stop unhealthy comparisons

3 Ways To Stop Unhealthy Comparisons

Most of what I read is about how to stop comparing yourself to others.

The “comparison is the thief of joy” stuff.  It makes perfect sense. Even in my first book, Mental Toughness Training for Golf:, I extensively wrote that one common way to lose confidence is to compare yourself to others.

 I was wrong.

It’s our natural tendency to compare ourselves, in fact, since the age of about six years old, we started doing it all the time.  

We are in a constant state of evaluating to those around us in all areas of life. 

This type of beauty contest comparison is what causes internal strife because we often end up in a state of “I’m not good enough.” The media and advertising world pray on all of us by comparison. It’s unavoidable. 

No matter how good we get, there is always someone better. Even if we are the best, it’s not for very long. It’s the mountaintop fallacy. 

I previously subscribed to the belief that we should ONLY focus on getting better and comparing ourselves to our own level of improvement. I still believe this, but, there are healthy comparisons that we are we missing! I mean if we are the average wealth of our five closest friends, isn’t that dependent upon comparison?


We need to recognize and stop unhealthy comparisons and simply find more productive ways to do it. 

Unhealthy Comparison #1- We focus on the differences

“We judge others using their highlight reel, while we judge ourselves by what happens backstage.”

We regularly find the differences between others, our competitors, about why they are better than us. Or, we find differences about why we are superior.

Both of these are why we need to stop unhealthy comparisons because they put us in a position of inferiority or superiority. We are relying on our comparison to feel confident about ourselves.

The healthy alternative is noticing and focusing on the similarities between others puts us in a state of equality and forces us to pay attention to what we can control. Besides this comparison becomes an excellent way to build our confidence! 

 Unhealthy Comparison #2- We become envious

“We need to focus on our ‘why’ and others ‘how’.”

We find someone who is better than us or has something we desire and we get envious.

We think how awesome it would be for us to have that talent, status, or car. 

We may even ponder “why” they deserve it. We need to stop unhealthy comparisons because it puts us in a state of negativity and reinforces the belief that we are not good enough

Instead, the healthy way is to replace the envy, and use that individual again as a model.

Focus on “how and “what” they did to achieve that goal and how we can do the same.

Unhealthy Comparison #3- We notice only people better than us

The way that we improve is to use these models of people who are better than us, find out their how, and use it ourselves. But, we need to focus on people worse off as well. 

In the interviews for my 2nd book, The Hinge: The Importance of Mental Toughness, I came across people who had lost a child.  It is the most difficult thing any parent or person can probably experience.

I interviewed different parents who lost a child at birth, 2 months, 2 years old, and 20 years old. Each of these circumstances were different and painful, but it put into perspective that no matter how bad we have it, someone has it worse. My interviews with these strong people revealed that the manner in which a child was lost had a major impact on the grieving process. 

The pandemic put a lot into perspective for us. If we adjust our lens the correct way, then we can see the benefits and the good. When we focus on the things we are grateful for, it develops an action of gratitude.

Once we begin to count our blessings, it gets tough to stop.


dr rob bell speakerDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes and is based in Indianapolis. Some clients have included three winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. 

Please Check out all the books and the mental toughness podcast - 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and coaches about Mental Strength and their Hinge Moment. New blog posts are published weekly. 

mental toughness

mental toughness

Accountability is the missing sauce of mental toughness

I knew training for my ironman would be hard. I had approximately 90 days to prepare for this grueling 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 26.2-mile run.

Which part of the race or training would be most difficult for you?

The bike was the hardest for me, namely because I didn’t even own a bike and it would be about a 6-hour ride during the actual race. 

I had to train hardest for the bike, so I knew I had to join a team. A cycling team. It would be the only way to learn many of the intricacies and nuances and strategies I would need. 

5 epic mental toughness lessons from my Ironman

I first found a group ride on a Sunday afternoon with a local bike shop. I showed up uneasy and insecure because I didn’t know anyone, nor had I ever ridden in a large group before. Now, I was an athlete, so I could always handle my own in any athletic sphere.

There were about seven or eight riders ready to go that afternoon as they talked about the instructions and directions. Five of us were going to do a very manageable 33-mile ride, which would be great for my first ride. It was also a “no-drop” ride, meaning everyone stays together. This is opposite of a “no-apology” ride where no one waits for one another and you either keep up or get dropped. 

