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Why mental grit is important for training success

“Grit is the perseverance and passion to achieve long–term goals. Sometimes you will hear grit referred to as mental toughness”

In 2018 I had my first boxing fight and lost. After re-watching my fight, and assessing what worked, and what didn't; I dusted myself off, got back in the ring, and won the next 3 fights, a state championship belt, and “King of the Ring” titleholder.

If there’s 1 thing that 3 years of competitive boxing has taught me; it is the importance of developing mental grit (mental toughness) to help achieve your goals. Whether it is to win a fight, lose weight, gain muscle, or be healthy.

However, mental grit is not a rare talent possessed by a few, nor is it inherent. It is a skill that develops over time through constant re-evaluation from a loss or a setback. Often, when we hit a setback (e.g losing a fight, unable to do a pushup, chin up, can’t lose weight, etc) we identify ourselves AS our setback:

“I’m just not good at push-ups”

“I’ve tried everything I just can’t lose weight”

“I’ve never been able to do a chin-up”

By identifying ourselves with our setbacks, we create a barrier (subconsciously) from making any progress. Developing mental grit begins with finding solutions from our setbacks:

“What appropriate regression do I make to help improve my push-ups?”

“What sustainable changes can I make this week with my eating habits to help me reach my fitness goal?”

“What is the first step to strengthening my upper back in order to achieve 1 chin up?

By focusing on finding solutions rather than focusing on the problem, we create the opportunity to improve, progress, and get closer to reaching our goals. This is always achieved by evaluating and self-feedback;

"What worked/ what didn't work?"

"How can I do it better next time?"

In doing this, you are able to make necessary adjustments as you move forward and progress in the right direction, rather than chasing your tail and wondering why things are not working. Or worse, quitting altogether. The earlier we can make adjustments, the more we can identify what works and what needs to change.

Because as the infamous quote once said:

“If nothing changes, nothing changes.”

Mental Grit starts when we acknowledge that we have the power to change the course of our story.

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