Developing A Strong Mind
Now that you have read Pillar 2 – Establishing Your Goals, it is time to learn the next pillar required to achieving success. This pillar is developing a strong mind. Your greatest (or worst) tool that you have, so it is important to learn to use it correctly!
So, we are you on your journey?
- Pillar 1 – Achieve Your Potential by Unlocking Yourself
- Pillar 2 – Establishing Your Goals
- Pillar 3 – Developing A Strong Mind
- Pillar 4 – Establishing your Motivational Foundation
You have already come a long way with your journey, by understanding who you are and what you want to accomplish. In this post, I am going to take you through the journey of developing your mindset.
Without having the right state of mind, you will find achieving your goals next to impossible. We all deserve to achieve our dreams, and I want to help guide you through it.
Let us look at what I will cover in this post.
- Understanding Your Enemy
- Overcoming Adversity
- Making sacrifices
- Your Mental Journey
- Mental Focus
- Overcoming Fear
Your mind is a powerful tool that you need to be always in control of. Think about how many thoughts pass through your mind at any given minute. If left unattended, your mind will run around aimlessly in your head creating confusion.
Understanding Your Enemy
You first thoughts might be your nemesis, or the group of people that make fun of you. Perhaps its family members or friends that keep putting you down. I can think of hundreds of examples of what your enemies might be. But the real answer is there is only one enemy you need to confront.
That enemy is you!
Regardless of how you look at it, question it or blame it, you are the one that makes the decisions. Everything starts and ends with you. You believe you are getting nowhere. Not because someone else said so.
Some jealous friend says you are wasting your time with your journey. Is it their fault because you decided to stop? They didn’t stop the journey, you did! Nobody can say they made you stop. It was you that stopped!
Your mind wasn’t prepared. Understand that you are your own worst enemy, is what will prepare you for your journey to success. But you also need to know that your mind is also your greatest motivation. Don’t look for outside validation.
If you do not have a strong mind, you won’t be able to deal with outside validation. If outside validation is what you are looking for, think about how it works. You are really struggling with your journey, but you keep going.
Somebody comes up to you and says, “Hey, you’re doing really well. Keep it up!”. You feel amazing! Someone is noticing. So, you carry on.
Now you come up to another difficult time along your journey. You are really struggling with it and you are questioning yourself. A friend (or family member) comes up and says, “Come out with us tonight! Forget the gym. It’s not worth it! You look unhappy! Live a little!”).
Don’t let external factors dictate the internal workings of your mind. We all function from the inside out. Not the outside in.
A Strong Mind to Overcoming Adversity
The thing with adversity is that it never stops. It is something we must deal with daily. There is always a new challenge or obstacle for us to overcome. For me, the challenge is what makes it fun.
Our ability to confront and overcome challenges or adversity is what defines us. You will never get better at something if you don’t practice it. We will never become better versions of ourselves if we don’t challenge ourselves.
To think you will walk life without being confronted with challenges or obstacles to overcome is naive.
I can guarantee you that you will get knocked down in life. This isn’t my opinion, it is fact!
It isn’t about how hard you get knocked down, it is about how you get back up again and keep fighting. Nothing in life is worth it if you don’t work for it!
The biggest obstacle you will have to overcome is your mind. It is the biggest internal working function you must acknowledge within yourself. Nobody can convince you to do something. Only you can.
You didn’t really think you were going to go through your journey without having to make sacrifices, did you? We make sacrifices every day (sometimes without even realizing it).
“If you don’t sacrifice for what you want – What you want will become the sacrifice”.
In life we give and take. If we want to take an opportunity to become successful, then we need to give something up. Most of the time what we need to give up is only for short term temptation.
Look at your journey. Find out what the stages are, from start to finish. Take a high-level view of what you want to accomplish. Then set yourselves some goals.
Visualize at each stage of your development and see what you need to sacrifice to achieve your dreams.
By looking at the path you need to take, you will see what sacrifices need to be made. If you are looking to get ready for the stage, then you would need to eat for purpose. Not enjoyment. So, the sacrifice would be your diet.
If your goals are to lose weight and start living healthily, then you will need to sacrifice on certain things. Reduce the amount of saturated fats in your diet. Slowly reduce your sugar intake.
Don’t sacrifice everything at once. This more often that not, does not work out well. For some, dropping everything “cold turkey” is often too hard. Take your journey in small steps. Set realistic short-term goals and achieve them first.
This builds your character and strengthens your mind and mental focus.
Your Mental Journey
This is going to be one of the hardest things that you will be doing. Your mind is constantly evolving and trying to protect the body. And not always protecting the body in a good way.
