Two Simple Ways To Get Off Of The Struggle Bus

We ALL struggle! But, we all don’t have to ride the struggle bus.

No one wants to be on the that bus, where we repeatedly keep messing up, quitting, not following through, or letting others down.

The struggle bus’s only destination is to the pity party, where no one shows up, but YOU!

Here’s Three Simple Ways to Get Off Of The Struggle Bus

1) I immensely respect David Goggins. He’s an ultra-freak endurance athlete and the epitome of mental toughness. No matter what, he just keeps moving forward. He’ll walk right past the struggle bus!

David Goggins was asked at a conference “how do you keep going through your extreme races?”

He answered “what-if.” He starts to ask “what-if I can pull this off?” “what-if I can keep going and overcome?”


I’ve always said “what-if” never happened. Too often we ask ourselves “what-if” and there isn’t an answer because we are focused on the past and NOT the future.

Most of the time when we ask “what-if”, we are trying to re-create our own past. And it’s fantasy.

Google “what-if never happened” and see what pops up. Hundreds of scenarios that simply didn’t happen and the possible outcomes from these hypothetical events. (i.e. what-if 9/11 didn’t happen? OR what-if we caught that touchdown?)

But Goggin’s strategy of “what-if” is focused on the future!!

James Altucher asks us to wake up asking the questions of “what-if.” He states- When you start with “What if?” you start with questions instead of answers.

2) Jesse Itzler, who actually had Goggins move in with him for a month (Read: Living With A Seal) has a similar strategy.

He tells himself “remember tomorrow!”

Remember tomorrow how you’ll feel if you give up and stop? Remember tomorrow if you don’t finish and push-through!

Remember Tomorrow!

Both of these mantras are focused on the future and who we want to become!

3) One of my favorite lines from the Rocky Movies (and there are a ton) is from Rocky III. Apollo Creed is training Rocky in this movie and while Rocky is dealing with the typical battle against himself, Apollo drops some wicked knowledge on him.

There Is NO Tomorrow

So true, because if we approach everyday like it is our last, then we leave nothing to chance and seize this day and this moment for all it is worth…

Repeat any of these mantras to yourself when struggling and need to get off of that bus!

Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out all the books on Mental Toughness.  Please check out the podcast 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and  coaches about Mental Toughness and their Hinge Moment.

Two Mental Toughness Skills that NO ONE Talks About

I hate it when I hear others type! It drives up the wall, because of course, I’m awful at typing. I look at them like a pauper views an aristocrat. I mean, how dare they actually NOT look at the screen when they type- the audacity!

It has become a laughing joke if others who know my work see me typing. I am a pecker! I actually only use my two index fingers to type. I’ve written 5 books, a dissertation, thesis and a weekly newsletter using this method. I’m reminded about my shortcoming when I see others doing it so effortlessly.

Here’s the rub: It is effective, it is just not efficient. 

I was stubborn, errr, iron-willed. In high-school I REFUSED to take some typing class, because why would I ever need to type that fast?


I like it when my athletes have stubborn traits because it shows that they have the capability for belief in themselves. Stubbornness can cause them to not overly-question their ability or skills. Stubborn people question the answers and other’s suggestions. That’s the strong side of stubbornness.

However, stubborn people are also the most difficult people to work with and coach. A stubborn person alone by themselves is in poor company. 

They often like to argue just for the sake or arguing. Stubborn people are rarely wrong, which means if you would just do things the way they wanted, all would be great.

The toughest part is that they just REFUSE to change.  Sure, they may dabble in the realm of improvement but they revert right back to their old ways under pressure or duress.

Stubborn is a key to mental toughness, but by itself can easily fade into insanity, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Stubborn MUST be balanced with being coachable.


I first met coach Chuck Pagano at the NFL combine. After introducing myself, the next thing out of his mouth was a question; he asked, “what do you emphasize with your athletes?” I had my answer and we chatted about it. I think it was a good answer, I’m not sure.

But, here is an NFL coach and he asked ME a question? I doubt Bill Parcells would have done that. So, here was my conclusion: he was just trying to get 1% better.

An easy tell if someone is coachable is the number of questions they ask. A coach’s favorite words to hear are “Can you watch this and let me know what you think?”

“How’s that working for you?”  That’s the question I need to answer.

If you have a stubborn athlete or employee, but they remain coachable, you’ve got a winner. It means that they are open to change and willing to receive feedback.

Stubborn and coachable is mental toughness. 

If you have someone is stubborn but uncoachable, the solution is to emphasize the relationship and construct the trust.You have to get creative with stubborn, and ensure they are the one’s who came up with the idea. The walls of uncoachability often come slowly down the more he/she knows that you care about THEM and not just their PERFORMANCE.

dr rob bell

Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out the most recent books on Mental Toughness-