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Are You Mentally Ready?

Stew smith

When Do You Know You Are Ready to Go?
No Matter What the Challenge...

Pic Credit - D.McBurnett

Being mentally ready is more than just saying, "I will never quit." There are countless unaccomplished goals laying on the side of the road of life that started off with that phrase. While there are many ways to assess whether or not you are physically ready for any endeavor with only a few grey areas like injury prevention and physical resilience, there are not that many tangible methods to prove mental readiness. Sure, you can try a few gut check events to test your mettle and hope you do not injure yourself, but the ways to really assess your mental readiness, confidence in yourself, or mental toughness can only happen if you are truly honest with yourself. 

If you are not mentally ready, it is very likely you are also not properly physically prepared as well. Do this: run a complete battery of tactical fitness assessments. If you continue to ignore the events you are not good at doing and focus on acing only things you are already good/great at doing - you are neither mentally or physically ready to be successful.  

Here are some things to consider:

1 - Consistent Training - Were you consistent with your training EVEN when you did not feel like training? Training when you do not feel like it is a mental challenge and it happens near daily if you are training hard enough. You do not build mental toughness by a single event, you demonstrate your mental toughness by single events. You BUILD your mental toughness / readiness by being disciplined and training consistently. The power of waking up early and training hard when most people are not, no matter the weather, or how you feel cannot be overestimated on making you a more mentally ready person. Follow that up with a long day of work, school, sports (or all three) and you have a recipe for building the resiliency you need through a solid work ethic.


2 - Consistent Recovery - Not only does your training need to be consistent but so does your recovery. Are you eating the most nutritious food options for optimal fuel and recovery?  Are you avoiding activities that ruin your recovery? Getting drunk, smoking, doing drugs, eating crap food obviously interfere with your health, but also ruins your sleep which is the best recovery process we have for hard training performance gains. If you want to do something that requires optimal performance, you want to be at your best.  This requires understanding recovery. See Understanding Recovery

3 - Consistent Competitiveness - Whether you are competing with yourself or others all your life, having the drive to be better at something you are not particularly good at doing at first is a driving force for success. Training to compete - not just survive is a lesson you have to learn early otherwise minimum standards are an acceptable level of effort. 

Exceeding the standards IS the standard. 

One thing is for certain, "You will never think about quitting, when you are thinking about winning."

4 - Consistent Support - This is a tough one as you may have to turn the lack of support (or negative support) you receive upside down and use as fuel. If you are challenging yourself with an uncommon goal, you will have doubters and haters from those people not willing to work as hard as you are. Proving people wrong can be a good source of fuel when the long day's work turns into a longer night of the same effort. Hearing statements like, "You'll never make it." or "I bet you quit," are not the best things to hear from people you know the best or even love as family members. Remember, hearing comments like that is NOT a reflection of you - it is a reflection of the person saying it. 

Finding of group of like minded people who are training for the same goal is worth a truckload of gold. You will see people ahead of you on this journey and as they succeed it propels you even more forward. Sometimes, "we all need to see it to believe it."  Seeing people accomplish the goal you set out for yourself is quite often all the support you need as it is that powerful. Taking the impossibility factor out of your mental bag of processes is what we get when we see it done. Finding your own support network during your preparation phase is easier now more than ever with social media, web forums, and local / regional training groups. 

5- Consistent Review - You need to have consistent self-checks along your journey of preparation for any goal. Be honest and assess yourself truly - otherwise you are just guessing as you may be plateauing or even having negative results in your progress.  Assess yourself weekly in some way from physical events, academic challenges, and remembering your why.  Why are you doing this?  Is this goal you have really deep in your heart and soul, because if it is, you will be hard to beat. As Bath Ruth said, 

"It is hard to beat a person who never gives up."

If you truly want to have a never quit mindset, you have to hate quitting more than anything in life and that comes deep down from within your "how bad do you want this" piece of your heart.  How do you measure a person's heart? Many think you cannot by conventional means, but you can look at a person's journey to see what tools he/she has picked up along the way: 

Did your childhood offer you physical and mental challenges (life in general, sports, school, work experiences, tough schedule, consistent activity).  This is the foundation of work for many people - if you do not have this, you are start building it now. 

What have you accomplished in the past? How do you focus on goal achievement?  Do you have a method? Complete focus? Tireless efforts to achieve that goal (straight A's, sports team, team captain, awards, work advancements, etc). Consistency wins - try it if you lack many personal accomplishments. 

Why do you REALLY want to do this?  Having a solid answer to this question will be what fuels you when the days turn into night, hot/cold days, doing something you fear (heights, dark, murky water, bigger/stronger opponent), or when phyically very uncomfortable. What is YOUR WHY? 

I Am Ready....

At some point, you will say you are ready. Being ready to bring your game face to challenging events is really what you have to be able to do each day. You will continue to have doubts and wonder if you did enough to prepare - that is natural. But, knowing when you need to bring your A-Game to the party is part of being mentally ready for any event in your future.  After a life time of work and "preparation" you will be ready for these moments as you have built up the confidence in yourself and the ability to remember your WHY. 

