Today we’re going to talk about negative loops. Danny recently went through the hardest challenge he’s ever put himself through. Both mentally and physically. Team Assessment is a 48+ hour event put on by GORUCK.
Negative feedback loops apply to all areas of life. Think about your diet, for example. You eat one shitty thing, and then you say, fuck it, let me eat another and another. Think about your relationships and life in general. It’s easy to let things stack up on top of each other until everything spirals out of control.
The Negative Path
There were plenty of opportunities to go down that negative path during his event. For this specific event, you showed up with a partner. Someone that you knew and hopefully trained with leading up to the event.
In Danny’s specific case, his partner dropped out around the 15-hour mark. That was the first time he experienced any sort of self-doubt … "Should I go with them? Is it my time?" Like, "I could have the rest of the weekend to do whatever I want." That was a legitimate thought. He could go hang out with his wife or do whatever else.
Then you think of the five months of work you put in leading up to the event and think, "Are you fucking kidding me?" He would have been so mad at himself if he threw in the towel right then. So, how do you pull yourself out of that negative loop?
Pull Yourself Out
How do you pull yourself out of that loop? Accept the reality of the situation, then get right back to the task that needs done. The preparation leading up to the event was key to fall back on. The amount of work and time and sacrifice put in was to such a high level that he was able to shake this off more easily.
Weather conditions were not great for this event. It rained. It got down to 37 degrees the first night. They got in the water more than five times. They were literally sitting there jackhammering and shivering throughout the night. All of these factors provide the perfect setting for a negative headspace.
Going back to preparation, he knew that it was going to be cold and wet. Even though these factors were known, you still don’t completely know how you’re going to react in a high-stress situation like this.
The Only Way is Forward
Stay on task because the only way is forward. You have no other option. Going out harder at the beginning of the evolutions became a way to warm up. Once you got your core body temperature up to some degree, you started to settle down a bit.
This went hand in hand with positive self-talk and reinforcement. Thankfully, his second partner was in a similar headspace too. That was a huge key to being successful as a team.
Diet & Nutrition
Think about other areas of life where you can apply lessons like these. Take diet & nutrition, for example. This is a big one because it’s relatable to the majority of the population. Almost everyone can identify. It’s easy to fall of the wagon, making one poor decision after another. Momentum startins to pick up in the wrong direction.
What’s your environment look like? Are you keeping shitty food in your pantry? If you are, you’re making it exponentially more difficult to stay on the tracks. What works best for Danny? Removing and/or avoiding certain situations that are going to encourage poor decision-making. Controlling your environment is crucial.
For me, if I fucking eat this whole bag of jalapeno potato chips right after I ate all those Reese cups and fucking spiked with Lucky Charms all week, am I going to be closer to my goal? Or am I going to be further away? The obvious answer is further away.
You must implement backstops, safeguards and other strategies to keep going in the right direction. Check yourself when you feel like you’re starting to lose control. Think about all the work you put in to get to where you are. Don’t undo everything that you worked hard for.
You only have so much willpower. One of the biggest questions I got from guys in general settings is, "How the fuck did you make it through MusclePharm and still be faithful to your wife because of all the girls everywhere?” And I was like, "I just didn't go out." I just didn't put myself in the situation. If you go to the fucking strip joint, you rent a fucking Ferrari, and you want to give free fucking protein out, that's going to happen to you.
This is a perfect example of removing yourself from a toxic environment. I knew that I didn’t ever want to do that because it's so important to me. I couldn't come home and look at my kids. That's just not me. Some people can do that shit. I can't. I'd be too regretful and feel too guilty. You only have so much willpower.