Yesterday was Day 2 in the 20x Your Potential challenge. The Focus: Conquer the Mind & Embrace the Suck.
During my time in OCS I learned to “Embrace the Suck.” Essentially this means things will suck ,so learn to love it. You will be physically exhausted. You will be mentally tired. You will be hungry and running on little to no sleep. But, this is the time that you have to dig deep and develop the drive-on attitude. When you embrace that things are miserable, you can clear the mind and see what is truly important in your situation.
This challenge was physically easier than the 1000 push-ups I did Monday, but it took mental courage. The 6 steps outlined in the challenge helped me Embrace the Suck and Conquer the Mind. I’m going out on a limb here to share my experience and goals.
STEP 1: Think of your “someday” goal.
I chose to think about my goal of becoming a best selling author in the leadership and personal development niche.
STEP 2: Visualize your goal in detail.
As I thought about this goal, I had to really clarify my WHY and HOW. Establishing my WHY gives me purpose. I had to visualize myself actually holding my published book. I personally thought of giving a speech to a full auditorium sharing the knowledge from its pages. I thought of book signings, networking, and shaking hands with some of my heroes.
But as I continued to ponder, hard reality set in…
STEP 3: Listen for your mind to start telling you why you can’t do this.
My mind began telling me to be “realistic.” I realized that the goal of becoming Number 1 and being seen on stage with my heroes is kind of absurd. I barely have a steady blog, how can I possibly write a book let alone get it to Number 1. I’m only a Second Lieutenant. Why would anyone listen to the lowest ranking officer? What do I have to offer that hasn’t been said already? I have a family to care for. I can’t abandon them for some outlandish goal.
Then I had a realization. All of my heroes started out as a beginner like me. Many of them started by writing blog posts and sharing short pieces of writing with the world. People might just listen to a 2LT because I still am a military officer. Maybe the perspective of a 2LT is what’s missing from a larger conversation. I have a message that is unique and can resonate with a different audience. I have to do this for my family so I can spend more quality time with them.
STEP 4: Embrace the suck.
After having this heart to heart with myself, I began to understand the real reasons I have not moved forward with this goal. It just seems too big. But, after the previous 1000 push-up challenge I know that small achievable goals will get me there. There will be times that suck, but those are the times that I have to remember WHY I set the goal in the first place.
STEP 5: Eliminate noise with “Box Breathing.”
“Box Breathing” is a deep breathing technique consisting of 4 Steps:
- 4 Count Breath In
- 4 Count Hold
- 4 Count Breath Out
- 4 Count Hold
The power of deep controlled breathing is incredible. It slows the world and brings a new degree of clarity. Where your body leads, the mind will follow. While focusing on breathing, I had a chance to focus on the “noise” surrounding my goal. I dismissed the trivial problems focused on solutions.
STEP 6: Reflect on your goal and identify one physical action for today.
The final step in the challenge consisted of finding the one next action to make the goal real. It could be a phone call, an email, a conversation, buying materials, anything to get the ball rolling.
So what did I decide. I’ve decided to write each day. I’m starting a 30 day challenge to write at least 500 words. It’s unlikely that I will publish all those words, but by writing more I will gain experience. I will develop my writing voice. I will have more of my writing to pull from when it comes time to organize and publish my book.
[reminder]What steps will you take to Conquer the Mind & Embrace the Suck?[/reminder]