Let me start by admitting it took me longer than usual to write this blog post, especially since the topic, “mental strength,” has eluded me. Besides, I’ve only been able to get at its core and lock it down for brief periods of time. Why? Mental strength is like muscle strength; no one has unlimited supply.
However, if we put mind into muscle and engage “resiliency” – the common denominator when seeking wisdom from a yogi, CEO and journalist – we are likely to soldier on despite challenges and setbacks. So, what do a yogi, CEO and journalist have in common? Each adjusts to discomfort, market fluctuations, and looming deadlines, respectively. They have the ability to adjust, recover and succeed in the face of adversity – that’s resiliency and it’s applicable to physical and mental strength.
You can’t approach fitness or sport without the right mindset and ultimately, realistic expectations, but what happens when you plateau in weight loss or lose a competition? What will foster continued daily physical activity and delayed gratification while healing a bruised ego? Mental strength, of course, and that also entails flexibility, like having alternatives to your goal.
Mark Twight, a demanding and highly effective celebrity trainer, credited for mind-body transformations from Spartan-actors in “300” and its sequel and more recently, “Man of Steel” Henry Cavill, says “the mind is primary…the actual physical effort and transformative process originates in the mind.” So, focus on what you can control, like strength of character. His training sessions begin with an interview and based on his clients’ responses, he adjusts training and diet to adapt to everything else. “Training doesn't exist alone, and it's not the most important thing. It's an integrated part,” says Twight.
If you’ve ever set sights on a goal, you are essentially uncovering what you’re capable of – what is already there – like leaning out to show off your hard-earned six-pack. However, it is natural to feel apprehensive when embarking on a new endeavor. My client tells me she must unearth confidence deep within herself every time she kits up for kite-surfing. Yet, she gains courage and insight each and every time she surfaces.
Just think, “While this is tough, I’m tougher.” Don’t risk giving in or giving up because living below your ideal or standards leads to frustration and worse, self-destruction. Instead, risk vulnerability by enlisting others for accountability and inspiration. Focus on impressing yourself and always count your blessings.
Melissa Lowry is an ISSA-certified personal trainer passionate about learning, growing and sharing her fitness and nutrition journey with the community. She is eager to help you reach your health and wellness goals, contact her by phone at 210-495-3131 or message on the website and get started today!