Eventually, we all get pushed or pulled past our limits. Physically and mentally.
When this occurs, we typically begin to feel the unraveling. We sense the fatigue and a voice of doubt begins to creep into our head. During these trying times, the things you tell yourself can be the difference between rising to the challenge or crumbling under its weight.
This isn’t to say you should feel tired all the time, or that taking a break every now and then isn’t extremely wise. But if you want to make progress in fitness, sport and/or life, you’ll have to occasionally do some things when you don’t necessarily feel like doing them.
Below are three things to shift your mindset in moments like these. I use these to help me push through a long run and to overcome the hiccups of life that seem to disrupt us.
1. ‘What Else?’
A former Navy Special Operations badass taught me this one, and I’ve found it especially when I’m training!
During those moments where you feel some mental and or physical fatigue kick in, ask yourself this: What else?
When you start rationalizing all the reasons you should stop, ask yourself: What else?
When you’re thinking you’re tired, ask yourself: What else?
The idea is to switch your mindset away from focusing on all that you feel like you can’t or can no longer do.
You may be tired, but what else? Is the sun shining? Are you able-bodied? Do you feel alive? Is this moving you toward a goal?
This will bring a greater level of presence to what you’re doing and where you are.
That voice of negativity doesn’t have a lot of answers for you—it just wants you to stop.
Asking yourself this question will cue you in to the many other things that are happening around you besides that voice of subtraction.
2. I’m Grateful For…
Science shows that it’s impossible for our brain to simultaneously feel stress and gratitude at the same time.
When you’re tired, try thinking about all that you’re thankful for.
Think about the things you’re grateful for, how far you’ve come. Be thankful for what you have. Gratitude gives us perspective and drowns out the inner voice of doubt. Jon Gordon often says, “if you feel blessed, you won’t be stressed.” Gratitude will combat our cortisol feeding the fatigue.
It may sound weird, but it really works.
3. Think of Others
Doing something for others is a powerful force.
As my friend Dr. Rob Bell says, “no one gets there alone.”
We all have those who’ve been there for us.
Teammates, family, friends, colleagues and coaches.
When our purpose is in people, we can push past our own perceived limits. Think about those who believe in you, support you, and have been there for you.
When we become tired, we begin to constantly think about ourselves and think inward. Turn the focus outward! These people have a spirit that can guide you when your’s exhausts. Take action for others, and greater action will be taken.
When humans get tired, a familiar dialogue often boots up in their head. “You should stop. This isn’t worth it. You can’t do it.”
Use these three strategies to reject those familiar refrains and discover a level of perseverance you didn’t know you had.
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