Three secrets in developing mental toughness were recently revealed by a former Navy SEAL and Navy SEAL instructor, Phil Black. These will lead you to develop greater levels of mental toughness and to dominate your game and workout. They are simple to use and highly effective. They are used by some of the most elite athletes on this planet.
There are many aspects of mental toughness and mental training, but the principles are simple and can be rooted down into a few main components. It doesn’t matter if it’s for sports like baseball, basketball, tennis or boxing. Or for fitness like running, weight lifting, or martial arts. These principles of mental fitness, the psychology of it, can be applied in any area.
First what is mental toughness? It is the ability to persist during events that go wrong, are difficult and/or strenuous. It is the ability to keep your internal dialogue, your self talk, positive despite negative external occurrences.
From when you were born until the age of 18, you were told “no” 150,000 times. That is 700 times a month or 22 times a day! People tell you, “no, get away from there” and “Stop doing that”. Some of these were to prevent you from danger, some to prevent you growing because of other people’s fears or ignorance.
This causes you to be highly susceptible to negative influence. Psychologist have found that 77% or internal self talk is negative and counteracting. Do you realize how much of our potential is being held back?
I know you have likely heard that there are no limits on what we can be, have and do, and this statistic shows pretty clearly that we are the ones that hold our selves back more than anything else.
So you must control your mind or “they” will do it for you. This is how Navy SEALs have done it:
- Monitor your self talk, that internal dialogue of what you are telling yourself everyday. Become a watcher of your mind. Are you thinking positive thoughts or negative thoughts? What are you feeling like on a day-to-day and moment-to-moment basis? Are you adding to the negative side or the positive side? For two days, write everything down that is negative, for 48 hours. Just your negative thoughts, because you want to become aware of how much of what you think is negative. Remember psychologist found that on average 77% or your internal talk is negative, what percent is yours?
- Filter out negative events and thoughts. What kind of material do you read? What type of people do you hang out with? How often do you laugh with those around you? That is an indicator of how well things are going. Become purposeful about what you let into your mind, put on a filter and screen out negative influences. Your environment, the people you associate, and the things you read or listen to are big influencers on the way you think. In a positive environment, it is much easier to weather any storm that comes.
- Reframe all negative events in a positive light. Use your sense of humor and your brain will encode it differently. Just because something is negative, doesn’t mean that you have to accept it that way. Much of life is how you respond to it. If your training is difficult and demanding, you could say, “Ha! Ha! This workout is killing me, is this all there is? I want some more, I’m just warming up. I’m tougher than all of this, you can’t defeat me!”
These are three simple things that you can keep in mind when you are training in the sports you like or the fitness goals you have.