Simply put, mental fortitude, is what separates people who can overcome obstacles. In CrossFit, there is going to be bad weather, your judge is going to miscount your reps, and your equipment is going to fail. In life, I’m sure you’re all aware of how unfortunate events can occur quickly and often.
What I mean by “mental fortitude” is your ability stay positive, focused, and successful in the face of adversity. In the following piece I’ll be going over three ways that have helped me inside and outside of the gym in regards to mental fortitude.
Firstly, I’ve found that a positive mantra, or small phrase repeatedly said to yourself in difficult workouts or hard times can go a long way. For me, my mantra is:
At first glance it seems insignificant, obvious, and quite honestly unhelpful. However, to me these two words carry meaning to me that transcend any motivational speech or image. To me, it reminds me that I am still alive. I am undefeated against any problem I have faced in my life. Most times when I tell myself this, it brings me back down to earth and shows me that what I’m doing is not that difficult in the grand scheme of things. My advice to whoever is reading this, is find a positive mantra to remind yourself of how mentally strong you are.
Secondly, eradicate negative self-talk. My coach in CrossFit, Ben Bergeron always tells us,
“whining and complaining is a contagious disease”
Negatively speaking about how sore you are, how hard work is for you, or how long your commute is solves nothing. It doesn’t change the fact that it happens and it will again. The goal you should have for yourself is to flip negative ideas and thoughts into positive ones. For example, instead of the negative statements I listed above, change them to “I’ m sore! Glad I got such a great workout in.” Or “My commute was pretty long today but, I still have a job!” Get rid of the negative self-talk! It only brings you down and the people around you down! Read another inspiring post from my Coach Ben Bergeron called “flexing your gratitude muscles”
Lastly, hold onto and constantly build your confidence. There is a big difference however, from confidence and cockiness. Being confident means your are self-assured that you can overcome problems you are faced with. Whenever you find a small victory in your day, hold onto that and internalize it. Allow it to snowball with more small victories and grow. When a defeat rears its ugly head learn from it. Then forget about it. Don’t allow it to disrupt your momentum of victories and confidence. If a workout in competition comes up that you are nervous about, reflect back on your training and how you have prepared for it. A big presentation or project at work comes up have the confidence that you were selected to do it for a reason. You’re remarkable and you should never forget that.
In close, find a positive mantra, eradicate negative self-talk, and constantly build your confidence. If you can do these things you’ll find more success in and out of the gym. Now go out there and get after it!
And check out this video. The intensity and imagery really help me find that extra motivation when I need it