Dave Tate once said, “Show me someone who has a big squat and I will show you someone who is mentally tough.” Truer words have never been said. Lifting brings a mental tenacity to fierce opposition many neglect to develop in their personal lives. Not everyone can join the military like my friends and I did, not everyone needs a drill sergeant experience to become mentally tough. Weight training, marathon training, grappling, and more can bring about this toughness.

So what is the common factor in the ability to become tough? Coaching. Mentoring. Advisors. Having people well more advanced than you are to push you beyond your preconceived mental limits, and call your weakness out when needed, will breed something in you you never knew you had.

One of my most memorable – and TERRIFYING – experiences was when I was training Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. A blackbelt nicknamed Bull – for good reason – was rolling with us after he taught a class. We learned 3 techniques on how to escape knee on belly, so what did he do? He got me in knee on belly. I was in serious pain, I could not breathe, and I was terrified. He looked at me and said, “I’m not letting you up, you know how to do escape so DO IT!” It took me literally 8 minutes before I got him off me. He grinned, and said, “GOOD! AGAIN” I was under him for another 10 minutes. To this day I’ve never had a grappling session this terrifying in my entire life, but something in me snapped: I HAD TO SURVIVE. Coaches will push you past your limits by giving you no other choice than to succeed.

Pick a sport. Pick a gym. Get a coach. You will perform better in life because you are mentally weak and need to become stronger. Work becomes easier. Family becomes easier. Success becomes easier. The only thing that will change is YOU. Stop being weak. Start your journey to mental strength.