April 25, 2017

Conquering Kokoro: The Journey Forward

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Kokoro 32 was a life changing event that pushed me and the team to our failure points. Without the help of my team, I would not have made it across the chasm. As with any endurance event, it takes a few days for the lessons to sink it. As I sit in the the Kokoro wing over at Days Inn Encinitas, I can’t help but get emotional as I recall what the last 50+ hours has taught me. Some of those lessons I have attempted to capture below.

Mastery First, Service Second

Coach Divine would stress that it’s important that we develop mastery before we serve others. The reason for this is simple — if you cannot take care of yourself or have the stills to help, then you might not be helping. This may appear selfish but I feel it’s more selfless since it’s important to be prepared to help yourself first and then help others.

Serve Your Team & Your Team Serves You

A recurring theme throughout Kokoro is to be a team player and do what’s right for the team. If you put out for your team, then your team will put out for you. It’s always those that give the most that get the most.

It Can Always Be Worst

There was a few times when I had to tell myself this because I was at the end of my proverbial rope. This mantra is a great way to stop feeling sorry for yourself and focus on the task at hand. Without this mind set, fear, uncertainty and doubt will set in.

Have a Sense of Humor

Humor is a wonderful thing. When used in the right circumstances, it can lift your spirits and the spirits of your team. Finding the humor in a stressful situation also makes the situation that much more tolerable. Humor is also a powerful friend when you are starting to get into a negative mindset.

Stay Focused and Feed the Courage Wolf

Focus is another important aspect that I learned at Kokoro. It’s vital to stay in the moment and not worry about what’s going to happen next. Feeding the courage wolf is another way of saying that you need to maintain a positive attitude even when things might be going south. A positive attitude is difficult in stressful situations. The best thing to do is pause, take a breath and get your head back in the fight.

Thoughts on Kokoro Training & Finishing

In addition to the life lessons above, below are a few thoughts on training and finishing Kokoro based on what worked and what didn’t work for me:

  • Get a Trainer: This was the best thing I did. Brad McLeod over at Seal Grinder PT did a fantastic job formulating a training plan that prepared me for Kokoro.
  • Know Your Why: I cannot stress this enough. Know WHY you want to do Kokoro. Without a solid WHY, you will have a hard time of it.
  • Exceed the Minimums: My biggest training mistake was not shooting to exceed the minimums. I think that my experience would have been more enjoyable if I had.
  • Ruck with Weight: Rucking is a vital part of Kokoro. You can’t just do Crossfit and get through Kokoro. Ruck with weight often.
  • Break In Your Boots: Make sure that your boots fit right and are broken in. My boots were broken in but the fit was not great. That led me to lose my entire left big toenail.
  • Practice Eating Food: Eating is an important part of Kokoro and you must practice eating real food even if you are Paleo. Note that they don’t have Paleo food available.
  • Get Wet & Sandy with Sandbags: I was glad that my GORUCK training has a lot of Cold, Wet and Sandy workouts since you’ll be in the water a lot at Kokoro.
  • Practice Nose Breathing: Coach Divine stressed the practice of nose breathing since it’s the best way to breath. Practice that often because it will help calm you down.
  • Be Present & Smile: Don’t get too ahead of yourself or the evolutions. Remember to smile and enjoy the experience.
  • Bring and Use the Right Equipment: You can never have enough t-shirts or socks. Make sure to change often. I actually brought too much food, which I really did not use. Don’t worry about food — they will feed you plenty.
  • Always Check Your Feet: My biggest mistake was that I did not check my feet often enough. This lead to damaged big toenails on each foot. If I had tightened up my boots more often, I might have prevented my toes from slamming into my shoes on the hike down the hill. Lesson learned.

What’s Next?

I think it’s going to be a while before I subject myself to another beat down as intense as Kokoro. I do want to continue to push myself to get better and my next challenge will be to hit double the Kokoro minimums. I did okay meeting the standards and with some more training, I’m confident I could achieve that goal. It’s vital to continue to push yourself to do better.

If you want to check out some of the photos from Kokoro 32, Bloomberg did a write up.


This post is the final in the series (there are 4 total) about my training and experiences at Kokoro 32 on June 20th – 22nd, 2014. Kokoro Camp is a 48+ hour team endurance event put on by SEALFIT. If you’re interested in taking on the challenge, then you can check it out here.