As we entered the backcountry roads in Indiana, the small group of us started to splinter. I was working as hard as I could, going 20 mph, but the lead three riders started to pull away. They got further and further away in the distance until, poof, they were gone. Okay, I thought, I know where this road goes, they’ll be there waiting for us.

When I and the other lone rider showed up to where the road ended at a split, they were gone. They left us! 

In a no-drop ride, they dropped us.

It was now just us two. We couldn’t just turn around because we still wanted to get our training ride in and find the other riders. It also was not panic time, we just had to find them on one of the routes. 

However, we did not pick the best route.

We rode and rode and while I had a general sense of the roads and direction, there are some back roads that are not friendly, nor conducive to bikers. It became obvious that we did not go in the same direction as the other riders and so we were left to fend for ourselves.

What was not cool was a thunderstorm forming off in the distance. Accountability is the missing piece of mental toughness. There was no accountability for the other riders and they didn’t care. What was supposed to be a 33-mile ride, turned into a forty-nine-mile ride across some heavy traffic and a flat tire. 

Let’s just leave it with “I didn’t join that group ride again.”  I was fortunate enough to join up with an awesome group of riders in Team Heroes. 

Let Us Become Your Mental Toughness Coaching Resource. 

What is accountability?

“An obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.” 

Too often, however, this goes bad.  

I’ve seen the best of intentions on signed contracts, pledges, or agreements. They sound great but rarely work. They are more about looking good rather than actually making a difference.   Having people sign agreements is similar to having them commit to SMART GOALS. 

People are going to make mistakes and mess up. 

Those that signed an agreement or pledge however to NOT mess-up are now bound by law. When and if they do stumble, they are now under the thumb of extreme shame for the mistake. 

They often can’t come clean because they are in an abyss. What happens is that they become great liars. The agreement once propped up as a show of pride turns into an awful reminder.

Accountability cannot work that way! Accountability as a secret sauce of mental toughness can only be accomplished if it comes from love, non-judgment, and a place of safety!

Four ways to build accountability

  1. The team must be established. There are group norms and a culture where what happens here, stays here. If a group cannot trust each other and do not feel safe, then accountability won’t work. 
  2.  People have to determine their own accountability. How do they want to be held accountable? Is there regular follow-up or meetings? Who is excluded or included? 
  3. Protect the mission. Accountability works when everyone is committed to protecting the mission. No one person is greater than the mission and if someone’s actions jeopardize the mission, everyone is at risk. If drinking the night before the game puts the team at risk, what will prevent it next time?  When people hold each other accountable, it is because there is a greater good at stake and they are just protecting the mission.  
  4. Sign an eyeball contract. Coach John Groce has his players form an eyeball contract. The culture is such that in the huddle before practice, players have an eye-ball contract. The eye-ball contract means looking in someone’s eyes and knowing that you will give your best and they will give their best! Eyeball contracts take mental strength.

dr rob bell

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.   

Please check out the podcast 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and coaches about Mental Strength and their Hinge Moment.

measure mental toughness

measure mental toughness

How We Can Measure Mental Toughness?

We are all about measurements in society. Hence, it’s why I receive a “survey” after every visit to any store or airport. 

We measure what we treasure.

There are a good number of measurements and a ton more definitions of the ubiquitous term. These definitions and measurements come not only from academics but coaches of all kinds as well. 

While some definitions are good, most seem to baffle us, or the term is used to over-simplify and describe ALL mental skills. 

As many posts before this one, I’m a simple is powerful type of coach. We define mental strength as 1) How we perform well under pressure and 2) How we deal, cope, and handle adversity. 

That’s it! Simple. 

Now, both of these circumstances are a matter of when, not if, they are going to occur. We will all have times of pressure, these “have-to” moments, and we will even more frequently have times of stress and adversity. 

In our podcast- 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness, we ask every one of our experts to define grit and while each answer varied somewhat, every definition included ADVERSITY! 

Let us never forget that adversity is sneaky. 

So, how can we measure it? 

It’s a question that I was not able to answer early on in my career because it was so subjective. 

Yes, we can look at results.

But too often, we only look at the results, the outcomes of events to decipher whether someone or team was mentally tough. Yes, Tom Brady coming back to victory from 23 points down in the Super Bowl is an example of mental toughness. But, grit is also going 0/3 in baseball to finally get a game-winning hit in the 9th inning.  

Being mentally tough does not mean being in the zone or flow. 

