Winning Mental Battles


What is a Mental Battle?

It’s an argument with yourself.

Usually occurs when you are trying to do something that is

Good for you (improvement in the long term)


Doesn’t feel good (discomfort/effort in the moment)

You can either win or lose, and your actions will reflect it.

The most common times I experience mental battles:

Getting Out Of Bed

Especially if I didn’t get 6+ hours, there is a certain kind of gravity that exists, that just pulls you back. Just a few more minutes. Before you know it, your alarm gave up and you slept in for 4 hours. Hitting snooze is a lost mental battle.

Cold Showers

Right around when you’re deciding to step into the stream or not. This varies, on a hot day, there no problem taking cold showers, they are refreshing. On a cold day, especially straight out of a warm bed, the resistance is much higher. Which is why I do it first thing, to challenge myself. Waiting for the water to warm up is a lost mental battle.

Eating Enough Calories

I tend to not eat enough. It becomes difficult to get the calories in, after you’re not hungry. There are plenty of ways to increase the calories in your meal, but sometimes, it’s a mental battle. It must be done if I don’t want to look like a stick figure. Not eating enough calories per day is a lost mental battle.

Suppressing Negative Responses

Snapping back at someone is easy. If fact, it feels great. Until you have to work next to that person for months and months. Especially if you are creative, you can do some serious damage. Taking a step back and suppressing knee jerk reactions takes effort, but it’s worth it. No, I’m not saying be a doormat. I’m saying be strategic. Lighting someone up over minor stuff is a lost mental battle.

Here are a few ways to strengthen your resolve, when you are fighting a mental battle:

#1. Remember why you are doing what you’re doing:

There was a reason you set that alarm, or scheduled that task. Just remember why.

#2. Hold yourself accountable:

Either through journaling or other people. This is the reason training partners work so well. On a down day, they can encourage you to train a bit more.

#3. Use momentum built from other completed tasks:

“I did A, B, and C today, no reason I can’t knock out D” This is why small tasks, such as making your bed are important. They build forward momentum. Something like showering, shaving your face, and making you bed, can get you into the mindset to accomplish other tasks throughout the day.

It really is simple, and it really does work.

Military drill sergeants know this. That’s why there’s a focus on polishing boots, ironing uniforms, and organizing footlockers.

Self-improvement gurus know this. That’s why they all recommend changing one small thing. Just one thing, and building off of that. If it’s a small task, you’re more likely to do it.


If you accomplish a bunch of small tasks, you’re more likely to do the big tasks.

It’s like a snowball that’s rolling down a hill.

Momentum, speed, and size all increase.

You gotta start somewhere, though.

All the Best.


Read these great articles about mental battles(here and here)


2 thoughts on “Winning Mental Battles”

  1. Good stuff man. Sometimes there are days where I would do tasks and get motivated to finish my other goals for the day week or month. You put it in words that explained why I got motivated those days compared to other days where I would put something off leading to a lazy day puttin off other things until tomorrow. I Never thought about like the way you explained. I just go back from the gym and all of my other tasks like grocery shopping. I think I’m gonna jump in a cold shower for shits and gigs to mess with my mental thought process an brain in order to push it to the edge instead of succumbing to mental weakness. FIGHT THE POWER!!!!

    1. Yeah I definitely notice a difference when all the small tasks are taken care of, makes it easier to do the rest. Thanks for reading Mike, all the best.

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