The first post was Conquering Kokoro: The Courage to Start

The second post was Conquering Kokoro: Front Sight Focus

The third post was Conquering Kokoro: Focus on the Task at Hand

3 Ways to Flip Your Endurance Switch

Hand pushing on control panel

It never fails to amaze me how my body and mind react to adversity.

I have done a lot of endurance events and it always comes down to something inside me flipping so that I can get through it.

This feeling of “flipping the switch” is a metaphor that I have talked about in my event report from The Goruck Challenge (hat tip to my friend Dan for the wording).

Flipping the switch is different for each of us but we all know when it happens. We get in this weird zone where all we can do is focus on the here and now. It’s almost mediative in that nothing can distract us from the task at hand.

Getting to “flip the switch” takes practice and patience. The three ways I have found effective for me to flip my endurance switch include:

Way #1: Practice Pushing Your Limits

Practice makes perfect or rather more perfect. By practicing, we can work on ways to improve and be ready for situations when we must endure. Practice pushing your limits by being in an environment where it’s safe to fail or come short.

By doing this, we can feel what it’s like to be on the edge of our limits and endurance. The more we do this, the easier it will be to flip the switch when we need it most.

Way #2: Embrace the Suck

A big part of endurance is being comfortable with being uncomfortable. For us Gorucktards, that means Embracing the suck.

Embracing the suck is an attitude that whatever is thrown at us, we will just do the job and move on. No complaining. No moaning. No quitting. Just deal with the situation and get it done.

When we embrace the suck, we are in the moment. We don’t worry about where we came from or where we are going — we are just consumed in the moment and we don’t let anything else get in our way. When we can feel that way, we have come closer to flipping the switch.

Way #3: Surround Yourself with Allies

Every single one of us needs others to help us endure. There will times when we just can’t get ourselves to push past a barrier or limitation. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with allies that can help you when you might not want to push any more.

These allies will pick you up and/or encourage you to march on even when you may feel like quitting. This camaraderie is a tremendous source of endurance since most of us don’t want to let others down.

Go Get It Done

Flipping your endurance switch takes combining the three ways above consistently. By practicing pushing your limits, you can feel what it’s like to be on the brink of giving up. By embracing the suck, you can be fully in the moment and not worry about the past or the future. By surrounding yourself with allies, the experience becomes a shared sense of duty and purpose.

The most important aspect of flipping your endurance switch is to just go get it done. Even if you may fail or suffer a major set back, actually trying to get it done will bring you closer and closer to flipping your endurance switch when you need it the most.

141 Ways To Build More Endurance Starting Today

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Photo Courtesy of Troy Angrignon

Each and every one of us was born to endure.

We have several physical features that make us ideal endurance athletes like your Achilles tendon, your ability to take multiple breaths per stride and your big brain to strategize with.

These physical features also benefit your mental abilities. The more you endure physically, the smarter you become. In fact, we are the result of thousands of generations of ever increasing brain power due to your ancestors ability to endure and thus pass on their smarter and stronger genes.

So why can’t most of us focus longer than 7 minutes or hit our goals or walk around the block or start a new project or not get distracted on the Internet. The answer is simple: we have lost our inherited endurance.

Why Endurance is Important

Endurance, like it’s partner Resilience, allows us to push through hardship and struggles that our primitive brain throws at us. This primitive or lizard brain, is the part that tells us to fight or flight. It’s extremely good at telling us to stop doing something uncomfortable or scary because way back when, those types of things got us killed.

Nowadays, we live in a relatively safe world but our fight and flight responses are still in hyperdrive and that prevents us from quitting our jobs, speaking in public, finishing a painting, writing a novel, running a marathon or asking for a promotion.

The reason the lizard brain dominates us in modern times is because we lost our endurance. Most of us no longer have to hunt for food, strategize about how to survive a winter, build a house, clear a forrest or even evade a sabertooth tiger.

With the loss of endurance comes the inability to push through all our non-lethal hardships and struggles required to meet our goals.

Our World View Meets Marshmallows

Our lizard brain is a powerful force within us but it can be tamed if we train ourselves to accept what the lizard brain is telling us and counteract it by changing our behavior.

In a revisitation of the classic Marshmallow experiment performed in the 1970’s, researchers wanted to see how conditioning children can help or hurt their ability to endure the temptation of eating a Marshmallow.

The results were astonishing.

When children were conditioned to have different world views related to the reliability of specific rewards, they drastically changed how long they could hold out for more Marshmallows.