Winning a golf tournament by 8 or 12 shots as Rory and Tiger have done is NOT the best measure of psychological toughness. It’s just a peak experience! Now, being in flow is a top of the line, best ever, type of performance, but it’s more of preparation meeting opportunity. Of course, both of these athletes, Rory & Tiger, are mentally tough; one does not get to where they are without having it, but there are better examples of fortitude and resiliency, like Tiger Woods coming back 12 years later to win The Masters. 

The way we measure it more accurately, however, is to first determine what we consider to be the most important mental skill. 

Let Us Become Your Mental Toughness Coaching Resource. 

To measure mental toughness is indeed subjective! But so is happiness, joy, peace, attitude, and patience! No one denies that these are all important attributes, but every one of these are also subjective. Instead of trying to paper and pencil test it, we can still peer into real-world examples to measure it. 

People and players do not do what you expect, they do what you inspect. 

If we consider effectively letting go of mistakes to be an accurate form of mental strength, then let’s look for those situations when they occur. That means examining one’s response after a mistake has occurred. Or, let’s say, we consider determination or drive to be the best measuring stick. When these opportunities arrive like sticking around after practice or showing up early or practicing on our own, that’s how we measure it. 

If never giving up is what you consider to be mentally tough like I do, then, look at examples of never giving up and perseverance. 

Next, there simply has to be adversity. Whether it is inherent in life or sport or if we create it ourselves. The more adversity, the better the opportunity. 

Now, the most difficult part of measuring it also means staying away from the all or nothing trap.  

Mental Toughness is NOT all or nothing. It’s a matter of how much?

How much did this person or team exemplify grit and resiliency and coping with adversity? It requires looking past results and asking questions and hearing how they processed information. 

Indeed it can be measured, we just have to know what it is that we are looking for! The beauty about it is that we will witness failure after failure when it comes to this mental skill. No matter how many times we have failed, it STILL ONLY TAKES ONE! 

dr rob bell

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.   

Please check out the podcast 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and coaches about Mental Strength and their Hinge Moment.

mental toughness lessons

mental toughness lessonsmental toughness lessons 

I recently spoke to James Lawrence, The Iron Cowboy on my podcast 15 minutes of Mental Toughness. He completed 50 Ironmans, in 50 days, in 50 states.

I did one. 

.0007% of the world’s population complete an ironman every year. Walking down the street in the United States and you’ll meet 1 Ironman in every 1000 people. Guess it depends on your circle, because I’ll see four or five Ironman calf tattoos during every road workout. 

The entire race for me took longer than it was for us to drive from the Eastern Shore back to Indianapolis. 

Here are the 5 Epic Mental Toughness Lessons I Learned from the Ironman. 

1. Have a Why

If not now, when? If not you, then who? I couldn’t answer those questions!

When Rob, When? 

I once wrote down one hundred things that I wanted to do before I died. A full Ironman was on there. But, that was not a deep enough present-day why. 

My major “why” had to do with others. My family, Josh Fugate, Izzy, and Tyler Trent. A friend from church, Todd Dolbeer passed away from pancreatic cancer days before the race and I thought about him as well. 

Your why has to make you cry, if it doesn’t it’s not your why. 

There simply will never be a perfect time for anything challenging and epic in our lives. We are all too busy! So, quit getting ready to get ready and just do it. 

2. Face Your Fear and Do It Anyways

I started training on July 1st. I had 90 days to prepare for the race…

My biggest fear was the bike. Not only did I have to borrow a bike again, but I needed to get serious training and miles!

So, I joined a Cycling team/group. The first group ride I joined was with about 12 other cyclists who all had the same jersey on and seemingly top of the line bikes. 

It was like try-outs for a team of one. It was the first day of summer camp when you knew no one, except everyone else knew each other. 

I had no jersey and didn’t know how to ride in groups. But, I faced the fear and did it anyway.

I was an athlete, so it all came back to me. But, this cycle repeated itself several times with different cycling groups. I got a little better during every ride and closer to my goal and just like summer camp or a new team, eventually made friends. 

Face The Fear and Do It Anyway!

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows.

I was taught some mental toughness lessons along the way. I got dropped from a ride twice and had a bad crash during one of my 100-mile rides, but always kept the goal in mind of the Ironman. 

By the time of the Ironman race, I had logged over 1400 miles. 

Check out the article by NYC Running Mama about lessons learned from her ironman Journey(i.e., there is no need to fear the unknown). 

3. Enjoy The Journey

Everyday was a training day…

I took the attitude that there was NO tomorrow.  So, my goal was not only the miles and the workout and the challenge, but it was also a mental toughness lesson about focus. 

