Try new things to build grit and resilience

A little grit like Grylls is needed for 2020

Can I tell you a secret? I really want to be one of those people that does adventure races. I always watch the Amazing Race and now I am hooked on this show hosted by Bear Grylls called the World’s Toughest Race Eco-Challenge on Prime Video. Teams of four race across hundreds of miles and compete in rock climbing, glacier trekking, horseback riding, kayaking, mountain biking, mountaineering and rappelling.

In my mind, I’ve always felt like I was pretty mentally tough. I’ve have a blessed life that I am thankful for but that does not mean that I haven’t gone through some tough things. Pre-COVID, it was a hard ‘no’ when my friends and family members would ask me to participate in a leg of an endurance or an adventure race. I just didn’t get the need in purposely pushing my body to it’s limit on purpose. Self-inflicted pain? No, I'll pass.

But 2020 has made me feel a bit differently. During the Eco-Challenge the racers talked about how their bodies wanted to but through these races, they knew that the mind could help them push through. dehydration, extreme weather and temperatures.

Learn to flex your mental muscles.

Just like physical fitness, mental fitness has to be worked like a muscle. I’m not ready to go all Bear Grylls but I think I am going to select an adventure or longer race each year so I can continue to flex my grit muscles. Here are a few tips to help us all flex our mental toughness muscles:

  1. Mentally tough athletes don’t skip workouts. Whatever it is that you do, commit to doing it consistently.

  2. Stop negative self-talk. Trust that you know yourself better than anyone else, and that you have the intelligence and power to make forthright decisions.

  3. Practice gratitude. This is not a denial that things are tough but that you recognize the good in your life.

  4. Commit to learning something new on a regular basis. Train your brain and your body to learn something new or do something different. I’ve committed to doing an outdoor activity once per week so I was excited when my parents invited me for a kayak outing. Check out the park we went to for our kayak rentals.

  5. Devote time to build grit. Set aside time to devote to yourself to practice, focus on your purpose and develop learn to rebound from failure.

Listen, I may not need as much grit like Grylls but my 2020 goals will require a new mental practice and toughness in the midst of this pandemic. How are you focused on your mental game this year?

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