Strong is a Choice Part 1

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Strong is a Choice Part 1

As a professional instructor and coach, a big portion of my job is research.  I am constantly researching better ways to teach, communicate, and develop strong leaders on and off the mat.


Over the years I’ve read a ton of books and articles, attended workshops and seminars, and watched countless videos on how to develop physical, mental and emotional strength.


The more I research, the more I’m convinced that very few people truly understand what strength is or much less how to develop it.  


Strength gives us the power to solve problems.  

Merriam-Webster defines strength as the quality that allows someone to deal with problems in a determined and effective way.  Being an effective problem solver requires physical, mental and emotional strength. 


One of my instructors, Tom Kier from Sayoc Tactical Group says,  

“Life is a constant battle with Fatigue, Frustration, and Fear.  We grow stronger by pushing past them.”  


Strength is a Choice…so is weakness

Your strength is the sum total of the choices you’ve made up to this point.  Every decision you’ve made, every action you’ve taken, even the very thoughts you’ve allowed to occupy your brain space have either been a positive or negative on your scoresheet of strength.


Weakness is easy…  

It’s easier to sleep in and skip going to the gym.  

It’s easier to grab McDonald’s instead of cooking a healthy meal.  

It’s easier to slap down the credit card instead of saving up and paying cash.  

It’s easier to sit on the couch…. you get it.


Getting stronger means making strong choices. 

It’s starts with owning your decisions and taking personal responsibility for where you are in life.  Our society is fraught with “victims” glorifying their weakness.  They wear it like a badge of honor, proudly proclaiming, “It’s not my fault!”  Too feeble to carry the weight of accountability, they carry excuses instead.  Hiding in their safe spaces to protect their fragile egos, they remind each other how special they are and that it’s ok to weak.


Watch what you say and hear…

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit- Proverbs 18:21.  Words have power- they have shaped our lives from the moment we were born.  History is riddled with examples of destinies altered by the words of prophets and fools.


Every single person can point to moment that their life was changed by something someone said…something a teacher said…something a parent  said..sometimes it’s the the things they didn’t say that affect us the most.


Words are nectar for our thoughts and the sweetest nectar comes from those we trust the most.  Words are the building blocks to our thoughts.  Thoughts are the building blocks of our actions and our habits are built on the framework of our repeated actions.  Habits lay the foundation of our character. 


The concept of Thoughts, Words, Deeds is ancient…I’m not going to spend time discussing it’s merits here…I just want to point out why it is so powerful.


The words that most carry the most weight are the ones we say to ourselves. 

What we say to ourselves bypasses all filters and gets the highest priority in our brain.  


Change your what you say to yourself.  When talking to yourself (or about yourself), use words that build up and edify.  Don’t call yourself names.  Never refer to yourself in the negative or define yourself with weak terminology.


There are plenty of articles and books on the merit and correct use of self-talk written by much by people more qualified than me…I encourage you to read more about it and verify it’s merits for yourself.  


Positive speaking by itself won’t make you stronger. It’s just a small piece of the formula.  On the other hand negative self-talk is can be extremely destructive.



Thanks for reading and stay tuned for part two!


Coach Epps