Building your mental muscle or mental fitness can absolutely change your life.
Some of you who know me well know that I am a gym rat. I love to go to the gym for many reasons. I have got only one body and it’s mine to take care of it. I want to be in the best health that I can. I need to build my muscles so that my bones are strong. It’s a natural segue for you and I to begin realizing that we can also build our mental muscle. Here’s 10 ways we can better our mental muscle and have a better life.
Number 1: Compete against no one except yourself
We have a propensity to compare ourselves to what other people are doing. Here’s the deal: that’s a recipe for disaster. We need to put our blinders on, not looking to the right or to the left and keep going forward. We can certainly follow the crumbs of what other people have done that have made them successful in their business, at the gym or in motherhood, but we have to make sure we really only compete against ourselves.
Number 2: Be aware of the self-sabotaging gremlins
We need to reframe our thinking. Instead of saying things like, “I’m not good at this” or “Entrepreneurship is not for me” or “I’m not a good runner,” you can reframe it. You can say things like, “I’m not where I want to be now, but I’m making progress.” We are apt to say negative things instead of changing it into a positive. Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. You need to reframe your thinking and be aware of the gremlins if you want to be mentally strong.
Number 3: Get clear on your goals
If you set too high of a goal, it just doesn’t make sense and you’re going to be setting yourself up for failure.. If you say, “I want 100 clients by the end of December,” chances are that’s a little bit of a stretch. You can say things like, “By the first week in December, I want to have five new clients.” Be reasonable with your goals, but you have to set them. Dream big but just have manageable goals.
Number 4: Create anchors or reminders of your dreams
Put visuals on your computer, on your home screen, on your refrigerator or your vehicle dashboard as reminders of what you plan to do. Outside influences are going to tell you you can’t, so you need anchors to hold you to that.
Number 5: Do least one difficult thing each day
You have heard the saying “No pain, no gain.” It’s true that you have got to push your muscles in the gym. If you don’t push yourself when you’re doing tricep or bicep curls or shoulder presses, you won’t grow. Your muscles are going to remember what you did last time and they’re not going to grow if you don’t push yourself. You need to do one at least one difficult thing a day. Improvement happens with practice.
Number 6: Know that failure is not a tattoo; it’s a bruise
Failure is not fatal. It, in fact, helps us grow. Make it your mantra to say, “Failure is not tattoo; it’s a bruise.” It will be here for a little while and then it leaves. You will want to give up if you are expecting perfection.
Number 7: Watch your squirrel emotions that flit from here and there
We can have emotions, and we should never try to hide them or tell yourself you shouldn’t be feeling something. We’ve been given emotions for a reason and they should be expressed, but watch out for the squirrel emotions. You need to be logical with your emotions. If you are overly frustrated, overly excited or overly anxious, they can cause you to make impulsive decisions. You’ll make better decisions if you avoid the squirrel emotions.
Number 8: Find your purpose and then fulfill it
We were created for a reason and it’s not to take up space in the world. Create a manifesto or a declaration of your values and your goals. It will keep you centered to your true north and make you mentally strong and it will change your life.
Number 9: Don’t make excuses
The only thing standing between you and your goal is the B.S. you keep telling yourself. Quit making excuses that you’re too young, too old, too fat, too skinny, too under qualified or overqualified. Excuses are the lies to tell ourselves so it doesn’t have to be our fault. Quit making excuses.
Number 10: Give yourself credit and prove yourself wrong
We so often jump to diss ourselves. “I did this wrong.” Commit to doing something better today than you did yesterday and watch your life change. If you have a sales goal, up it a little bit for tomorrow. If you have an exercise goal, up it a little bit tomorrow. If your goal is to speak kinder to people, try a little bit harder tomorrow. Give yourself credit and prove yourself wrong.
I know this doesn’t happen overnight. If you go to the gym, your strength doesn’t happen in one day and it is the same with your mental fitness. After a couple months, your pants fit different or you take the stairs without huffing and puffing. The same thing happens in your mental fitness. You’re going to be stronger. It takes time to be mentally stronger and be better.