heart pounding. My confidence was shaken as the option of sitting out the rest of the workout became a very viable option. The thoughts and excuses were very convincing, even better than usually, as my knees were pretty shot from the combo of thrusters and pounding for 400 meter on the hard pavement. Quitting just seemed like the logical safe thing to do.

At that precise moment is when I came to. I caught myself bargaining and pleading with myself as I almost fell for the usual mind games that always happens when the suffering becomes too great. I refuse to let myself sink further with any notions of quitting as I realize that these mental dirty tricks are just part of the normal drill. I was able to regroup and focused on my form with whatever moment I was doing to drown out the negativity that was trying to get me to stop.

As bad as I was feeling, I was 100 percent positive that I would make it through. My mind continued to push me forward as I listened to the positive self-coaching that encouraged me to dig harder and just put my head down and plunge forward. The more my knees were killing me, the more I listened and trusted the inner voice that kept on urging me to fight on and surmounting over this body-aching WOD.

As you begin your quest to mental toughness, you may not be this positive in the face of massive suffering. It takes time to develop the symbiotic relationship between your thoughts and your actions. However, once you get a taste of how you can implement your thoughts into relentless behavior, you will be hooked to the power of the mind.

When this happens again and again, you will earn your conviction to be positive.

Scaled back version of this WOD –

1. You can run in place or do jumping jacks for a minute instead of the run.

2. Do only 6 reps of thrusters.

3. Do only 4 rounds total.

Acceptable alternatives –

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

2. One minute of jump ropes or 10 burpees can be an alternative to the 400 meter run.