Not every powerlifting success is found the platform. In fact a lot of success stems from efforts taken away from the barbell and the weights.
One of the most overlooked but increasingly important parts of success in strength sports and other aspects of life is mental toughness or fortitude.
No matter how easy it is to say, mental toughness can be difficult to build in the world environment that we are surrounded by.
Here are 4 incredible tips you can take to improve your chances at taking that next step.
Start with a Positive Mindset
Negativity is something we have been surrounded by and immersed in for years. Whether its small phrases ("Wow, that looked rough") that create self doubt or MASSIVE gut punches ("You should just give up") that personally attack, people hear these nearly every day.
When that happens, it becomes internalized, repeated and a negative mantra that leads us on a self-fulfilling prophecy of doubt and failure.
There are a ton of options for overcoming this internal prophecy and becoming the master of your own domain.
The biggest, most important is remove or limit negative people from your everyday interactions. This can take shape by having discussions with them as to how they are affecting you or a more extreme but still total acceptable answer is to cut all contact.
After you have established these boundaries, it's time to try a self-motivating mantra. Setting an alarm on your phone that reminds and ENCOURAGES you to speak positive about your own internal motivations. Simple sentences like "I am capable" are sometimes the most powerful.
Your mind is an ally when it comes to building your success, but it's power is derived from your internal and external environments. It's time for you to start building that positive success.
Find a S.M.A.R.T. Path
Going on an adventure but not knowing the destination can be incredibly difficult and demoralizing, so how about setting some S.M.A.R.T goals!
Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely goals all set you up for mental wins and help build success upon success. They are guideposts on your path that give you mental check-points and help align you with where you are truly aiming to be.
Here is a quick example of non-S.M.A.R.T. vs S.M.A.R.T.
"I want to get stronger" is a great goal, but we can do better than that.
The S.M.A.R.T. way to go about this goal could be the following: "I want to be able to bench press 135lbs in the next 3 months." This is a specific goal, with a measurable outcome, it's for SURE attainable and realistic PLUS you've given yourself a timeline for success.
You have already set yourself up on the path to what you are wanting to achieve. The mental wins from stacking up and knocking out goals like this counts for more than many people can understand.
So keep your path S.M.A.R.T. and reach for the stars.
Strength in Unity - Join a Community
While succeeding alone is fun and all, finding a group of like minded people to share your journey with can help make it easier.
When first starting on your journey, diving into Facebook groups, subreddits, and communities aimed at your goals can help you avoid a lot of the pitfalls that many people seem to step straight into before they succeed.
You DON'T have to go towards your goals alone, others, strangers even want to help share in your success. They can give you a light in the dark when you are scared, comfort when you may have failed and a cheering squad for when you succeed.
It's not uncommon to build a community, whether online or in person, to help one succeed
Fail and Fall Aren't Spelled the Same
Like Alfred asked Bruce “Why do we fall, sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.”
Falling down on our path doesn't mean it is time to give up and it certainly doesn't mean that we have failed. Every journey we take in life is full of holes, gaps and challenges designed to test and push us to the highest degree of breaking.
If we can survive them, we have taken the first step to our becoming stronger and building that mental toughness required for success.
Four Lessons For Toughness
These four tried and true methods aren't the only way to build mental toughness, but they sure make it easier. When you start positive, find a path, join a community and stand back up nothing in this world can stop you.
What tools do you have in your toolbox for building mental toughness?
If you are looking for coaching or programming you can find free programs here or you can reach out to one of our team members to see how to take your training to the next level.