Posted on October 20, 2010


This is the cycle your muscles go through in order to get stronger, leaner, denser, bigger. Without going through it, you cannot expect your muscles to change in any way. If you lift a 5lb weight every time you workout, your body won’t recognize that as a challenging enough stress to foster the micro-tear needed to rebuild the muscle stronger than before.

The same is true for everything we want to grow in our life. Things do not grow, get stronger, and adapt without some kind of stress forcing the change. It doesn’t have to be bad to be considered stress – the birth of a child is the furthest thing from a ‘bad stress’, but without having one, you can’t expect to adapt your energy levels to what is necessary to keep up with a child. You can practice for it but your brain, your body, your emotions, none of them can act like a parent until they are a parent. Becoming so busy your email never stops beeping at you with new clients/orders/ business deals going through is really far from being a bad thing, but until you’re in the thick of it, you can’t really know the steps to take to handle it all with ease.

To grow stronger/better/faster/smarter/better at anything you must:

Enter stress into your happy little comfy life. Recognize stress- react to it. React correctly-growth happens. React incorrectly- injury/breakdown occurs.

Do you see any opportunities to mess up that equation & create more stress rather than growth? I do – and have done it a few times. Let me share the lessons I’ve learned so that you can adapt quicker than ever as you go through the stresses in life & in workouts.

– Recognize stress: You’ve got to place things in front of yourself (or find them in front of you) that are harder, bigger, more challenging than what you were doing before, or you’re not going to change your behavior to grow stronger. Increased efficiency, improved mental focus, better time management – you have to do what you’re currently doing BETTER if you’re going to grow from the stress. And only having to do the same thing over & over again does not create the chance to react to the stress & adapt, grow & learn.

– React: Change your tactic, dig deeper into your ability to hurt, mentally shift the way you respond.

Trying to lose weight & not succeeding? Change tactics! If we can both agree that what you’re doing isn’t working – now is the time to change. Why would you wait?

Trying to achieve a new PR/plank time/endurance level? Dig deeper! You already know how to do what you’re doing, you do not yet know how to make it through the new accomplishment, but the road to success starts just beyond where you’re currently standing. So get moving.

Reacting in full freak-out mode when you struggle to adapt to fitting workouts, work, life, kids, etc. all into your day successfully? Or even potentially worse for your optimal health – not reacting at all & throwing your hands up in “I give up” attitude & doing none of it all? You’ve got to look at it differently! You’ll create what you tell yourself you see. Paint your own future by visualizing yourself accomplishing it all – not perfectly, because who’s perfect? But with calm, focus, & determination. The last thing your body needs is adrenals that go ka-put because you freaked out a few too many times & ran your adrenals into the ground.

Sometimes it takes a slap in the face to remember that without stress, you will not breakdown & thus, adapt & grow stronger than before. Stress is hard. Stress is uncomfortable. Stress (when done right) = success.