One of the biggest reasons why we don’t get what we want is because we give up too soon. We give up on our fitness goals because we don’t see results as fast as we’d like. We give up on our dreams because society tells us that we need to get 9-5’s doing shit we don’t like in order to afford bigger houses, fancier cars, and more extravagant vacations.
I’ve seen numerous people set set out their fitness journeys only to be disillusioned by the amount of consistency and effort it takes, and then decide to give up. Instant success is a myth. Many successful people failed hundreds of times before achieving their success.
Take Elon Musk for example, he was rejected, ridiculed, and thought to be crazy by many of his counterparts. He was forced out of PayPal and went bankrupt in 2010. But his reluctance to quit caused him to be one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time.
Listen, none of us are immune to quitting, even the most resilient of people have the occasional thought about quitting sometimes. But one of the unifying traits of successful people is their never give up attitude. It’s the constant reminder through self-talk about why we’re doing something and how we can benefit from it.
When I ran my second ultra marathon race, I applied certain principles which helped me to persevere in the face of pain and exhaustion. These principles can be applied to all areas of life and are as follows:
- Meditation and Breath Work
After about 10 hours into my race, my achilles tendonitis began to flare up, the elevated altitude caused me to have some breathing issues and what seemed like just sharp knee pain actually turned out to be a slight tear in my MCL. I also had extensor tendonitis which caused a significant amount of swelling on the top of my left foot. But resilience is all about bouncing back from life’s difficulties, so when the pain was at it’s worst I employed deep breathing strategies while at the same time quieting my mind.
- Positive Self-Talk
What do you say when you talk to yourself? Do you speak positively or do you focus on the negative? Telling ourselves positive messages in the face of adversity may not solve our problem but it may make them more bearable. Put it this way, we can either choose positive or negative thoughts. And while negative thoughts might be more readily available in our minds, do they help us or reduce our problems? The answer of course is no, so why not just choose the positive thoughts.
- Prayer (H.E.L.P.)
Ever heard of Dr. Michael Beckwith? He’s a renowned thought-leader, author, minister and speaker. He believes that H.E.L.P. which stands for Hello Eternal Loving Presence, is the simplest prayer, and has the power to help us transcend suffering. Asking for ‘help’ from a Higher Power provides one of the most powerful prayers available to us and one that can shift us into a place of openness, hope, and faith. When we ask for help, we begin to sense that there is the possibility that everything will turn out okay.
- Mental Visualization (the end in mind)
One of my most transfornative mentors, David Goggins, says that mental visualization is one the most important tools in our ‘tool box’ when it comes to conquering the quitting mind. If we can visualize a successful end to whatever it is we are setting out to achieve then we will be that much more motivated to finish it.
- Expressing Gratitude
In times of difficulty think about death in order to ensure your priorities are in order. Chances are what we are trying to quit or the ‘difficulty’ we’re facing (i.e. a tough run, difficult workout, studying) pales in comparison to what someone else may be going through.
Always remember, ‘no one gets to world-class in their work or in their personal lives without a relentless devotion to not giving up.’