Improve Your Resilience: How To Keep Going When It Gets Tough
The most common question I am asked is, “how do I get myself to keep pushing on, when things start to get tough?” I am asked some variation of that question almost every day. Athletes want to know how they can keep going hard, at that point in the workout when it really starts to suck. People also want to know how to be more resilient in their personal lives.
If you’re the type of person that seeks improvement and growth, you will face challenges, because you’re pushing your limits. You will feel uncomfortable at times, and I want to help you continue on, regardless of how tough it gets.
There are a lot of strategies that can work when you start to feel uncomfortable in a WOD. Most of those strategies also work when you start to feel uncomfortable in life outside of the box. When you begin to get tired, flustered, annoyed, frustrated, or anxious, you have to be quick to implement more effective thoughts. Try them out these strategies, and find out what works for you. Remember, the bigger the challenge, the greater the reward.
12 Strategies To Try
- Break down what you’re doing to smaller sets, even if it’s one rep, breath or step at a time.
- Quickly identify what you don’t have control over, and drop it. I instead think of what you can control and focus on that.
- Make difficult situations positive. Instead of “this hurts, I’m tired,” say “this hurts, this is where I get better.”
- Take a deep breath (or a few) and settle yourself for a few seconds by focusing on your breathing.
- Think of what attributes you want to display in your actions – Maybe it’s resilient, driven or unstoppable. Repeat that word over and over to yourself.
- Smile. For some weird reason, in the toughest situations, it helps.
- Repeat your helpful mantras or favorite quotes in your head, or even out loud.
- Remind yourself that you’re grateful to be in the position you’re in – Someone, somewhere doesn’t have the ability that you have and has it much worse.
- Think about dedicating your effort to someone you love or who supports you. Concentrate on that person who means so much to you.
- Focus on all of your strengths. Remind yourself of all that you have done, and all that you’re capable of doing.
- Think about why it’s important to you to persevere. Remind yourself of your purpose and your mission.
- If you are taking a longer break than you’d like, pick up your equipment and just do one rep. Sometimes physical action is just what we need to distract ourselves from our unhelpful thinking about how much it hurts and how hard it is. This will kick start you back into movement.
In order to ride out that unpleasant and uncomfortable feeling you get in the middle of the WOD, you gotta know what helps you keep moving. Try some of the different strategies from above, and see what works for you. The athletes who are mentally strong and adaptable, are able to persevere when things feel tough. The more resilient you are, the more you are going to get out of yourself.
During difficult moments, you have to put the pain in perspective (don’t be stupid, obviously stop if you are feeling like you have injured yourself). Remind yourself that the discomfort is temporary, and that if you can keep moving, you will reach the finish. Keeping this in mind will enable you to push through, so that you can look back and be proud that you left it all out there, and did your best.