I made it a point in training to focus on the moment and to focus only on this workout. This was my strategy to enjoy the journey. I got to ride all over Indiana and run crazy miles on the trail and see different places that I wouldn’t have without this race. 

More importantly, I got to meet and train with different people and became friends with these individuals! They helped so much with various parts of preparation.

People and relationships are all part of the journey and has nothing at all to do with the destination. 

This skill of focusing on the moment translated directly into the Ironman race itself! I could only focus on just this mile!  I didn’t become all-consumed with trying to finish. I was just focused on making it to the next aid station. 

Check out this article by Will Turner on his lessons learned from his ironman.(i.e. Big goals are usually more daunting than you expect. )

4. Stop and Help Others

We live in an overly-sensitive, easily-offended, anonymous hating, and self-congratulating, world.


We can also live in a world where we are trying to create a better us and a better you! 

It depends upon on our attitude, outlook, actions, and which reality we create. 

I wrote the book NO ONE Gets There ALONE because a stranger stopped his own race during a 1/2 Ironman to help me, an idiot! And that Hinge moment made all of the difference in my life. 

I went into this ironman race with a lesson already qued up. It was “who are you going to help?” I had no idea who it was going to be of course, but it presented itself during the bike when a guy had a flat tire and I didn’t hesitate for a second.

I stopped! 

I also was able to pray with a guy before the race even began while we were waiting to go to the swim corral. He had some serious anxiety and was a believer, so I shared with him my only go to! Pray and if that doesn’t work, pray again!

5. There’s Always A Second Wind

During the Ironman, the race really starts when it comes to the run.

My first several miles were actually okay. But, like in life, things go bad and I started to have stomach cramps around mile 10. By mile 13, I wasn’t feeling good at all and started to get the chills and feel cold.

I saw this horror movie before in my previous races.

So, when I threw up on the course at mile 16, it was actually a relief. I felt better and was able to get moving. Except, I hadn’t eaten in a few hours and I didn’t want to eat, thus I had little energy.

Our second wind in life is always right around the next corner!  

I got my second wind at mile 21-22.

I was able to get a steady clip going and ran with another mate, named Greg Sinche, who suffered from a stroke at age 4! I also had him on my podcast.  We ran the last few miles together and I finished the race like I was running a 5k. 

I believe when we are at our best and others are doing the same, then it’s the easiest time to love on each other more. 

My times?

swim time= 1:21

Bike Time = 6:33

Run time = 5:45 ( :45 minutes of throwing up)

Total 13:58

Even after all the vomiting, I was able to get sub 14 hours, which was one of my goals. 

dr rob bell

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.   

Please check out the podcast 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and  coaches about Mental Strength and their Hinge Moment.

Two Simple Ways To Get Off The Struggle Bus

Two Simple Ways To Get Off The Struggle Bus

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

No one wants to be on 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 are Three Simple Ways to Get Off 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 run right off 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! Focusing on who we want to be will get us off the struggle bus! 

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 every day like it is our last, then we leave nothing to chance and seize this day and this moment for all it is worth…Perhaps we need to start treating everyone else like it’s THEIR last day. If we can help other people get off the struggle bus, then we will get off of ours! NO ONE Gets There ALONE!

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

top mental toughness coach

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.
Why I Am Doing an Ironman

Why I Am Doing An Ironman

“Your why has to make you cry, if it doesn’t, it’s not your why.” 

I was an utter screw-up in high-school. 

I got arrested and kicked-off the soccer team the night before my senior season began.

I was suspended from school for five days the day my senior baseball season began. I was called to the principals office and was actually in my uniform heading up to the field and informed of the punishment. 

Going into college, it got worse.

I fell off an 80-foot cliff during the first few weeks of starting college.

Nearing the end of my freshman year of college, I was involved in a head-on drunk driving accident. Thank goodness I was the only one that was injured!

Yeah. I know. 

All of the opportunities that I had worked for years prior, vanished. 

Could you imagine being my parents during all of that? 

Pain, regret, shame, anger, disappointment were emotions that became a consistent cloud over my soul wherever I went. 

Then, I was accepted into graduate school at Temple University and received an internship. I thought that they must have had the wrong guy.

The book I read before grad school began was- It’s Not About The Bike, by Lance Armstrong. I get the hate he brought on himself, but I digress.

There was a powerful quote in that book that read “If you ever get a second chance at life, you have to go all the way!” 

It became a mantra and I knew that although I wasted my talent in the past, I was still blessed with an opportunity.  I knew what I wanted to do and become, I wasn’t going to blow it. 