The more reliable the World View (e.g. I have art supplies and stickers and I’ll give them to you), the longer they held out. The more unreliable the World View (e.g. I promised art supplies but did not deliver), the shorter the hold out (almost 50% less).

This result confirms that our expectations and delivery on those expectations can drive our ability to endure which gives each and every one of us hope that we can regain and build our endurance.

141 Ways to Get Your Inherited Endurance Back

We all have an inherited level of endurance — we just have to tap back into it. Below are 141 ways to tap into your inherited endurance. Try a few or try them all. The point is that having more endurance will make you more successful and happier.

Just remember — you’re living proof of the endurance of your ancestors!

DISCLAIMER: Some of these ways involve physical movement or exercise. Be smart about doing them, always be safe and consult a professional if you have any doubts. Keep Enduring!

 

  1. Focus on what you are doing.

  2. Move at least 20 minutes a day

  3. Mediate daily

  4. Practice harder than you play

  5. Eat smaller meals more often.

  6. Breath in and out through your nose.

  7. Publicly commit to a goal

  8. Eat smaller portions

  9. Take a Cold Shower

  10. Turn down the heat during the winter

  11. Do two (2) more push-ups, sit-ups, squats, pull-ups or whatever per set

  12. Walk/Job/Run 7 more minutes than you are used to

  13. Check email only twice a day

  14. Take a class that scares you

  15. Rely on your training. Don’t second guess your abilities before or during an event.

  16. Go to an open mike night and riff about something

  17. Take the stairs instead of the elevator

  18. Take public transit once a week to work no matter how long it takes

  19. Bike or run to work

  20. Embrace the suck and don’t complain.

  21. Turn down the AC when it’s hot outside

  22. See how long you can hold your hand in ice water

  23. Stand on a street corner for 15 minutes and just observe people

  24. Cut out one indulgence for a day/week/month.

  25. Take a multivitamin daily.

  26. Replace soda (even diet) with water

  27. See how long you can stay outside when it’s cold in just shorts and a t-shirt

  28. Eat Vegetarian once a week.

  29. Cut your meal portions in half

  30. Give 95, 96, 97, 98, 99 then 100%.

  31. Join the Polar Bear Club

  32. Run or Bike at midnight

  33. Do a plank until you can’t hold it anymore

  34. Start a workout routine

  35. Realize you have more to give even when at the brink of exhaustion.

  36. Stand in the rain without a jacket or umbrella

  37. Stare at the wall for as long as you can

  38. Walk barefoot in the snow

  39. Do a completely different workout routine than you are used to

  40. Learn a new sport

  41. Learn a language

  42. Learn to dance

  43. Safely sit in the lotus position for as long as you can

  44. Attend a protest

  45. Sleep 1/2/3 night(s) in the woods

  46. Stay up for 24 hours without stimulates

  47. Jump out of bed in the morning

  48. Wake up 15 minutes earlier than normal

  49. Get plenty of sleep but not too much

  50. Rest your body and mind daily.

  51. Workout outside even when it’s cold, rainy, windy or otherwise miserable

  52. Chop a cord of wood

  53. Use a push mower to mow the lawn.

  54. Do 20x more push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups or squats daily than what you can think you can do.

