We all have mental battles to fight on our way through life’s journey, especially when it comes to sticking to new habits. If we know how we can win these battles physically, it can actually be a detriment, in that it can lead us to avoiding the mental training process. Going through the tough stuff makes us stronger because it builds our “fight-through” mindset. It teaches our brains which neurons to fire so that we will be prepared later, when we really need the strength. This discipline builds momentum every time we use it, making the next battle easier. Conversely, if we skip out, momentum works against us. Here’s an example many of us can relate to: a diet. We start it, and see some success, so know how we can physically keep going. But instead, we let that success trick us into thinking it’s OK to have just one, small cookie. Then we find the next time we’re faced with that cookie, it’s even harder to resist. It’s because we didn’t teach our brains how to enter that “fight-through” headspace in that area.
Take action: Just recognizing when you are in that “fight-through” phase can flip a switch so your brain goes into battle mode. Catch yourself when you say things like, “I’ll skip this today because I already…” or “I’ll do extra of that tomorrow since…”.
Inspired by Jason Selk, Tom Barton and Matthew Rudy’s book, Organize Tomorrow Today: 8 Ways to Retrain Your Mind to Optimize Performance at Work and in Life.