We fight 3 fights each day:
- Inside you
- The enemy
- The “system”
If you want to create more personal victories, create more moments you are proud of, and respond better to your challenges, you need to learn how to win these fights.
To win these fights, or to stand a better chance, you can use some inner engineering and some practical tools.
Let’s take a look at each fight, and how you can prepare yourself.
1. The Fight Inside You
This is the fight within. Maybe it’s your inner demons. Maybe it’s fear. Maybe it’s negative self talk. Maybe it’s a lack of motivation.
Whatever it is, this first fight, this fight within you, is the one that makes or breaks your chances for victory.
“The first fight is inside you. That battle is overcoming your fears, steeling your resolve, maintaining an offensive mind set, developing skills, knowledge and personal power, and not succumbing to mediocrity.”
2. The Fight With the Enemy
The second fight, is the actual challenge.
“The second fight is the actual engagement; the one most would consider the fight.
You close with the enemy and engage in combat. You launch the product and steel yourself for the customer response. The Coach says 3, 2, 1 go and you launch yourself into the Workout of the Day.
This is often the easiest of the 3 fights, and often the shortest in time invested.”
3. The Fight With the “System”
The third fight is the system or arena or the context that you are operating within. Every system has rules and a way things work. Sometimes the system works with you.
Other times it works against you.
And many times, you might find, that you have to rise above the system.
“The third fight is between you and ‘the system.’
Even if ambushed, an Active Duty SEAL who beats the crap out of an assailant in California will likely be suspended, perhaps his career ruined. The deep pocketed competitor lobby’s the Feds and you get investigated and shut down. The coach calls ‘no rep’ and you lose the chance to compete in the Master’s Division at the CrossFit Games.
The system can be downright cold and cruel sometimes.”
Win the First Fight First
Don’t lose your first fight. Whether it’s a bad habit, a stressful event, or you just have to find enough strength to make it through your day, this first fight sets the stage.
You can be your own worst enemy. But you can also be your own best friend. You can be your worst inner critic or your own best coach.
The choice is yours to choose, every chance you get.
“The first fight is in your mind. You must win in the mind, before stepping foot onto the battleground. This is true for any situation in life. The question, then, becomes how.”
What do Navy Seals, elite athletes, and the best execs do, when a big challenges stands before them?
They focus on their breathing.
Breath Control is one of your key tools for winning your 3 fights each day. You can practice controlling your breath to reduce the impact of stress, as well as to change your state. By combining Breath Control with Focused Visualization, you create a powerful state for high performance.
“Control of the breath is not just useful for arousal control, leading to a lessening of the effect of the negative impact of stress, but also in the positive sense it is useful to change your state even if the stress facing you is ‘simply’ performance anxiety.
Elite athletes and Navy SEALs utilize breath control to prepare for missions and events. The act of psyching yourself up physically and mentally includes deep diaphragmatic breathing, forced exhalation breaths combined with powerful visualization and positive affirmations.”
Deep Diaphragmatic Breathing
You can practice Deep Diaphragmatic Breathing to reduce you performance anxiety, control your arousal response, increase your brain elasticity, enhance your learning and skill development, and enhance your capacity for focused attention and long term concentration.
“We can practice a deep diaphragmatic breathing pattern through a discipline we call Box Breathing at SEALFIT Academy. Box breathing is meant to be done in a quiet and controlled setting, not while you are in the fight. The pattern is simply a box, whereby you inhale to a count of 5, hold for a count of 5, exhale to the same 5 count and hold again for 5. You can start at 3 if this is difficult, or take it up a notch if easy. You should be uncomfortable on the exhale hold, and be forced to fill the entirely of your lung capacity on the inhale hold.”
The Relaxation Breath is a tool to help you control your arousal response. You can use the Relaxation Breath to calm your body and mind so that you can remain in control, focused, and present. As you practice the Relaxation Breath, you will gain physical and mental benefits over time. For example, you can use it to help you reduce anxiety, reduce pain, improve your sense of well being, enhance your lung capacity, and more.
“When you are in “the fight” you will not want to hold your breath. So we turn to what we call a Relaxation breath instead. In this practice you will drop the hold and just inhale to a count of 5 starting from the diaphragm then filling up the middle of your chest then finally the top as if you are gulping in a final sip of air. Immediately you will begin to exhale in the opposite manner – starting at the top and ending with a puff to get the air out of the deep recesses of your lungs. Then you do it again and again.”
Visualization is a way to see, feel, and achieve results. According to Mark Divine, Focused Visualization is “controlled, directed and empowered imagination grounded in a very specific purpose.”
Mark adds that visualization is the secret weapon of people that perform at higher levels:
“This is the one tool that every Navy SEAL, Astronaut, Apache Scout, Olympian, Spartan, Samurai, Ninja and Top Executive though the ages have used to super-charge their results.”
Performance Imagery is one form of Focused Visualization. Performance Imagery is mental rehearsal that you can use to analyze and correct errors, improve techniques, simulate various alternative responses, maintain skills, and increase confidence.
“This form of focused visualization is used for mental rehearsal for a specific narrow skill set or mission. So, for instance, if you about to test for your next belt in a particular martial art, you might visualize a particular kata, or arrest technique or series of kicks, punches, locks and throws. You continually imagine yourself going through the motions in your mind’s eye. You might slow things down so you ensure proper technique and/or speed them up to ensure effectiveness in a self-defense situation.”
Future Imagery is another form of Focused Visualization. To practice Future Imagery, simply create a future picture or a scene of the future that you want to experience.
“You have no doubt held a vision in your mind of how you see yourself. Sometimes this differs from how others view you – either positively or negatively.
Regardless, what if you learn to hold a powerful vision of who you want to be at some time-certain future (Navy SEAL, Firefighter, Senator, Black Belt…). If you back the mental vision with massive action, do the work to root out negative blocks, and propel your vision with desire, belief and expectation, then surely you will become that person.”
Own more moments.
As Mark Divine would say, “See if, feel it, achieve it.”