  55. Use a wheelchair for a day

  56. Push on for 7 minutes more the moment you want to quit.

  57. Pick a landmark and just get there. Once there, pick another one.

  58. Walk or slow down if you feel tired but never stop moving.

  59. Start out slow and get faster as things progress

  60. Turn in something that’s 80% completed.

  61. Create and Tend a Garden

  62. Learn to play a musical instrument

  63. Enter a talent contest

  64. Volunteer at an athletic event

  65. Don’t get consumed by failure. Fail and move on

  66. Never be satisfied with your performance

  67. Knock on doors for a political campaign or charity

  68. Workout at lunch three or more times a week

  69. Count to 10,000 backwards then forwards

  70. Join a team sport

  71. Work the graveyard shift

  72. Go on a police/fire/ambulance ride-a-long on the graveyard shift

  73. Pull an all-nighter

  74. Volunteer in a 3rd World Country

  75. Cook at home more than once a week.

  76. Focus on your form by practicing deep

  77. Don’t use electricity for an entire day/week/month.

  78. Fast

  79. Learn to swim.

  80. Be blind or deaf for an entire day.

  81. Don’t watch TV or surface the Internet for a day/week/month.

  82. Do multi-night backpacking trip

  83. Build and sleep in a snow cave.

  84. Start a fire without matches

  85. Build a shelter in the woods

  86. Hunt for your own food

  87. Swim 20x more than your best distance

  88. Wear a weight vest for an entire day/week/month.

  89. Wear sandals in the snow

  90. Go rock climbing

  91. Go white water rafting

  92. Hold your breath as long as you can then add 10 more seconds.

  93. Read 10 minutes more than you normally do

  94. Cut out caffeine for an entire day/week/month.

  95. Don’t complain about anything for a day/week/month

  96. Be in the now

  97. Complement every single person you meet for an entire day/week/month

  98. When competing, deny your faults. It will keep you focused on what you can achieve.

  99. Tread water for as long as you can.

  100. Swim 10 seconds more underwater than you normally can.

  101. Build Resilience Daily.

  102. Go on an epic trek

  103. Be confident not cocky

  104. Turn a negative into a positive

  105. Don’t obsess about failure, obsess about success

  106. Practice something every day

  107. Surround yourself with people that support you.

  108. Break the impossible into the possible

  109. Do something positive the minute you wake up.

  110. Figure out the odds of success or failure

  111. Have some quality dirt time weekly.

  112. Never worry about the end — push right past the finish line

  113. Eliminate the negative people in your life

  114. Don’t eat before going to bed.

  115. Focus on a single point for 10 minutes

  116. When you hit the fatigue wall, speed up

  117. Don’t be anxious about the start. Be happy.

  118. Learn new ways to do what you already know how to do.

  119. Schedule Rest and Recovery Days to revitalized yourself.

  120. Know your weak spots and work on improving them.

  121. Encourage others around you to succeed

  122. Do or do not. There is no try

  123. Switch Jobs.

  124. Have fun no matter what

  125. Chat it up with others

  126. Build confidence with the little wins and incremental progress

  127. Be more disciplined than motivated

  128. Shut everyone else out and play your game

  129. Don’t over analyze

  130. Aspire to be someone you respect

  131. Take a brief break to center yourself

  132. Image a happy place when you are stressed out.

  133. The more you do, the better you get

  134. Be open to trying something new to improve your skills

  135. Give yourself credit for what you do well

  136. Feel the anxiety and then let it go

  137. Be better than you were yesterday

  138. Worry only about what you can control

  139. Learn to zig and zag around things

  140. Study the masters

  141. Take an Ice Bath


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How to Endure in the Face of Disaster

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A Guest Post by Mark McGuinness

Endurance is never easy, but sometimes the path is straighter than others.

Sometime it’s a case of making a plan and executing on it – step by step, enduring the pain, tackling the obstacles, and staying doggedly on track until you finish.

But sometimes your plans collide head-on with reality, and you’re confronted with a major setback.

If you’re an athlete, you suffer a major injury or a crushing defeat.

If you’re an artist, you’re stung by devastating rejection or criticism of your work, and left demoralized and creatively blocked.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you experience a major public failure – watching a new product flop, your stock price nosedive after an IPO, or even your company going bust.

And so on – whatever your field of endeavor, you can probably imagine a similar nightmare scenario.

Faced with disaster, if you want to endure you will need resilience: the ability to bounce back from adversity just as strong (or even stronger) than before.

Now given the choice, I think most of us would choose the straighter path, with no need for resilience thank you very much.

But developing a Plan B to cope with the worst forces us to dig deep, and discover resources of strength and ingenuity we may never have suspected in ourselves. So long term, developing resilience may even lead to greater success.

Not only that, there’s nothing an audience loves so much as a story of heroic recovery against all the odds – which again, could work to your advantage, if you can inspire people to rally to your cause.

Two Types of Entrepreneurial Endurance

Whatever else you might think about Microsoft, you can’t deny that until recently, they have been relentlessly successful on their own terms. Early on, Bill Gates and his Microsoftees found their market, their business model, their core products and partners, and swept all before them, like well-drilled Roman legions.

Impressive? You bet. Inspiring? Meh.

Apple, on the other hand, is a different story.

Even if you don’t follow the fortunes of tech companies, you’ll know the bare bones of the tale: the humble beginnings in a garage, the charismatic founder who persuaded the world to ‘Think Different’ about computing. That SuperBowl ad.

And then the fall from grace … the  sacking of Steve Jobs from his own company, and the nosedive in Apple’s fortunes, to the point where its demise was widely (and gleefully) predicted.