Bonus Section

" If  you cannot stop thinking about it - don't stop working towards it."

If you notice there are two steps to this one as thinking about doing something is not the same as working towards it. In fact, we can break it down even more to help you:

You have to Know what you want to do.

You have to Know WHY you want it.

You have to Believe you can do it.

You have to Have Faith that you are going to get it.
(Faith is the removal of doubt). 

You have to Take Action – Thoughtful consistent action – aka WORK

Who Is The Tactical Fitness Coach / Author Stew Smith?

 I'm the former Navy SEAL that military recruits and special ops candidates go to for books, ebooks and online coaching to prepare themselves to get to and through intense tactical assessment and selection programs and qualify for service in their chosen tactical profession.  See More at

Check out the Complete List of Training Programs (Spec Ops, Military, Police, Fire)

We Have Answers For Beginners to Advanced Spec Ops Level Training Programs (see below)



DO NOT RELY ON THE MILITARY TO GET YOU INTO SHAPE AT BASIC TRAINING.  You will get into better shape for sure during your training if you arrive in lower fitness form, but you need to arrive with a foundation of physical fitness that is specific to your future job in the military / fitness tests / training. If you show up out of shape, you could end up failing standards or injuring yourself causing longer delays or removal from training altogether. 

For You Special Candidates (Get in Shape LONG Before You Join) 

High Intermediate Military / Advanced Spec Ops
Building Programming:

Which Program is Right For Me?
It Depends...Special Ops Candidates

The Pipeline of Training Options: 

It depends:  The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness is a classic and focuses on high rep calisthenics and running and swimming base.  You will build up your running over 12-18 weeks to 20 miles but very fast paced focus on both the 1.5 mile run for the PST and the 4 mile timed run for weekly run test at BUDS. If you are an athlete with a strong power / strength background in lifting and not running or swimming, Navy SEAL Fitness is ideal for you. IF you need some place to start Navy SEAL Fitness is ideal for you as well because a calisthenics base / running / swimming progression is a good place to build a foundation.  Though you will likely need to spend some time in the Navy SEAL Weight Training Book OR if Navy SEAL FItness is too challenging, go with Navy SEAL SWCC, EOD, Diver, PST Phase 1 Workout.  Phase 1 is a good starting point if Navy SEAL Fitness program is too tough. 

Navy SEAL Weight Training - This is part two (winter lifting phase) of my SEAL Prep program. If you have done the Navy SEAL Fitness (12 weeks to BUDS) program a few times and need a break, this is the next program that integrates lifting with the Navy SEAL Prep training. 

Other EBOOKS (Special Ops– Most of my programs tend to focus on getting TO and THROUGH a specific tactical training program.  So you may see a mix of all the seasons in some of these books, but if you are training long term, you can take advantage of Seasonal Periodization and save yourself some of the over-use, long term pains that tend to follow many of the tactical preparations - especially on the spec ops level of training. 

Start training today with workouts that focus on the specifics of getting to and through tactical profession training from firefighter, police, swat, military to special ops. We have programs to help you get TO and THROUGH training. We also have training programs to help you with training as you age in these professions (Tactical Fitness 40+ series).


Lifting Cycle Programs For Those Who Need a Strength Focus

You may have seen my Winter Lift Cycle that I discuss in the Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization article as well as have our actual lift programs we have done over the years in the following books.


It is not all just calisthenics and cardio at Stew Smith Fitness

Tactical Fitness, Tactical Strength, Navy SEAL Weight Training Workout, Weight Vest Workout,  Stew Smith's Fall Winter Cycle, Warrior Workout #2Maximum Fitness

These programs as well as my online coaching programs have Winter Lift Cycles in them as part of our Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization System. But, do not get these lift cycles confused with ACTUAL strength / power lifting programs, these are strength / power programs that also have a focus on cardio fitness maintenance BECAUSE you need to be good at all the elements of fitness and develop into an all-round Tactical Athlete.  

Most Recent Spring / Summer & Fall Winter Programs:
(click to read more)
Or Do You Want my REAL TIME Seasonal Periodization Training - Delivered Weekly?


Get Weekly Unpublished Workouts Tested and Evaluated by local Stew Smith Training programs. 

Stew Smith Fitness Membership – You have access to years of workouts for both beginner / intermediate and advanced / special ops levels of fitness. Each week you will receive new and unpublished workouts being tested by Navy SEAL veteran / Stew Smith CSCS and his local group of future tactical professionals in both basic training and advanced spec ops training programming. The latest videos, articles, and other programming will be part of the weekly data feed to members as well. We go through the Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization program one week at a time.

Join the Online PT CLUB:
One On One Coaching with Stew Smith

If You Need a More Personalized Approach to Fit Your Needs, Goals, Time per Day, Days per week, Facilities, Abilities, etc...Try Online Coaching

Questions?  Just email me at

At - List of Products and Services

  1. FREE Articles
  2. Podcasts and Swimming Videos at page  
  3. eBooks
  4. Books and eBooks in PRINT
  5. Stew Smith Fitness Club membership site
  6. Online Coaching   

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