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Bite-Sized Breakdown: "Pain Don't Hurt" | How to Overcome Life's Eventual Set-backs

setbacks

Today is the day! You've decided to get healthy and positively take charge of your life.

So, you begin...

You get off to a great start!! Your training is going well, your nutrition is on-point, and fantastic results are starting to reveal themselves. You feel amazing!!

Then it happens...
...you get injured.
...or you go through a serious break-up
...or your family life gets turned upside down
...or your job situation changes
...or your schedule changes
...or you are faced with a serious health concern
...or you just lose your motivation to keep going

You make ask yourself, "Why did this have to happen to me?"

Then it may turn into, "Not again!!! Every single time I try and do something for myself 'this' happens. Maybe, It's just not meant to be for me?"

At this point (when you are knocked down, frustrated and overwhelmed), you have two choices:

1.) You can just lie down and give up, deciding that the climb is too hard.

2.) You can struggle to your feet, wipe the proverbial blood and sweat off of your brow, take one wobbly (but determined) step forward...and then another...and then another.

In this week's Bite-Sized Breakdown, we are going to take a look at what separates the individuals who achieve their goals by overcoming serious obstacles and the individuals who give up and settle for what is given.

Case Study #1:

If any "rational" person looked at this laundry list of injuries, they would probably assume that this individual should have given up a long-time ago; and is lucky if they are even able to walk at this point.

One may say, "This poor person. At least, I don't have to deal with all of their issues. This goes to show you, we need to be careful and take it easy."

So, who is this shadowy version of the board game Operation?

Things are not always as they seem. Who would of thought, that one of society's most prime examples of physical fitness and health, would have such a long and robust history of injuries and overwhelming setbacks?

In spite of this, The Rock is today's highest paid actor and continues to train every single day, no matter the time...no matter his schedule...no matter how he feels...and no matter if he's motivated or not.

That's how you succeed in life!

I know what you're thinking...That's The Rock!!! Do you really expect someone to be able to live up to what he is capable of? Well, actually, yes I do.

But, in all fairness, I know how hard it can to be to relate to someone famous. They don't seem like real people.

Next, let's meet Keith Hill. This guy is as real (and as tough) as it gets!

Case Study #2

When chance circumstance came in cold and void of emotion to disrupt Keith's life, he made no excuses. He kept pushing forward (no matter how he felt) and still achieved his goals.

How did he do it? What makes Keith different?

We will attempt to tackle this in a bit. But for now, think of Keith the next time you are faced with a sprained ankle, a cold, scheduling issues, a bum shoulder, tweaked knee, bad mood, etc.

There is always a way!!

Case Study #3:

This individual has no inspiring story. There are no photos to share, no obstacles overcame (to highlight) or life-long dreams achieved.

Unfortunately, this individual is the representation of the vast majority of people, who gave up. They (for whatever reason) believed the lie they told themselves; that it was just too hard or that they didn't have what it takes.

No matter the reason, their story ends there.

So what's the deal? How can we become more like examples one and two? Why is it, that some individuals can seem to overcome any obstacle (no matter how great); while other individuals are broken by even the smallest of setbacks?

In my opinion, it all boils down to resilience and post-traumatic growth (or lack thereof). The funny (not ha-ha funny) thing is, they often don't coexist at the same time. You likely won't experience post-traumatic growth (at least at the core level), if you are already resilient. On the other hand, you probably won't become resilient, until you experience some sort of post-traumatic growth.

Let us take a closer look:

Resilience:

The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

Essentially, you have grit. When faced with challenging situations you adapt, adjust and overcome. Difficult circumstances aren't looked at with a mindset of, "Why did this have to happen to me?" Instead, you buckle down, strap up, get your mind right, and look at each obstacle as a way to improve; and get even stronger.

If you are already resilient, you are less likely to get rocked to the core by life-changing events. Your traumatic threshold is higher. Therefore, you are less likely to experience post-traumatic growth. However, we can always be better, do more and strive harder.

On the flip side, less resilient individuals may be broken, distraught and confused (by the same difficult circumstances) and wonder why this had to happen to them. These individuals begin to question their worldly view points.

Perhaps, you're thinking that resilience is just something your born with. In my opinion, it is absolutely something that can be developed. But, not by reading about it. You must go through the fire; proving to yourself, that it can be endured.

That takes us to post-traumatic growth.

Post-traumatic Growth (PTG):
A theory that a transformation can take place after trauma; developing a new appreciation for life, new possibilities, better relationships with others, personal strength and spiritual change.

This theory essentially means: you experience a life-shattering event (serious illness or injury, death of a loved one, divorce, unexpected total loss of income, etc.) and you eventually come out a much stronger, appreciative and confident person.

