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The military has a way of boiling everything down to its most eloquent and basic foundation. They teach newcomers to embrace, what they refer to as “the Suck.”
It’s that threshold where your body breaks down, and your mind takes over. If you’re weak-minded and ready to quit, your body will follow suit. If you’re expecting “the suck.” Then you welcome it. You embrace it. You won’t succumb to it, and you push yourself through it.
Here are 5 steps for embracing “the suck.”
1. Work on yourself.
Ignore what everyone else is doing. I mean this. Everyone. Stop paying attention to your competition.
Stop reading their press. Stop visiting their social media accounts. They’re only going to share the good stuff. There is nothing there to feed the fire in your belly. Only seeds of darkness. Those seeds will fester into self-doubt. The self-doubt will bleed into anxiety.
Focus on you. Focus on good things you can do, and move forward with them. If you can focus on yourself you will stoke the flame inside you. That fire will ignite your self-confidence. Self-confidence will explode into impenetrable charisma and power.
2. Chip away at it.
In CrossFit, there are workouts called “Chippers.” I love them and I hate them. Most CrossFitters will tell you the same. It’s because they push you into “the suck” and they keep you there. You just have to chip away.
Usually for a duration (which seems like) an eternity. The advice from coaches? Just keep moving. You need to chip away.
Step by step. A small win, by small win, but keep moving forward. Chip away. If you commit to something and execute steps toward that thing, you will win.
3. Set a routine.
When you’re on your knees you can default to the routine. It will pull you along for the ride. Routine will set your rails. Keeping you moving in the right direction.
If you know that you go to bed at a certain time every night, subconsciously your body will begin to shut down at the same time every night. If you work out at the same time daily, your body will begin to crave the endorphins at the same time every day. If you slip into deep workflow under the same circumstances, each day, day in and day out, it will be easy.
Set your routine. So if the ground is slick and you lose traction the rails will keep in centered and moving forward.
4. Don’t track a thing.
Working on you, chipping away and creating a routine are not the same as succeeding. They are the steps on the road to success that you shouldn’t judge. Allow yourself to resist tracking everything.
We’re all a bit obsessed with tracking things. Our steps. Our sleep. Even meditation. All great ways to effect change, but if you want to get tough as nails you need to just “do.” Stop tracking and just do. Every day. No matter what.
5. If you mess up. Stop. Then get back to it.
No looking back. Do not over analyze. Just hit the reset button and get at it.
This article was originally published in my column for INC.com
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