All the lessons that I learned in sports still applied-dedication, focus, commitment, and keep moving forward. 

My mess would become my message! 

I read everything! I ran marathons! I immersed myself into my field of sport psychology and mental toughness. 

I was still haunted though.

Yes, I was thankful and re-dedicated, but I was driven by my failures and fear of making sure I didn’t mess up again!

That motivation was driven by a hate for self that gets channeled in positive outlets, but a residue of anger and a belief of not being good enough remained.

Making your test your testimony is painful. It means being able to see how your own experience can benefit others. It means first being vulnerable, and who likes that?

So, the only way I’ve been able to navigate life without that cloud is to try and be of use to others. That’s why I’m doing an Ironman. 

I ran an Ultra in May and dedicated it to Izzy. #runforizzy.

My next adventure is a full Ironman Triathlon.

Ironman Maryland. September 29th…

2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 run…

Here’s my why…

Josh Fugate.

Josh just graduated high-school in May and in June he merely went down a slide head first. He fractured his c-5 vertebrae and was paralyzed from the chest down….
josh fugate

Boom, Hinge moment.

He’s a great kid! That should have been me.

So, what can I do? how can I help?

That’s why I am doing the Ironman Maryland.

If you feel moved to support Josh’s recovery, then by all means. If there is someone else you can help in life, then do that instead.

Be The Hinge for others…

#JoshsJourney #YouveGotThis
mental toughness Sauces

Marinate Your Mind With These Mental Toughness Sauces

I simply couldn’t take it. I got too worked up.

I could no longer listen to sports commentary. It seems silly, but I’d arrive at my destination stuck inside of my own head, agitated. That didn’t build my mental toughness. I needed to instead maximize my transitions! 

Sports media just pick individual athletes to highlight and now only point out the errors they make. They perpetuate the absurd notion of perfectionism. And I certainly can’t entertain a few grown men debating about all of the drama in sports. Like I seriously care what a grown athlete tweeted about another player. But, I listened…I was soaking my mind with a worthless mental toughness sauce. (I still listen to Jim Rome though).

We need to marinate our mind with people, places, and things that help us BE the BEST At Getting BETTER.

Here are the mental toughness sauces that we need to soak our mind in! 

Success Sauce

In times of suffering, we forget how tough we really are. 

Jon Morrow is a quadriplegic, and one of the most successful bloggers on the planet. He had to overcome challenges like we all do, but when starting out, he listened to podcasts and audiobooks for 6-8 hours every single day. After doing this over and over again, and marinating his mind with successes, he literal felt and believed that anything was possible!

The success sauce makes everything taste great! Rub it in!

We must watch and listen and surround ourselves with success. Marinate your mind with mental toughness sauces of motivating podcasts, uplifting videos, and successful people.

Suffering Sauce

Man and woman can only enjoy that which acquired from hard work and toil. The harder you work for something, the more you enjoy it. If something is easy, then how much reward is there?

You must do something that sucks, every single day! 

David Goggins calls it “Embrace the Suck!”

The mental toughness sauces of suffering simply means doing what you don’t want to do.

If you don’t want to write, then write, if you don’t want to workout, then workout. If you don’t want to mow the lawn, then mow the lawn.

When you train your mind and create situations that make you suffer, then when tough times in life approach, we’ve developed a resolve through suffering.

Gratitude Sauce

More, More, More. It’s an addict’s mantra!

We don’t have enough, are not where we want to be, and aren’t enough. Anxiety and stress come from looking at where we are and what we don’t have.

Gratitude is actually the secret sauce of mental toughness. It brings relief to the suffering sauce if we’ve put too much on.

Peace comes from simply being thankful for all that we do have. It’s not an attitude of gratitude, it’s more of an action of gratitude. We need to take certain steps and take action toward a grateful mindset.

Write out a gratitude list:

  • Be able to walk, run, skip, and play with my kids.
  • Loving wife.
  • A happy son and daughter.
  • My job of coaching.
  • Having a New PGA Tour winner!
  • The huge cup of water.
  • New deck furniture.
  • Planted three flowers with my daughter.
  • Shared a sprite with her.
  • Amazing sunset the other night.
  • Camping with a friend and ran 20 miles.
  • My podcast episodes.
  • many, many, many more blessings.

Now, take action and write out your own gratitude list. Marinate your mind with the mental toughness sauce of gratitude. Once we start to count our blessings, it’s easy to share them with others.

