(The inability to finish projects is a sign that you are mentally weak and have poor perseverance skills. This series is dedicated to helping you overcome this bad habit. The first thing you must do is to fix this problem in the physical training. By constantly defeating the WODs day after day, will teach you the ability to fight through and complete challenging tasks. Now you must transfer this skill of finishing to your personal life.
The first mental strategy is preparing yourself to be aggressive. You must come up with a plan everyday to help you get into the habit of taking some actions. You must learn to follow through on your plan instead of just wishing or hoping things go your way.
Next, you must use the second mental strategy which is engaging your will in your pursuit of finishing projects. The ability to finish can be very stressful and tedious. In order to stay focus and drive yourself forward to finishing your task, you must get your will involved in the project. A strong will help you tolerate the upcoming frustrations and keep you on track with your goal of completing the project.)
Mental Strategy #3 – Optimizing Positive Self-Talk
Using positive self-talk in conjunction with aggressive actions and having a strong will, can help you break from this vicious cycle. These three mental strategies that helped you overcome the brutal WODs will also be used to help you plan, follow through and be discipline as you learn the art of finishing. The goal of this mental toughness program is for you to approach and react to all adversities the same. You can wipe out and finish any obstacle regardless if you are at the gym, school, work or while pursing your lifelong dreams. In your mind, it’s all the same thing.
Here are some simple tips to help incorporate positive self-talk while you chase down your goal of finishing:
1. Prioritize Your Actions –
The biggest roadblock that is preventing you from finishing things is your chronic habit of procrastinating. By making excusing and constantly delaying action, you just exacerbate the problem and increased the workload for you to do. When this happens, all you want to do is pull you hair out while screaming negative insults at yourself for putting yourself in this mess. When you have dug a hole this deep for yourself, it is hard to stop the negative put-downs that begin to dominate your thinking patterns. You are so overwhelmed by all the work and negative self-talk that you can’t think logically. In order to counter the negativity that is stopping you from working, make a reasonable list of thing to do can help you calm your anxiety. Prioritize your list with this “must-does” and placing the most importance tasks on the top. When you are able to see the actions as attainable and which in your reach, it can bring upon a positive frame of mind. The clearer the path, the easier it is get moving. Working with a positive outlook is essential as you pursue to getting things done.
2. Dealing with the Stress –
Getting through the WODs is all about handling the suffering. The same with learning how close the deal on your projects as well. Expect and assume that there will be a strong sense of discomfort and pressure as you work on getting it done. Instead of seeing it as a negative experience, change your perception and understand that with the discomfort comes positive change. When you are done with each task, you are one step closer to finishing your project and become mentally stronger along the way. It’s just like the “magic in the misery” concept while you are going through the suffering of the WOD but in the end, there will be positive benefits. The same goes while working through the steps to finishing your goal. Remind yourself often while you are going through the process of finishing your task that something good will occur because of it. The reward may not be felt immediately, but what can felt is the sense of accomplishment of getting done with another step as you get closer to completing your project. Sometimes anxiety can be an optimal state especially when they can be a springboard to higher psychological peaks.
3. Learn not to Over React to the Situation –
When your mind is filled with negative thoughts, we have a strong tendency to make things worse than they really are. In other words, we tend to blow things out of proportion. Recognize this habit and look for it when you start to get overwhelmed by the ideal of not only having to finish, but that you now must finish or you will have failed. When this happens, the process because too black and white and puts you in an all or nothing situation. You are already have enough self-pressure on you and you don’t need any more added stress. When the stress begins to stranglehold you, pull back and don’t worry so much about the end result. Look for small victories instead. Put on your focus and attention on doing whatever task you are doing, regardless of the finial outcome. Working in the moment has a calming effect on the mind. Don’t be surprised if you actually end up enjoying the experience. The more you are involved with what you doing, the less likely you will be fearful of the whole process.
When you overcome each WOD, you use the momentum to propel you into the next training session. Do the same thing here. After completing each small task, use the positive progress to help you move forward to the next step. When striving to overcome a long and tedious project, momentum is everything. Keep moving forward and stay positive.
Sooner or later, you will complete one project and then another and another with even more ease.
This is the momentum that you are striving for.
Today’s strength day WOD –
5 sets of 5 reps
Incline bench press
One arm bent over rows (5 reps per side)
Today’s objective is to add a little bit more weight with each set. Even if you add as little as little as 2 and 1/2 pounds per set, you are achieving the objective of a progressive overload workout session. If you have to drop the reps down to 4 or 3 or even down to 2 reps, that’s fine for today. Just stick with the plan of adding more resistance after each set. Rep count is not important for today’s training.
As you begin to pile on the weights, doubt begins to slowly creep in. Remain positive, especially if you start to get a little scared of the heavier weights. Continue to use positive visualization as you see yourself in your mind making successful lifts.
Getting fearful is normal even for experience weightlifters when the weights start to add up and you start getting tired. As you start to progress towards the final sets, more doubt begins to set it. Counter the negativity, but thinking back on the earlier sets that you just crush. Use the momentum of accomplishing the previous sets to help you finish off your final rounds.
Above all, refuse to give into the fear of bigger weights. One of the best ways to offset the fear is focus even more using perfect form. Good solid technique is always the key when confronting heavier loads. Get a spotter and have them analyze your form. Whatever you do, don’t panic. Panicking will only raise your stress level and hinder your ability to stay focus. If your anxiety rises, you will more than likely sacrifice your form and miss the lift or worse, hurt yourself.
With the fast pace high intensity WODs, you are learning to work with being uncomfortable. Same on your strength day, but the discomfort is different. For the metcon WODs, the discomfort is learning to work while your are near exhaustion while on strength days, you must learn to lift when you are have doubt. This is the number one challenge with you begin to add more resistance than you normally can handle.
Understand that after each successfully heavy set, you are getting stronger and building more muscle on your body. But, more importantly you are overcoming fear and learning how to be courageous. Confronting doubt is a huge aspect of becoming mentally tough.
When your insecurity rises today, treat it like the one of the movements.
Crush the fuck out of it.
Now go lift.
Scaled back version of this WOD –
1. Do three sets of three reps.
Acceptable alternatives –
1. You can dumbbells or a barbell for the bench press. Also, it is lifter’s choice if you want to use a flat or incline bench.