Embrace the Suck – Brent Gleeson
“Embrace the Suck” is a book about resilience and how to deal with adversity. It is written by Brent Gleeson, a former Navy SEAL combat veteran turned entrepreneur and speaker. The book is based on the author’s experience as a Navy SEAL and the principles he learned in the military that can be applied to personal and professional life.
The book provides tools and frameworks for dealing with adversity and embracing challenges. It is a raw, brutally honest, in-your-face self-help guide that teaches readers how to use pain and discomfort as motivators to achieve their goals.
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Reality 7: Willpower is like a muscle. Use it or lose it
Like muscles that become fatigued, mental willpower can become overworked and undernourished. Soldiers participating in sustained combat experience battle fatigue, which causes clouded thinking, a lack of ability to control emotion, confusion, and even depression.
So when you feel your willpower fading, take a good rest and some space to revisit your motivations. Just don’t take it too long.
Reality 8: The healthiest psychological response to failure is focusing on what you can control
This ability is fundamental to building resilience. Failure can result in us focusing primarily on the cause of our current adversity. We look backward instead of forward. We focus on elements we have no control over as opposed to developing an action plan – leveraging what’s in our control
Do something that sucks, everyday
Stress and anxiety can be great tools if you know how to use them and choose to use them. With all the media and medical attention on the negative impacts of stress, it’s easy to conclude it’s irredeemably bad, something to be avoided at all costs. This applies to both physical and emotional stress and anxiety.
Think about a time when you experienced substantial and professional growth or a time when you performed at your highest level. Say finishing a race, building a business or saving it, landing your dream job, raising a child. Chances are, all those moments shaped your growth and defined who you are today.
The three step model: See, Own, Use
Psychologists have developed a three-step model for effectively managing stress and utilizing its creative power based on their research and work with professionals such as business executives, Navy SEALs, students, and athletes.
Step 1: See the stress.
It’s common to experience stress over things that we care about deeply. By identifying and labeling the things that we care about, we can gain clarity on the causes of our stress and find solutions for alleviating it.
For instance, when feeling overwhelmed, one can understand the root cause by asking, “Why am I so stressed?” This helps identify the true source of stress and realize that it may not be related to what was initially thought.
Step 2: Own the stress
Acknowledging that we experience stress because we care about certain things can activate a positive drive within us. We recognize that the things that truly matter in life require effort and perseverance.
Navy SEALs use this concept in their training, which is designed to be incredibly stressful and challenging, to help the team learn to stay centered and focused in chaotic situations. By choosing to embrace stress as a necessary part of achieving their goals, trainees can take ownership of it and use it to their advantage.
Step 3: Use the stress
While it may feel like the stress response is harmful to us, it is actually designed to help us function at our best. Stress can release chemicals in the body that rebuild cells, synthesize proteins, and enhance immunity, making the body stronger and healthier.
Athletes and Navy SEALs understand this and use stress to their advantage to achieve their highest potential. While stress can sometimes have negative effects, the body’s stress response can be a powerful tool for growth and success.
David Goggin’s Forty percent rule
We all have the ability to master our minds. But our brains are wired with defense mechanisms for avoiding pain and hardship and for staying well within the confines of our comfort zone. Our minds have a tendency to force us into a sheltered existence.
When our brains start sending signals that we can go no further, endure no more, and retreat to the blissful embrace of denial and mediocrity, we’ve only achieved forty percent of our mental and physical potential.
Embrace the suck
But when we find ways to harness our minds, we can defy all odds. From overcoming depression, abuse, financial strain, or illness to conquering the most unimaginably lofty goals, when properly vanquished, our minds become the weapon needed for success on any battlefield.
We just have to embrace the suck.
The Challenge-Commitment-Control mindset
The Challenge-Commitment-Control mindset is a way of thinking that helps people become more resilient.
Resilient individuals see difficulties as opportunities for growth and learning, and are committed to their goals. They focus their energy on what they can control and don’t get distracted by factors they can’t influence.
The Challenge-Commitment-Control mindset Part 2
Specifically, this mindset involves:
- Challenge: Viewing difficulty as a challenge rather than a paralyzing event. This means seeing mistakes and failures as opportunities for growth and learning.
- Commitment: Being committed to one’s goals and having a strong reason to get up in the morning. This helps individuals stay focused and not get distracted by things that don’t align with their desired outcomes.
- Control: Focusing on situations and events that one has control over, and putting effort into areas where they can have the most impact. This helps individuals feel empowered and confident.