Nowadays, we as humans are inherently geared towards doing things with little effort. Things appeal to our “lazy side”.
Here are two examples of what I mean. See which one of each of them sounds more appealing?
- Spend only 2 hours watching a tutorial on how to make $100,000 a month without leaving your couch. Or spend 20 hours a week studying for 2 months and learn how to build a solid and sustainable income of $10,000 a month.
- Take this new weight loss product. Only requires 2 tablets a day with no exercising, change of diet and lose up to 20lbs in 1 month. Or change your diet, train intensely for 1 hour a day, and lose 4lbs a month?
Who wouldn’t want to take the easier option? Why put in the effort if we don’t have to?
Your Mind is Getting in The Way!
When you lift weights and it starts to get heavy, what do you do? You want to put it down right? That is your mind trying to stop you doing things before it requires effort.
You wake up in the morning and do everything without thinking about it. You walk, bend down, clean, work, lift things. None of it requires effort.
It’s called functional fitness. Your body is used to doing things, therefore developed enough strength to do it effortlessly.
But pushing yourself past that requires mental effort. You need to tell your mind that you are in control and you will push past it. Your mind is trying to stop things getting hard. But your mind is also stopping you from developing yourself.
As you progress through your journey to success, your mindset will progress as well. The only limitations you have are the ones you place on yourself. Don’t let others get into your mind.
The way I look at it is. My mind is busy enough as it is with just me. I don’t have space or time to let anyone else in!
Those that are supportive and motivate you, will enjoy the journey with you. But at the end of the day, it is your journey, and you must walk it.
Mental Focus For A Strong Mind
Your mental focus needs to be unwavering. You need to visualize your goals and move towards them. If you encounter an obstacle along your path, move it out the way. Climb over it if you can. Step around it if you must. But don’t stop or turn back.
The biggest battle you are going to face is going to be inside your own mind. This battle never stops. Once you have gained control of your mind, the rest becomes enjoyable.
Think about when you are pushing yourself in the gym and your muscles are burning from all the reps, you start to enjoy the feeling. Because you know that your muscles are developing.
They are becoming stronger. But most importantly, your mind is becoming more powerful.
Changing the way you look and visualize things will help in achieving a stronger mental focus. Don’t look for or think of negative things. When you do, you subconsciously surround yourself and attract negativity into your life.
This drives negative thought patterns and ultimately a self-destructing mindset.
By changing your views and thoughts into positive ones, your mindset changes too. When you can’t lift a certain weight, don’t give up. Look at what you can learn to be able to lift it.
Ask yourself are you going to heavy too quickly? If you are, then what should you be trying to lift that is possible for now, but also develops strength. You may take your inability to lift the weight as a failure (negative). Rather look at what you can learn to be able to pick it up (positive).
By shifting your thought pattern, you are giving yourself control over how you think about things and while you develop a strong mind.
Our negative thoughts manifest themselves in our fear of failure. Nobody wants to fail at something. Therefore we “protect” ourselves from failing, by convincing ourselves that we don’t need or want to do something.
Failing at something is a mindset and a sign that a strong mind is not present. It is also something that is engrained into us and the only way around this, is to turn it into a positive.
You didn’t win the race. Ask yourself why you didn’t. Was it because you were off the blocks too slowly? Maybe you weren’t fast enough. Look at what you did that stopped you from winning and learn from it. Learning something develops your character, mindset and attitude is a positive.
Instead of looking focusing on losing the race, focus on how you can do better.
Don’t live in fear. Embrace it. Fear drives us to be stronger in ourselves.
I am not the first and won’t be the last to say, that you will never know until you try. There is nothing more sole destroying than finding out you could have done something if you had just given it a shot.
So, let us summarize what we have learnt in Pillar 3 of becoming successful.
You have learnt to understand that your greatest enemy is yourself. Only you can make or break your dreams and sense of self. Adversity will be ever present in your journey to success in achieving your goals. Understanding this is crucial to being able to deal with challenges head on and not shy away from them.
Every journey that you undertake will require sacrifices and you must make them to achieve your goals. Don’t be tempted to enjoy something bad that is only going to satisfy a temporary need. Rather sacrifice short term temptation, over long-term pride.
Enjoy the journey that your mind is going to embark on. Learn to embrace your thoughts and ideas as your mind evolves into your strongest ally.
Your mental focus is paramount to your success. Once you have decided on your goals, work out what is required and focus on achieving them. Focus on the positives, rather than the negatives. Remember negativity breeds negativity.
Do not let fear control your actions. Your actions must control your fear.
Please feel free to leave your comments below or share some of your own experiences. I welcome comments and love hearing experiences you have had.