I am so lucky and fortunate to have two articles published in Mark’s Daily Apple in the last month. I am very grateful to Mark’s editorial staff as they were very supportive, gracious to helping me put out the best product ever. Aaron at Primal publishing – thank you from the bottom of my heart. You and Mark really have opened the door for me. I am forever grateful.
My second article in MDA was on mental toughness development. Here’s the link – http://www.marksdailyapple.com/mental-toughness-training-in-the-primal-world/#more-36718.
This post is not about the article, but about overcoming my past voices that continues to haunt me during moments of adversity.
When I first finished the mental toughness article, I submitted to one the top health magazines. I was very excited about it as I felt it was a good fit for them and I knew it would benefit their readers. However, it got rejected. According to this particular editor, he felt that improving one’s ability to dealing with adversity was not a strong need for his readers.
I was more annoyed than crushed. I put a lot of effort in the writing, but what was most frustrating was the ideal that this editor didn’t think his readers needed instructions at how to get better with their perseverance skills. The one thing of about the publishing world is that editors are brutally honest. They don’t hold back and don’t give a fuck about hurting your feelings. So I can understand if he thought my writing sucked big time. I’ve been told many times that I’m a lousy writer, so I could accept this opinion as a reason for my rejection. But, to say that most people don’t need to improve on their mental toughness skills, I just thought where has this guy been living? Is he so out of touch with what we most of us have to do deal with because he was born with a silver spoon rammed up his ass? This dude must be living on some deserted island where he doesn’t have to be bothered with the daily bullshit and typical assholes that we average folks have to deal with every day.
When I was living a weaker life, I would have taken this rejection pretty damn hard, but now it motivated me even more to find a home for my article. So I submitted it to Mark’s Daily Apple. Again, I was turned down for similar reasons. I felt disheartened at the rejection email, but that only lasted for about an hour. Again, back in my fragile minded days, I would have been floored by the rejection for days and weeks. Seriously, back then I took the rejection letters as validation that I was talentless. I wouldn’t write for days as my head was bombarded with negative self-talk telling me over and over and in as many ways as possible at how worthless I was. I tried to overcome this negative chatter, but it was an old and difficult habit to break as it dominated my thinking patterns me since my childhood.
I’ll assume many of you have similar bad bouts with negative self-talk when you are told you are not good enough.
A huge part of mental toughness development is being able to handle rejection. One of the best ways to do it is learning how to replace the negative put-downs with positive self-talk. This sounds easy, but it is not. In order to learn how to overcome negative self-talk in your personal life, you must first learn how to replace it with positive self-talk during the physical training of this mental toughness program. With the intense WODs, you can’t help but feel negative going into them and during the workout. However, with the upcoming blogs I will go more in the specifics on the mental strategies on using positive self-talk in your training and with your personal life.
When I got the second rejection email on my article, the negative diatribes begin to engulf me. I was telling myself the usual negative crap that I always hear when I failed at something. I even had extreme cynical thoughts of giving up on the project all together. In order stop the mental assault, I needed to get out of my head. I had to do something productive so I went and did a very intense WOD. After the workout, I felt mentally strong and rejuvenated. I came out of the WOD with more energy than when I started, when meant I was hyped up and pissed off at myself for almost quitting on myself. When I began my mental toughness training, I made a vow to never let the voices from my past control my life anymore. These are the same negative voices that I grew up hearing that weaken me and debilitated me. I was now on a mission to destroy these negative taunts, once and for all. I replaced them with a positive game plan and with aggressive action. I continued to do more research and found another editor at Mark’s Daily Apple. I resubmitted the article to this different editor and this time, it was accepted.
The take home point for all of you is that during any adversity and negativity is dominating your thinking patterns, remind yourself that this inner unsupportive voice isn’t from you. But, an accumulation of those negative people in your life that have put your down or told you what you can’t do. Even if these voices are from people in your past that you may not associated yourself with, they still control how you behave. Over the years, the negative put-downs have inadvertently shape how you think, make decisions and live in fear. Unfortunately, they limit you as you continue to believe what they all have told you what you can’t do. You wrongly accept their negative words about you as true. But, there is no actual truth and only perceptions of truth. As your belief in their slanderous comments about yourself has greatly hindered your potential. You must stop letting your enemies run and ruin your life.
The most controversy part of this training is the use of anger. I will go further on this subject on later post, but here is a case in point when the use of anger can be a good thing to help you break out of this cycle of letting your past dictate how you should live. You should be livid at yourself for listening to them for all these years, but enough is enough. Now it must end. Let the anger motivate you and silence all those negative voices once and for all. When they begin to tell you what you can’t do, you got to shut them up and stomp down on their mouths. Use profanity if you must, but always direct it towards them and tell them to shove it. Override their negativity by taking control of your life with positive self-talk statements followed by productive actions. As you begin to overcome more of your personal obstacles, you will hear less of the negative voices and hear more encouraging thoughts. As you begin to develop your mental toughness in the gym and outside of it, you will hear this voice even more. This voice isn’t from me or another outside source, but from your true inner self. The voice you hear is the voice you should’ve heard all your life by stifled by those trying to run or ruin your life. But, with this training, you will discover it again and when you find out how empowering your voice is, you will never suppress it again. This program is more than about getting mentally stronger, but about relearning who you really are. Also, mental toughness training is very cathartic, when you work through your issues, you also work through your anger issues. When you can do this, you have a lot to be positive about.
Work up to 80 percent of your one rep max. If you don’t know your one rep max, you pick a weight that makes doing 5 reps somewhat uncomfortable.
5 sets of 5 reps for each movement:
2. Push press
3. Front squats
4. Good Mornings
5. Bent over rows
1. You can replace the front squat with back squats
2. If you don’t know how to do push presses, you can do strict military presses
Scaled down version of the WOD
1. Do 3 sets and 3 reps for each movement