Now...not everyone who goes through a traumatic event will grow from it. Some will be completely broken and possibly never recover.

So what makes the difference?

The people who grow and get stronger after a traumatic or tough event(s), refuse to give up or make excuses. They push until they get through it. By doing so, they realize how strong they truly are. They begin to lose their fear of the unknown. This breeds new found confidence, deeper relationships with those around them, personal strength, and the vision of new and exciting possibilities that life has to offer.

How do we apply this to the gym and/or everyday life?

It's actually quite simple (not easy). The next time you encounter a setback (no matter how small or big), don't let it stop you. Decide now, that the very next tough situation you face, you'll make no excuses, push as hard as you are able and above all...never give up. By doing this, you will succeed.

That one victory, will give you confidence and momentum. It will become a building block for your eventual cloak of resiliency.

Think of it this way. Do you remember the first time you rode a bike, drove a car, started a new job, asked someone out, or entered a new school? Well, what if you fell off the bike, crashed the car, were turned down, got fired, and got bullied.

What would have happened, if you gave up and decided that you just didn't have what it takes? What if you had believed that lie you told yourself?

If so, today you'd be walking on foot...in circles (because you have nowhere to go)...with no money...alone...confused...and scared of every stranger. But, you aren't doing that are you (please say "no")?

You see, you have already overcome some of life's biggest obstacles. You have already displayed your resilience. You do have the "stuff" required to make your dreams come true in this world.

"The only difference between you and someone you admire or envy, is that you settled for less."

So decide right now!

What it's going to be?
Who you're going to be?
How you're going to do it?

Whatever challenges you face...embrace them.
Whatever circumstance you must endure...accept them.

"If you're going through hell, keep going."
-Winston Churchill

Above all else, NEVER GIVE UP.

Bite-Sized Breakdown:

Success and setbacks are eternally bound. You cannot have one without the other. The good news is, we can grow from our hardships. Times of trauma can lead to new potential, new possibilities and help forge resilience that we can tap into later on; when faced with new obstacles to overcome.

Now, this process will take some time and experience to be fully realized. In the meantime, we can put daily work into our words and what we think about.

Often times, whether we eventually succeed (or not) will largely depend on our attitudes, perspectives and what we repeatedly say to ourselves (in our own heads).

Let's take a look at what some PFT Family members, a UFC fighter and yours truly, say to themselves (or actions they take), when trying to get their minds right.

"I keep an old picture of myself, to remind me of how I used to feel on the inside. I constantly remind myself why I started and use daily positive affirmations to help push through the challenging workouts. I have a true desire to inspire others through example. You know, someone who might be secretly suffering on the inside like I was."
-Wendy (aka. Flash)

"Don't yuck my yum"
(meaning don't let others bring you down, if they give you judgement about your ideas and goals)
-Erika

"It's the little things. You begin to realize that you can do things now, that last month you struggled with. Not even just gym achievements, but everyday activities. When you're struggling, you call upon those 'prizes' to let yourself know...It's WORKING!!!"
-Nina

"I kept saying to myself in the beginning...just keep doing it, don't skip, soon it will become a habit, it will get easier...and it became true."
-Vera

"I am grit!...Get after it!...'TMMFW' (The meanest mother %@$ wins). These instantly refocus my mind and help me to get after it, whatever 'it' happens to be at the moment."
-Jim

(True Scenario) After getting sick all night, feeling completely drained and struggling to get to his feet, he thought about calling off the fight for the first time in his UFC career. After turning over to see himself in the mirror (the morning of the big fight) and thinking about giving in, he said to himself...

"I'm not that guy." (he fought)
-Donald 'The Cowboy' Cerrone

When things are tough, I tell myself, "I'm better than this. I am NOT a quitter. Be strong, embrace the "pain" and believe in yourself. You can do it!"
-Foxyfit Firebaugh

"Every time I'm struggling in life, I'm in pain, depressed, heart-broken or just plain worn out, I remind myself; there is someone right now, who is a better person than me, enduring more pain than I'll ever know."

I repeat to myself..."It ain't that bad."
-Me

Next time you feel like giving up, remember...you aren't in this alone.

It's human nature to want to avoid discomfort and pain at all costs. It feels really good to wrap ourselves up in the warm embrace of security, familiarity and calm.

However, if we want to live an extraordinary life we must stop dreaming in the shadows with the security blanket pulled up over our eyes. We have no choice, but to step up, step out and change our perspective.

Pain isn't painful. It's an opportunity to grow, to be more than you could be and more than you are. It's a chance to get stronger, develop our character and reveal what we are truly made of.

So remember...Pain don't hurt. But, the feeling of regret is agonizing.

#PFTfamily #BetterEveryDay #ThePriorityPyramid

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Sunday, 17 February 2019

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