Each of us has a particular physical and mental threshold for stress and pain. Some have very little resistance to external stress, and others have an enormous resistance to external stress. One of the primary goals of my training philosophy focuses on increasing onces threshold for external and internal stress. The external stress is developed by the amount of work that I make my athletes perform. The internal stress is the mental battle that plays in one’s mind when the going gets tough. I’ve seen a few of my athletes become conquered by the workout themselves. In fact I myself have experienced this a few times. Something that I should have been able to perform physically I can no longer do because of mental limitations.
There is only one way to increase ones mental strength: Perform workouts that are seemingly impossible, but not so impossible that they risk injury. Constantly challenge yourself.
In daily life, the goal is to push yourselves to points that you uncomfortable. In a sense, jump into the deep end of the pool and learn to swim. However, just as I spend time teaching my athletes how to perform each exercise correctly, you should prepare yourself by studying and practicing before you jump. For example, lets take the swimming example. Before you jump into the deep end of the pool, you probably want to do two things: 1) take some beginner swimming classes and 2) have a life guard nearby.
After about a month of practice, you can now jump into the deep end of the pool and force yourself to swim back to the shallow end. The fear that you will feel when jumping into the deep end will do one of two things to you: 1) make you panic and lose control, setting yourself up for failure, or 2) push you to your extremes, forcing you to succeed. The constant practice of throwing yourself out into the open, trying new things, and facing your fears will slowly train your mind and body to react positively to both internal and external stress.