Friday, September 05, 2014

Embrace the Suck

I have had this post in draft for a long time and feel it is appropriate for many facets of life.
Mark Devine from SEALFIT wrote this is on his blog a couple years ago and I think about it often to help me push through tough times.

Embrace The Suck!

Today I would like to introduce another habit of the masters – I will simply call it “Embrace the Suck!”

To embrace the suck means to develop the habit of suffering in silence. The obvious corollary is that you will not shy from suffering – in fact, as you learn to embrace the suck you look for actions and goals that require an unusual element of suffering to succeed. Soon you will come to appreciate and enjoy the hard won rewards of your personal growth earned through this trial by fire.

The habit of Embracing the Suck is developed through the deliberate internalization of any expression of pain or discomfort during periods of suffering. When you hit the sweet spot of the workout and the pain is intense, or you are so cold you can’t stand it any longer, that is when you must embrace the suck. Those are the times to double down and feel the aliveness of the moment, feel how utterly indomitable your spirit actually is. You swallow the natural yearning to wince, cry out in pain, whimper and project weakness…all acts that will undermine your mental toughness and the team’s trust, especially if you are the leader.

Turn Your Focus Outward

Others in the same boat as you will be suffering alongside you, and they will naturally follow those who can bite their lips and turn their attention to helping others. Nobody wants to participate in your pity party and you can only make life better for yourself and others by embracing the suck and being helpful rather than selfishly think you are the only one suffering.

A good way to start learning to Embrace the Suck is to put a smile on your face in the middle of the challenge – when you least feel like smiling. You will, admittedly, find this difficult to do…however this simple action will give you strength and train your pain tolerance to a new level. Another thought is to repeat the mantra “pain is weakness leaving my body.” Soon you will notice that the pain begins to dissipate, transmuted into strength.

As you grow tolerant of pain, and can turn the inward strength that embracing the suck develops into an external expression of control and resolve, you are on your way to mastery!

Now go do something really sucky and revel in it! Hooyah! Coach Divine

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