We get emails, Facebook messages, texts, cell phone calls and Skype messages from athletes every day. That is our job to help and coach up athletes. We love helping people crush their goals.
I was talking to one of our SGPT coaching athletes yesterday and he was in a small slump. I’ve expanded on what we talked about to help and inspire others.
TIP #1: Do what you need to do to move forward. Don’t stay in your comfort zone.
The longer you stay within only what you know, you’ll remain stagnant. If you’re in a slump, that means stagnation.
Being willing to try new things and push beyond what you know means you have the confidence to climb to a new level. I made it through BUD/S (and Hell Week tcwice) because I was willing—I wanted—to get pushed out of my comfort zone every day.
Most people are afraid to do this and become conditioned to remain where they are, even if they admit they feel stuck and unhappy. But you’re not most people. Find something every day that makes you grow beyond where you are now. Don’t let fear make your choices for you.
And don’t let other people’s negativity about their own life and what they think of your choice to grow and get out of your comfort zone stop you.
TIP #2: Create a morning routine and have a daily accountability ritual.
Your morning is when you wake up and have a choice—focus on how sh*tty your life is, or on what you want to get done. Your thoughts in the morning will set the tone for the day.
When you make yourself accountable for the changes you want to make and the goals you want to reach, then you find ways to grow 1% each day and feel confident.
Your accountability could be a journal where you write down your goals. It could be a friend you report to. An online group where you post your progress (make sure it’s a group with supportive people). A jar where you toss in a penny every time you reach the micro goal or goals you set for yourself that morning. Or maybe a hash mark on a note card. Maybe a combination of these.
Another idea is to create a short video at the beginning of the day, review it at the end, create a short one before you go to bed where you’re reflecting on the day and stating what you want to do the next morning. When you get up, watch it.
Accountability is a good daily ritual—a building block. Letting others know your progress—writing it down like I keep saying. Daily reading of a good book is another. Do those 2 things today for starters. Build daily— tomorrow add a good audio or YouTube video.
TIP #3: Read a good book daily for 5 minutes to get inspired and learn.
I mention this in Tip #2. Read about people who push themselves out of their comfort zone on a daily basis. This could be anyone you admire. Try on their way of thinking and pretend it’s yours already. Then think about something that’s getting in your way and ask yourself how that person might get around it.
The more you read about how things work and how to make things happen in your life, you’ll start figuring out how to get from where you are now to where you want to go.
Check out our favorite books if you need some ideas.
TIP #4: Surround yourself with winners who are moving forward.
If you’re hanging out with people who are always putting you or other people down, or are always complaining and saying how they/you can’t do something, this is going to affect your ability to get out of the slump you’re in.
Their goal is to stay in their own slumps and keep you in yours. They don’t want you to move forward.
It might be harder if it’s family, but you can still change your outlook about yourself and what you can do. If they put you down for having goals, remind yourself that’s their outlook about you. Not yours about yourself.
It’s good to get fresh ideas for workouts and techniques from people who want to help you win. Plus it’s great to see where you compare with the group. Not as a way to put yourself down, but to get inspiration.
ATHLETE: Hey coach, just checking in. I gotta admit, I’ve been lazy on my running. I was supposed to do my beach run and just never went. I also have had low energy but I think that’s lack of sleep (not making excuses). Got any idea on getting back into running more often?
SGPT COACH: How bad do you want to go to BUD/S? Other guys are working very hard now to get that contract.
TIP #5: Visualize yourself reaching what ever goal or goals you have.
Visualization is one of my favorite things to do. I do it before workouts, I do it before a big event or race, and I did it at BUD/S and all through being on the teams.
This gets your brain to see how things can and will be done. Picture obstacles you might hit and visualize how you’ll get around them.
These could be issues at work, in your personal life, traffic—anything. The more you picture yourself getting around blocks the more you’ll do it in real life. Want help with this? Check out SEALgrinderPT Coaching.
If you have trouble visualizing, take a piece of paper and write the problem or obstacle on the left then brainstorm solutions on the right. Or talk yourself through it out loud. Or use the video idea I gave above in Tip #2.
Make it clear to yourself how you will crush the problems that come up each day.
Tip #6: Have an evening ritual where you reflect on your day and set your intentions for the next one.
This isn’t a time to beat yourself up about mistakes you may have made. Instead, look at whatever situation that felt like a failure of some kind and review it objectively. Like it isn’t yours. Ask yourself what you would have liked to have done instead—then replay the moment in your mind with you making that choice instead.
This will make it easier to make the better choice the next time.
Write down what you want to accomplish the next day. Keep it simple, but keep it big enough so you feel like you’re making progress. If you you don’t like writing, come up with another way you get your goals stated—like what I suggest in Tip #2.
ATHLETE: This is true. I usually tell myself that when I don’t feel like working out. I need this. It’s beyond a want I’m telling you because I need to hold myself accountable for being lazy.
SGPT COACH: The 19 year old guy trying out for BUD/S also ants it and still goes on run when he doesn’t want to.
TIP #7: Stop focusing on the problem and start focusing on the solution.
A lot of times when we’re in a slump, it’s because we’re only focused on what’s not working. What hasn’t been done or what we can’t do.
Shift your thinking to how you can get beyond where you feel stuck. If all you think about is being stuck then all you’re going to see is how you’re stuck. If SEALs or any SOF operator always stayed focused on the problems they hit during missions, all missions would fail.
The training we did wasn’t just to get stronger or faster or shoot better. It was also about how to solve problems that came up.
Think about the helicopter crash during the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound. That was a big problem. What do you think would have happened if the SEALs stood around and focused only on that and gave up?
This is connected to Tip #5. When you’re visualizing how to get around problems and get focused on a solution, what you’re doing is training yourself to do this automatically when an obstacle you didn’t anticipate blocks you.
Bonus Tip: Combine all of these together to create a new you.
Start with one of these and write down in your journal (or video or whatever you’re using) three ways you’ll work on the tip today. When you feel like you have that one pretty much down, choose another.
Find out what US Navy SEAL David Goggins has to say about motivation.
When you have momentum, start combining these tips. Start getting down how you’ll put each one into practice every day. Do all of the things I mentioned above and you become a new person in 30 days.
Question: Coach, what do you eat on a daily basis that gives you fuel for your workouts and long distance races.
Answer: I eat clean fuel like salads and lean meats. I try to stay away from pizza and ice cream but occasionally have a cheat meal. I use Athletic Greens as a supplement drink and also take a multi-vitamin. I believe that the food that you eat has a direct link to your well being and daily performance.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brad McLeod knows first hand about mental toughness. After passing Hell Week and Dive Pool Comp at BUD/S, he failed a math test and was kicked out of training. A year later, he returned, graduated, and served as an operator on the Navy SEAL Teams.
Today, he is one of the most sought after mental conditioning coaches in the world. SEALgrinderPT audios and ebooks have been downloaded in 20 different countries around the globe. Check out SEALgrinderPT Coaching to help you step up and take hold of your dreams and realize your goals.
Proceeds from this website help raise funds for the Navy SEAL Foundation on CrowdRise.