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“You have power over your mind, not outside events, realise this and you will find strength” – Marcus Aurelius
Recently, I’ve been asked on multiple occasions what it is I do in order to try and develop my mindset and stay positive and motivated throughout the “tough times”. This normally refers to my training regime but quite often the question may be referencing long working hours in the gym, dealing with multiple tasks at once or getting up early in the morning to conduct classes. Regardless of the reason, the answer is always the same. “Motivation will get you started but discipline will keep you going”.
Over the course of the past 2-3 years I’ve tried to put thoughts into action and develop habits which enable me to perform the tasks/problems I encounter daily. I explain that “motivation is just the catalyst to get you started” but it’s only by building habits through self-discipline that you will start to see results.
How do you achieve the discipline required in order to create the habits ?
Outside of our own thoughts and actions we really don’t have much control. Often relinquishing responsibility and shifting the blame for not achieving our goals can quite often be the easiest option to take. Short term this may make us feel a little better, however it will not move us any closer to our target goal. It’s important to assess the situation, figure out why it didn’t go to plan and make the necessary changes to ensure the next undertaking is more successful. When we flip the switch, change our mentality and take responsibility for our own actions we start to create momentum. Being honest with yourself is the first step. If you’re currently playing the blame game, make a commitment to yourself right now to change your way of thinking.
How do you level up?
You’ve no doubt heard the story of David and Goliath. David takes on the much larger opponent of Goliath and against all odds becomes the victor. His refusal to quit and instead change his tactics paid off. There is an old adage that it’s not always the dog in the fight but rather the fight in the dog that determines the outcome of a contest. To be the victor in any situation, to excel, to achieve the results you crave in all areas you need to develop a mindset that will nourish your goals.
I tell my clients all the time that it’s when they are on the verge of giving up or calling it a day that this is when the magic happens. This is when you start to increase your tolerance for dealing with shit. This is when you start to elevate. This is when you level up. It’s not easy at first but this tolerance for discomfort starts to grow and eventually we find we are able to deal with negative situations and problems we may encounter on a daily basis with much more ease. There is direct correlation between the levels of comfort you can withstand within your training versus the level of stress you can handle in your everyday life. It’s no coincidence that most top CEO’s train regularly.
Failure OR Learning Experience?
Motivation will give you the initial push needed to get started but will diminish very quickly when things start to get tough. But it’s during these tough moments that the discipline needs to kick in and your mind needs to be strong enough that you keep moving forward towards your goals. It’s what you do in these moments that will define the result. Occasionally we will have set backs…C’est La Vie…however, refusing to look at these as failures but rather learning experiences will encourage confidence and keep you on the right track to achieving your goals.
But how do we strengthen our mindset?
My number one tip on building a stronger mindset is to start filtering out the negativity which we come across daily and instead start to lean towards positive sources of information such as podcasts, self-development books, and seminars. These will sit in alignment with your goals and start to feed you with positivity and confidence and help you develop that mindset. Two of my recommended favourites are:
2. How to win friends and influence people
The second tip…Start to self-assess.
In the gym, assess the level of effort you are applying when training. Mark it between 1 and 10. If you are falling short, acknowledge this and put in a bigger effort next time. Start to lean toward the uncomfortable. As the saying goes “take the road less travelled”. The same applies to business, relationships, nutrition etc. Assess and then make the necessary changes.
When I feel like giving in to something, I remember why I started. I remind myself of the commitment I made when I started.
Probably the most important. When we are under pressure we tend to respond irrationally. Our responses are based on emotion rather than logic. Rather than respond with re-active thoughts I’ve started to imagine myself stepping away from the situation and make the decision based on what I would tell someone if it was somebody in my position. E.g. I’ve injured my foot. Rather than respond negatively and say ‘I now can’t train’, I respond how I would to a client, friend or family member. “Let’s see how we can adapt your training around your injury.” I’ve tried to hone this over time and it has been a game-changer for me.
Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed the article. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.