I have always been the type of person that gives 110% or nothing. The positive of such a mentality is that when you commit to doing something you go all in. The negative side is that when you don’t feel you can give that effort you quit.
This has happened to me twice since I started my journey back in 2011 and both times it was like starting all over again. The last few months I have finally started to make progress over when I left off in my training in 2014 and yet here I am again struggling with the feeling that right now I am not able to give 110%. Clearly this all or nothing mentality is not working for me so I need to change, but how?
Inner voice: First you need to examine why you need to give 110% effort?
Me: It’s because I want to succeed and giving 110% means I am giving everything I got to make that happen.
Inner voice: If you are not able to give 110% effort how does that make you feel?
Me: It makes me feel like I am failing.
Inner voice: If you quit doesn’t that mean you failed?
Me: In reality yes in my head? No.
Inner voice: How does quitting not equal failing in your head?
Me: In my head by quitting it’s only temporary, I am just hitting the pause button until I can get back to giving it 110%. Alternatively trying to keep going only reminds me on a daily basis how I am not able to give 110% and thus I am failing.
Inner voice: Okay now I get it, so what can we do so you can keep training at sub 110% effort and not feel like your failing?
Me: Hmm, good question. I really dislike people who only give half-ass effort.
Inner voice: People who give half-ass effort are capable of giving 100% but choose to give less. Do you think its reasonable for someone to train at max level all the time?
Me: Well no.
Inner voice: Okay, so lets say other factors in your life make it so your only able to do half of what your max level is but you still do that level at 110% effort, is that not still giving it your all and not failing?
Me: Hmm, I never really looked at it like that before. I guess if I am stilling giving it my all, at whatever level I am able to train at, it’s not failing.
Inner voice: Right and even if doing so only allows you to maintain where you are at, when you do get back to training at a higher level you will be making forward progress right away instead of having to spend months just to get back to where you where when you quit.
Me: Wow!! I think we are onto something here.
So there you go, my new and improved mental attitude when it come to training! Who said you can’t teach and old dog new tricks?