When the Going Gets Tough: Improve your resilience to keep going

Dawn Fletcher
Author:
Photographer: Sweat RX
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I am asked some variation of the following question almost every day: “How do I keep pushing on when things start to get tough?” Athletes want to know how they can keep going hard when the workout 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 who seeks improvement and growth, you will face challenges. You will feel uncomfortable at times, and you will want to know how to keep on, no matter how tough it gets.

A lot of strategies can work when you start to feel uncomfortable in a WOD. Most of those strategies can also be used in life outside the box. Try them out, find what works for you, and remember, the bigger the challenge, the greater the reward.

Top 12 Ways to Push On

1. Break down what you’re doing into smaller sets, even if it’s one rep, breath, or step at a time.

2. Identify what you don’t have control over, and drop it. Focus on what you can control instead.

3. Make difficult situations positive. Instead of “This hurts, I’m tired,” say, “This hurts, this is where I get better.”

4. Take a deep breath (or several) and settle yourself for a few seconds by focusing on your breathing.

5. Think of an attribute you aspire to have. Maybe it’s to be resilient, driven, or unstoppable. Repeat that word over and over to yourself.

6. Smile. Even in the toughest situations, it helps.

7. Repeat a mantra or quote in your head or out loud.

8. Remind yourself that you’re grateful to be in the position you’re in. Not everyone has the ability you have.

9. Dedicate your effort to someone you love and concentrate on this person who means so much to you.

10. Focus on your strengths. Remind yourself of all you’ve done and all that you’re capable of doing.

11. Recall why it’s important to persevere. Remind yourself of your purpose and your mission.

12. If you’re taking a longer break than you’d like, pick up your equipment and just do one rep. Sometimes action is all we need to distract ourselves from negative or fearful thoughts. This will kick start you back into movement.

To ride out that uncomfortable feeling you get in the middle of a WOD, talk yourself out of it. Athletes who do this can persevere when things get tough. The more resilient you are, the better you’ll perform. During difficult moments, you have to put the pain in perspective (don’t be stupid; obviously, stop if you feel injured). Remember that the discomfort is temporary and that if you can keep moving, you will reach the finish. This will enable you to push through, so you can look back and be proud that you left it all out there.

Related Categories: Inside Sweat RX

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