Finally, the triumphant second act, as Jobs returned to resurrect the company with a series of block-busting, game-changing, category-defining products, each introduced with a flourish by the master presenter, at events that brought an unprecedented sense of theatre to product launches.

What makes the story of Jobs and Apple so compelling is its back-from-the-brink plot, requiring the man and his company to develop apparently superhuman levels of resilience.

Given the choice, I’m sure the younger Jobs would have preferred to avoid losing his company and watching it lose its way. But having gone through the pain and learned the lessons, the older Jobs possessed knowledge, wisdom and achievements that put him in a class of his own.

Compared to all that, the chapters in the Microsoft story look as humdrum as successive iterations of MS Word.

And yet … Microsoft is now the company in (relative) crisis, falling behind tech trends and struggling to play catch-up in a post-PC world. If it is to endure, it will need to develop Apple-eque levels of resilience.

Hopefully you’ll never face disaster on a grand scale. But whenever you have to deal with a setback on the road to achieving your ambitions, here are some pointers to help you build resilience and get back on track as soon as possible.

How to Build Resilience:

#1 Acknowledge the Fall

When a disaster strikes, the worst thing you can do is plough on regardless. Which can be hard if you’ve conditioned yourself to keep going and endure in spite of all the odds.

It can be a fine line. Endurance athletes know all about pushing through the pain barriers – but if the pain is the symptom of a serious injury, you can do more harm than good by pushing on. Too many steps forward could lead to months of going backwards in treatment.

Other times the catastrophe is so obvious there’s no way of avoiding it.

Either way, it’s critical to assess the problem as soon as possible – only once you know the reality of your situation are you in a position to do something about it.

#2 Give Yourself a Break

When you’re hit by a big shock, and once you’ve taken any necessary emergency action, give yourself a break to absorb it.

The football (as in soccer) coach Martin O’Neill once revealed that he gives his teams 48 hours to feel sorry for themselves after a defeat. He wants them to feel the pain, learn the lesson and process it. Then it’s back to training.

Take the time you need to process your feelings and readjust your mindset – so that when you get back to work, its with 100% focus.

#3. Resolve to Learn

When you’re faced with a major setback, you can be defeatist, or rail against it in frustration. Or you can treat it as a learning opportunity and start to become curious about what it can teach you.

No prizes for guessing which option builds more resilience.

#4. Explore Your Options

When you get back to work, it’s worth asking lots of questions to fully understand the challenge and generate options for solving it:

  • What’s the real problem?

  • What caused it?

  • Has anyone else encountered this problem before and solved it? If so, what did they do?

  • Who else might know how to help me with this?

  • What skills or knowledge am I going to need? Where can I learn them?

Don’t just do this alone – talk to your partners, colleagues, team-mates, peers, mentors and anyone else who can help you (a) generate plenty of good options and (b) pick the best ones.

#5. Get Back to Work

Now that you’ve acknowledged the problem, taken time to absorb the shock, determined to learn from it, and generated some options for solving it, it’s time to get back to work.

Going through this process will prepare you for the new challenge, and give you the best shot at overcoming it. When you get going, keep experimenting and adjusting based on feedback.

Once you start to see positive results, you can build momentum using your familiar ‘endurance tools’ – the mindset, habits and actions that have served you well in the past. Using them to work on the challenge of recovery will strengthen your resilience into lasting endurance.

How has resilience helped you endure?

Have you ever had to deal with a major setback?

How did you deal with it? 

What did you learn from the experience?

Mark McGuinness is a coach who helps creatives and entrepreneurs endure the ups and downs of their roller coaster existence, and the author of Resilience: Facing Down Rejection and Criticism on the Road to Success.

 

The Single Biggest Obstacle to Achieving Our Goals

In my book, #ENDURANCE tweet Book 01— A Little Nudge to Keep You Going, I explain the concept of inner critics and how they relate to preventing us from achieving our goals.

Inner critics are those voices in our head that hold us back, make us question our decisions, instill fear, sap our energy, place doubt in our minds and criticize our failures.

Inner critics will always be with us and that means we need to be able to channel them into positive, rather than negative, actions.

Fear Amplifier

Fear is a powerful motivator. It’s a basic emotion that protects us from the dangers around us. It’s also a major reason a lot of us don’t achieve what we want to achieve.

Our inner critics amplify our fear by rehashing all the times we failed. This is their primary job since fear protected us way back when our existence was fragile at best.

