A lot of well meaning people fail when they get uncomfortable.
Pain sets in, people start to feel like they just can’t go on anymore and the next thing you know, quitting seems like the only option.
Difficult training programs or workouts can make cowards out of us all. Only the truly “tough” people seem to survive and get better. The “weak” surrender to the pain, discomfort and ultimately the fear.
One of the best things you can do when training or working out is to teach yourself how to get comfortable being uncomfortable.
As strange as that sounds, it is the key to reaching your goals and improving. A lot of people stop or quit when they start to feel uncomfortable, and while even some effort will yield results, real results, and real breakthroughs can only happen when you finally bust down the door of pain and discomfort and move to a new level.
The hard part about all of this is...
just how do you get comfortable with discomfort?
The best way to conquer the pain and discomfort is to prepare for it ahead of time.
One of the things that I like to do and try to teach my own clients to do is prepare for the pain and the discomfort before you walk into the gym.
Just by knowing that the training session will be tough and knowing that you are probably going to experience discomfort and pain, you can be ready for it before it happens.
If you think that training or working out is supposed to be easy then you probably won’t get very far with your goals. True achievement in fitness, training or sports requires a person to deal with a lot of pain and discomfort.
When you come to grips with the fact that things are going to be difficult and that you will experience discomfort, the next step is to set some goals to deal with the pain.
Make it a goal that when you feel like things are too hard, too painful or that you just cannot do another rep, make it a point and a promise to do one more. Make it your mission to go beyond the pain, even if it is for a rep another second or two, or just some more effort than you would normally go through.
Once you make it a priority and goal to do this, mentally you will be ready. Of course everything changes when the real pain occurs in the session. However, you will be more apt to handle it if you know ahead of time that you can and will.
One point to make is that you probably have never even come close to your physical limit. As much as you think you have, your body is capable of much more than you think.
I have heard clients tell me that they thought they were going to die. While at that moment it may seem that way, believe me, death is nowhere close.
In fact, the human body has so much more toughness and capability to deal with pain than you will ever know. It is the mind that stops and it is the mind that you need to control.
The cool thing is that once you learn to go that one extra rep, when you thought you couldn’t, or once you make a point to do a few extra sets, or push a little harder through even the most intense pain, or grueling workout you will grow and excel to a new point and you will always have a higher threshold of pain and discomfort.
Many often wonder what makes some people more mentally tougher than others. The simple answer is practice. The more you practice being comfortable with the discomfort, the more you can withstand and the greater strides you will make.
Tips for Being Comfortable being Uncomfortable:
- Realize that reaching your goals will be uncomfortable and that you will most likely experience pain. Understand that each training session will be tough and that the only way to make true strides is to learn to break down the doors of discomfort.
- Make it your goal and mission to own the pain and to own the discomfort. Visualize yourself going to your breaking point and doing a little more. Walk into your session knowing that you are going to go further than you ever have before. Stack the chips in your favor by telling someone that you are going to do this.
- Once you are able to break down that door and do more, remember what it felt like. Make it a point to internalize that feeling of not only discomfort but the feeling of exhilaration of becoming better.
- Finally, set a goal right there and then to do even more the next time you train or workout. There is no better time to do this then at that moment when you broke down a new door and when you realize that you did not die and you are going to be just fine.
Whether you are trying to lose weight, get stronger, or train for your sport, it is key that you learn to do this if you ever want to reach all of your goals. If not you will be just “spinning your wheels” and wasting your time.