Mental Resilience

Big_Shep

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I feel like I have a bit of a mental block to training in some respects and I really need to brush off past experiences
Leave the past in the past, there is no changing it now.
Remember that everyone is affected by their environment in different ways. One soldier may be particularly uncomfortable dealing with some of the more physically arduous elements of training, whereas another may struggle with range work and another will find more academic elements stressful. The key is work together and communicate.
It’s worth getting into the habit of not giving power to negative thoughts as feeling down can led to added stress, anxiety and fatigue. All of which can effect performance and skill mastery. Not what you want in training!
Be willing to experience the negative and positive emotions that come with the CIC
Accept the pain and discomfort that
comes with the CIC. Embrace the challenge.

You cannot control what thoughts pop into your head but you can control how much attention you give to them.
 

Dai1984

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I risk sounding like I know what I’m talking about here, but in the past something that has worked for me is something I’ve called the “Cinderella man” moment. For those who haven’t seen the movie, in the final fight, Russell Crow’s character gets hit square in the jaw by his opponent’s trademark punch. A punch that has nearly killed all the previous fighters. In that moment his life flashes before his eyes, all the hard moments, his kids going hungry, nearly having to send them away, having no heating in their basement room, going cap in hand to his mates, doing labour work with a broken hand among others. In that moment he realised that punch pails into insignificance to the hardships he’s been through and he just looks at his opponent, smiles and goes on to win the fight. I did the fan dance for charity a few years back and pulled my hamstring on the return leg. To try and take my mind off it I started to think about stuff that has happened to me that realistically has been worse. The stress of trying to get a mortgage, being made redundant, complications with my wife when she had our first son. I didn’t dwell on them, but thought about them just enough to tell myself I’ve been through far worse. Turned those negative moments into positive movement and got to the end. Thinking like that in hard moments has always helped me.
 
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Admin

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I risk sounding like I know what I’m talking about here, but in the past something that has worked for me is something I’ve called the “Cinderella man” moment. For those who haven’t seen the movie, in the final fight, Russell Crow’s character gets hit square in the jaw by his opponent’s trademark punch. A punch that has nearly killed all the previous fighters. In that moment his life flashes before his eyes, all the hard moments, his kids going hungry, nearly having to send them away, having no heating in their basement room, going cap in hand to his mates, doing labour work with a broken hand among others. In that moment he realised that punch pails into insignificance to the hardships he’s been through and he just looks at his opponent, smiles and goes on to win the fight. I did the fan dance for charity a few years back and pulled my hamstring on the return leg. To try and take my mind off it I started to think about stuff that has happened to me that realistically has been worse. The stress of trying to get a mortgage, being made redundant, complications with my wife when she had my first son. I didn’t dwell on them, but thought about them just enough to tell myself I’ve been through far worse. Turned those negative moments into positive movement and got to the end. Thinking like that in hard moments has always helped me.

Spot on @Dai1984

Such a good point about not losing perspective and flipping your negative experiences into positive ones!

All your hardships can add steel into your resilience. Top post.
 

PhysMan

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This is an absolutely awesome thread, absorbing every comment. Mental toughness was something I directed my uni degree towards in an "outdoor" context (studied Outdoor Education) but didn't actually discover Stoicism until a few years later which I would say has had the single biggest effect on my shift in mindset personally.

A good book recommendation and one that a serving mate that recently passed Briefing Course was recommended to read by the DS themselves, is The Chimp Paradox. It basically tells you in layman's terms how the brain works, how the brain processes stress and adversity, and how to get a grip of your own brain, all made mega understandable for anyone that picks it up. Read it a few weeks ago and can't recommended it enough.
 

Blisters

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My son was a quiet, shy teenager. He had a genuine fear of public speaking. He knew early in his Uni life that he wanted to apply to join the Army as an Officer but told his mum & I this fear of speaking in public would hold him back. It was border line social anxiety disorder. But instead of running from it he challenged it. He joined his UOTC unit, became active in the Student Union and joined the uni’s debating society. The Debating Society organised engaging and thought provoking debates and alongside this, his club even organised competitive debate training, in British Parliamentary format. This is the same lad who once convinced his mum & I that he had a vomiting bug to get out of a school play! I found out from research that public speaking is one of the most common phobias ahead of death, spiders or heights. Evolution experts say there are primordial roots in this. Our prehistoric ancestors were vulnerable to large animals and harsh environments. Living in a tribe was a basic survival skill. Rejection from the group led to death. Speaking to an audience makes us vulnerable to rejection. So learning why you might feel a certain way can help too. It helped him. He is now pushing 6.5 years in Para Reg despite being adamant he was only going to do 4 years.
If you are take anything away from this is that when you stand tall and expose yourself to stress you become more resilient.
 

Chelonian

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Some ramblings from me to add to the reference @Blisters made above to the primitive sub-conscious programming that might be hard-wired into our brains:

An acquaintance who is a psychologist suggested that women find men who are amusing more attractive than men who are superficially physically 'attractive'. The theory is that men who are amusing are generally socially capable and good at influencing others. Which, in turn, implies that they might be good providers for children.

For the avoidance of doubt I'm not stating this as fact but it possibly explains why my butt-ugly matelot friend always had a woman on each arm when I was a youngster. 🙂
 

Mac_t1lt

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“possibly explains why my butt-ugly matelot friend always had a woman on each arm when I was a youngster. “
Or he carried an absolute cannon in his budgie smugglers. Blisters post is very wholesome - I also emphasise the necessity of putting yourself in stressful situations. My job is pure stress at the best of times and I thoroughly enjoy it, not the job so much, but the realisation that each stressful day is a notch on the log of mental acuity. I don’t mind saying, I do very well and can be very efficient at my workplace, I have to be, as anything less exacerbates the stress levels of not just me but others who aren’t as equipped in dealing with high levels of stress in a fast paced environment so the harder I push myself the less others have to worry which makes me happy so everyone wins. I went from high paying sales to low paying labour work and I’m extremely grateful for it. Stay solid guys 💪🏆🪵
 

Blisters

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Some ramblings from me to add to the reference @Blisters made above to the primitive sub-conscious programming that might be hard-wired into our brains:

An acquaintance who is a psychologist suggested that women find men who are amusing more attractive than men who are superficially physically 'attractive'. The theory is that men who are amusing are generally socially capable and good at influencing others. Which, in turn, implies that they might be good providers for children.

For the avoidance of doubt I'm not stating this as fact but it possibly explains why my butt-ugly matelot friend always had a woman on each arm when I was a youngster. 🙂
Might explain why I never had much luck, too handsome.
 

Dot

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For me I know I need to work on just not taken stuff so personal. I can have a habit of beating myself up over mistakes for ages
 

Nutter

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For me I know I need to work on just not taken stuff so personal. I can have a habit of beating myself up over mistakes for ages
Read back over some of Big Sheps and Scraps posts mute. It’s rarely personal in training and when I first joined the Inf we all got fragged for being the worst intake of all time. We weren’t and it’s all part of the training. Just take it in your stride and keep your chin up
 

Nutter

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This is 100% accurate 😂😂. Every intake of every unit feels like this.
Its true isn’t it. You’ll get smashed. It’s all part of the fun. If you carry things around that you take personally it’ll weight you down mate. Just take it on board and move on.
 

Scraps

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You'll also be TOLD (when you're not) that you're shit all the time. This again is part of the mind games lads, it's done on purpose. Basic training is every bit as much about a mental restructuring as it is a physical one. It's about THINKING like a soldier as well as performing like one. This is why I think it's extremely important that you're nut is in the right place, not just on the likes of basic training but in life
 
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