Nowadays, we don’t have as many threats to our wellbeing as before but fear still rules our lives.

Why?

Fear is a protection mechanism. We have not yet evolved to separate real threats from perceived threats (just as the 74% of people who are afraid of public speaking.), so fear rules our lives if we let it.

Anxiety Accelerator

Our inner critics also accelerate our anxieties about certain situations. They remember when we embarrassed ourselves at a party, said the wrong thing to an attractive girl or boy, flubbed an important presentation or sent the wrong check to the wrong person.

All of these anxieties weigh heavy on us since the emotions we felt during those embarrassing times we don’t want to feel again.

Doubt Doubler

Self doubt is the way our inner critics keep us from taking risks. They stir up all the fears and anxieties into an elixir of doubt that we readily drink since who wants to feel all that fear and anxiety.

Doubt holds us back. Doubt keeps us in the status quo where we feel we are safe and secure. Doubt is what we have to overcome to quell our inner critics.

Self Loathing Cheerleader

We all get down from time to time. It’s an unfortunate reality in our fast paced, winner take all world. When we get down, our inner critics are their to reinforce this self loathing by rehashing all the bad and awful feelings we have experienced.

Our inner critics happily cheer on this loathing because it keeps us from taking risks — one thing our inner critics loath.

Our Inner Critics Safe Harbor

The status quo is our inner critics safe harbor. This is the place they have the most power over us. It’s hard to nudge ourselves out of this safe harbor because our inner critics have a tremendous power over us.

At times, it’s great to be in a safe and comfortable environment but that will never allow us to grow.

The problem with our safe harbor is if we stay their too long. Ships were meant for sailing. If they stay too long in the harbor, they collect barnacles, start to decay, leak and become unseaworthy. Only by sailing the ship does it remain seaworthy.

We need to leave our safe harbor and sail in order to prevent ourselves from decay. I know, it seems a little extreme, but spending too much time stagnate will make us unseaworthy for the seas of life.

Overcoming Our Inner Critics

Every system in our body is meant to protect us, nurture us and help us achieve our best and highest good. Our inner critics protect us from danger and thus must be both respected and thanked for the service they perform.

Without our inner critics, we would simple not know what we should fear or how to push our limits.

Even though our inner critics are meant to protect us, we still need to push ourselves or we will become stuck in a rut. Consider these methods to both thank your inner critics for their help and guidance but yet be able to sail on the seas of life.

  • Feel the fear: Instead of pushing our fears aside, we should feel and acknowledge them. That way, we can deal with them.

  • Channel the anxiety: Anxiety can be channeled to positive action if we embrace the feelings and then turn that energy to our an advantage.

  • Acknowledge the doubt: Just like feeling the fear, acknowledging the doubt will lessen it’s influence on us simply because we can now either recruit others to help us past it or work on it ourselves.

  • Recruit others: Sometimes it takes others to help us overcome our inner critics. Good allies in our inner critic struggles will be those friends or mentors that encourage, teach or coach us through the tough parts of our lives.

  • Give yourself a break: Most people are hard on themselves. This is a manifestation of our inner critics power over us (the you’re “not good enough” inner voice). Try and give yourself a break. Acknowledge that things are tough but also pat yourself on the back for dealing with the issues head on.

  • Encourage others: We can derive a tremendous amount of satisfaction from encouraging others to endure on and overcome their inner critics. This can give us the needed boost to overcome our own struggles.

  • Be thankful for the advice: Our inner critics are their to protect us. Thank them for the valuable service they perform.

  • Practice: Nothing reduces our anxieties, fears and doubts about our capabilities like practice. Sure, if we are ill prepared then practice may just increase our anxieties, fears and doubts but determined and regular practice will make taking on our challenges much less scary.

  • Push your limits just a little: We can “trick” our inner critics by pushing our limits just a little out of our safe harbors. By doing this, we can incrementally build up to take on bigger and bigger challenges. We should think of these limit pushing exercises as just another form of practice.

Life is a Vast Ocean

Our lives are like a vast ocean — we really can’t see far beyond the horizon. It’s important that we sail towards the horizon by leaving our safe harbors in order to gain the skills and confidence to achieve what we want to achieve.

Without pushing ourselves, we will begin to decay and wonder why opportunities have passed us by.

 


 

A special thanks to Alex Doniach for her wise and insightful observations about inner critics. She was the person who gave me the idea to write about our inner critics and how they prevent us from enduring our challenges so that one day we may triumph.