Step One… Take It!!!

Joes Barbell
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I love this pic… by the way… I’m going to dominate that dumbbell on May 19th 

I don’t think I’d be going too far out on any limb by saying that mental toughness is a huge factor in determining a person’s level of success.  If you do something long enough you’re going to have moments that don’t meet your expectations, times when the odds stack up against you, and the goings just don’t go right.  It’s usually in those tough moments when your level off success will be determined.  Forge thru the suck and win lose or draw you’ll probably come out a better person and benefit in the long run.  Crumble when it counts most and your confidence may never recover. 

So, what’s a guy to do, like me, if he fancies himself a bit of a mental midget?  Is there any hope of improving mental toughness?  With the NorCal Regional right around the corner and a 100lbs dumbbell staring me dead in the eye, there’s no time like the present to find out.  I have been following a few resources to help improve my mental game, the most helpful so far being SEALFIT.  It offers workouts, videos, even a blog that addresses all things tough.  At first glance, you might think the programming is all about grueling workouts and achieving peak physical preparedness.  However, a quick look into the site will reveal that the program is more about developing character and mental toughness more than muscles.  Breeze thru the SEALFIT journal, check out Coach Divine’s blog and you’ll see what I mean. 

One article written by SEALFIT grad Patrick Barry (46), The Seven Rs of Mindset, has been particularly insightful.  In the article Barry discusses his physical prep for the camp and also the Seven R’s that he credits for preparing his mind for the daunting physical task that lie ahead.  The R’s he practiced were Release, Revisit, Repeat, Recruit, Relate, Record, and Reason.  Each concept is simple to apply, easy to understand, and powerful if followed thru.  Take for instance Release.  Barry believes that when going after a goal one should put out a personal press release to friends and family about what you are setting out to do.  He goes on to explain that broadcasting your intentions help to build personal accountability and that each time he thought about quitting the camp his thoughts quickly returned to those he’d be disappointing be doing so.  Barry also explains that accountability to many is often much more impactful than accountability to a few, one, or self.  Makes sense to me.  When you know people are relying, supporting, and wishing you well how can you do anything but put your best effort forward.

So, what’s a guy to do if he’s a mental midget and looking to improve his mental game?  What I’m gathering by reading people like Barry, and other SEALFIT material, is that you at least need a plan.  Tough guys are tough for a reason, it’s not chance or genetics.  In my opinion, your mentality is the one factor you have 100 percent control off.  Set some goals, read some smart stuff written by tough people, and get some inspiration.  If you’re curious and don’t know where to start, take a look at SEALFIT and The Seven Rs of Mindset.  It could be that next step toward reaching that next level.