Choosing Our Mentality

How We can Leverage our Discomfort to Build a Resilient Mentality
Building a resilient mentality

Every day we are faced with a choice: either let our worries and anxieties define us, or step back, and lead our own lives.

Every day will not be perfect. In fact, most probably will not be. Many times, we find we do not have full control over our circumstances. Perhaps we are facing an overly busy week, or month, or even year. Perhaps there are things going on outside of our control that lead us feeling overwhelmed and scattered. 

However, our mindset going into these less optimal days will significantly affect our overall mood and health. Do we choose to give in to the pain and discomforts, whether they be physical or emotional, or do we control what we can: our mentality? We can use discomforts as a way to grow, building our resilience, and in doing so, we can view these challenges in a more positive light. 

It takes conscious effort to improve our mentality. Our brains are wired to seek comfort, and it is a survival instance to pursue safety. So, when we do face hardships, it is easy to give in to that voice in our mind telling us to escape the pain. It tells us we are not capable of dealing with it; it tells us we are weak. 

In truth, we are so much stronger – mentally and physically – than we think. And the sooner we can come to terms with this, the better. Though there are many things we can not control in life, we can control how we face them.

Why do we go to the gym and do hard workouts? Why do we push to points where we struggle? 

We go because we know that it makes us better. Painful workouts not only make us fitter, but they also build our mentality and allow us to approach these workouts with less fear. 

This can be related to any part of our lives. 

We can take negative experiences and reframe them into something positive, even if it is difficult in the moment. This does not mean we have to smile through every pain and pretend it is not there. We can acknowledge our pain, whatever it may be. Identify our feelings, and instead of dwelling on them, brainstorm solutions for how to get through them.

The hardships we endure serve a purpose, even if it does not come to fruition until years later. Struggle shapes us, builds us, and helps build the positive mentality that gets us through future obstacles.

Discomfort is not the enemy. 

So many of us believe that we are given a fixed skillset in life. We accept what we are given, we accept where we are in life, even if we are not happy. We look at the things we want in life and dismiss them as things we were not made for. 

This is simply untrue. We are never stuck where we are. Again, relate this back to the gym. If we want to learn a new skill, we work for it. We put in the extra time, we do the drills, we give it work.

I’ve talked to people skeptical of trying CrossFit because they see so many things they cant do. But not one person is born with every skill they need to be successful. Not one person walks into a CrossFit gym knowing how to perfectly execute every single technique. 

Humans are meant to adapt to challenges and learn. We are never fixed in one spot, whether that be in fitness or life. We all have the choice to chase the things we want; we just have to take the first step and believe. 

When we finally do believe we are capable of growth, we can make significant changes in our lives.

Instead of listening to that voice in our minds urging us to seek comfort, we step outside of what we know and find out we are capable of so much more than we ever thought. 

There are times in life we find ourselves buried, stressed, and overwhelmed. We go through times when we have way too much on our plates, and it is hard to see an end to the rough patch. 

It starts with belief. This is not some magical thing that suddenly makes our problems easier. No, the difficulty will still be there; it is our mentality that changes. We can imagine an end, we can see ourselves make it through the other side.

We can practice this during workouts. Keeping a positive mindset helps tremendously when going through a particularly challenging workout. We can acknowledge that it is unpleasant while still believing we are strong enough to make it through. 

One of the best ways to cultivate a positive and resilient mindset is to tackle obstacles one step at a time. Instead of focusing on everything we have to do, we break things into pieces, conerquing small steps that eventually yield significant results. 

Once more, we can take examples from the gym. In just a few short weeks, CrossFit gyms around the nation will participate in the Murph workout over Memorial Day weekend. Murph involves very large volumes of a few different movements, and when looking at the entire workout, it is very overwhelming. There are many, many places where you can get discouraged when you think about just how much remains.

Instead of focusing on every rep that lay ahead, take it one rep at a time. One more pullup, one more pushup, one more squat. Eventually, one rep leads to hundreds, and you will find yourself accomplishing feats you never thought you could. Focus on the present, and keep moving forward – even if it is a slower pace than you would like. 

It is a conscious effort to improve our mentality. We must make the choice to see the positive in any situation. We make the choice to endure difficulty, taking it one step at a time, knowing and holding faith that everything we do has a purpose. 

We can train this effort each and every day. Take small moments of your day to truly appreciate where you are and everything you have accomplished to get there. So often, we are fixated on an end goal, only to move the goalpost once we finally reach it. 

There will never be a perfect point in life. So instead of fixating on the things we wish to change, we need to do the hard thing – appreciate what we have and who we are. Be present in the moment, enjoy the journey of life, instead of forever chasing a destination.

If you are ready to challenge yourself and build a resilient mentality, click here to try out CrossFit Billings, or click the button below.

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