When I ask people what they most need, it’s usually all about mental toughness, resilience, mindset.
We live in a world full of people who believe the only way to toughness and grittiness and resilience is baptism by fire.
But the part that gets skipped over is where you have to trust yourself to survive the fire, you have to believe that you can and you have to love yourself enough that you are undaunted by failure.
You can’t hate your way into belief, you can’t self-loathe your way into trust and you can’t shame your way into fearlessness.
It’s in the skipping over, that you can lose your way.
When you are continually under-valuing your effort and over-emphasising where you struggled, it’s easy to get stuck in a shame spiral.
Sometimes, you know I get out the door and I think to myself ‘that was a fucking miracle’. And it could be for any reason – I didn’t sleep well, or I’m feeling sad that day or one of my kids said something kind of innocuous but also deeply hurtful in the way that kids do but don’t realise they do. Maybe my bones feel tired, or I feel unappreciated or I feel like a crappy parent or a worse human or maybe I just wanted to snuggle up with the cats and hide from the world.
Any day, there are a million reasons to not go and maybe five that you want to.
So yeah, it can be a miracle.
And once that miracle has happened, well once you are out the door that is like a bonus round for anything that happens it’s icing.
I have a thing that I do mostly with intervals or a run where I’m not purely running easy. In my mind anything over 50% is a win. So when I’m half way – I figure that’s a good day, if I get to two thirds that’s a great day, three quarters that is outstanding and 100% well that is incredible. Because I know that showing up is the hard part.
You have to believe in your capacity for mental toughness before you can practice it and that takes a whole lot of kindness first.
Sometimes it takes a lot of time to find that kindness for yourself, and that’s okay. It’s okay for it to feel hard. It’s okay for it to take time to realise you don’t have to ‘deserve’ kindness – that it can just be taken in like oxygen into your lungs.
You do hard things all the time. You demonstrate mental toughness all the time. The challenge isn’t in doing it, the challenge is in being able to see yourself and recognise all the moments of greatness that you sweep under the rug, unnoticed because you don’t believe that is who you are.