Passion Sauce

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson.

There’s an obscure scene in Rocky II. He’s drifted away from being a contender, has spent his money, and he asks Mickey for a job cleaning the gym and carrying spit buckets. When Mickey asks him “why,” he humbly replies, “I just have to be around it.”

Our why has to make us cry, if it doesn’t, then it’s not our why. The mental toughness sauce of passion brings us to tears.

When we win, we cry because we know how much we’ve sacrificed.

When we lose, we cry, because it hurts.

Our passion has to be the driver in our life. Life is HARD!

There are going to be setbacks and obstacles and horrible days and weeks. Other people will have success while you’re stuck. Too often we settle or go down a path because of the money, power, title, or prestige only later to find out that we do not like it. But then we’re stuck, because we’ve invested a ton of our time, and we’re even probably good at it.

If you do not have a passion for what you’re doing, then you’ll come up with an excuse for doing it.

If you don’t wake up excited about what you have to get to do, then look at your “why” and you’ll see it’s not specific. Passion is the prerequisite for anything we want to do, period.

Confidence Sauce

You owe it to yourself to be confident. Confidence is contagious! It’s a killer sauce of mental toughness. We need to rub it on everything! 

However, all of the hard work and sacrifice toward your goal becomes absolutely meaningless if you don’t believe in yourself.

If you second guess yourself, compare yourself to others, or only focus on the results, then you undercut everything you’ve done. It becomes a cheap currency.

A funny thing about confidence it that there is a nosy neighbor called doubt. Doubt wants to move-in with confidence. Doubt always wants to hang out with confidence, but they simply don’t get along well. However, that doesn’t keep doubt from following confidence around wherever confidence goes.

Wherever doubt lives, it does so, rent-free. Doubt is a squatter!

We can live successfully with doubt as a neighbor, but we can’t let doubt move in with us as a roommate and crush our mental toughness. 

Dr. Rob Bell Mental Toughness

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   Check out our podcast 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness 

Ways to act as if

[Infographic] 7 Helpful Ways to “Act As if” Toward Mental Toughness

I absolutely can’t stand the saying ” fake it until you make it.” Why do you want to fake anything in life on purpose, especially to yourself?

It’s almost as bad as S.M.A.R.T. Goals! 

We already fake enough.

We have social media profiles of our happy faces. We posture and become in the business not of being real, but of image management. So, please don’t fake it. 

Instead, here are ways to act as if.

The difference is that acting your way into right thinking is easier than trying to think your way into right acting. It takes commitment, mental toughness, and often a coach. 

Here is a fun infographic for you to follow to build your mental toughness by “acting as if.” 

ways to act as if


dr rob bell speakerDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes and is based in Indianapolis. Some clients have included three winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. 

Please Check out all the books and the mental toughness podcast - 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and coaches about Mental Strength and their Hinge Moment. New blog posts are published weekly. 


5 ways to crush some's confidence

5 Ways To CRUSH Someone’s Confidence (Do This INSTEAD)

This infographic was designed specifically for parents because I hate it when I accidentally crush my own kids’ confidence. 

But, below is good advice if you’re a coach as well.

Unfortunately, if you are a Lex Luther type of person who just wants to kill someone’s confidence, then do some work on yourself. 

I clearly remember my senior year of baseball when I made an error at shortstop. It was a hard-hit ground ball that simply jumped and hit me in the chest and I didn’t make the play.

I wasn’t that upset about it because it was a bad hop. But, when I got back to the dugout and coach called everyone together, he verbally challenged me if I could even play that position.

“Um, yes sir.” 


Now, I was never a great hitter, but I worked tons on fielding and felt I was a great short-stop. But that feedback from the coach, in front of everyone, made me question everything and wonder if I really could play that position. I deliver keynotes about it today! 

  1. Call out someone in front of their peers, that’ll crush someone’s confidence.

That experience and feedback stayed with me and frankly, I played like crap the entire year at shortstop. 

I don’t blame coach, I just didn’t have the mental toughness tools. I didn’t know how to bounce-back and not let that outside stuff bother me.  I didn’t know how to properly let go of mistakes.

It sucked and I wish I could go back and give that high-school kid some advice. 

It is easier to crush someone’s confidence than it is to build it up.

Confidence is contagious…

Perhaps this infographic can help.

Here’s the five ways:

1. ONLY tell them what they did WRONG. 
2. ASK, “are you nervous?” 
3. Tell them, ” It’s all mental.” 
4. Talk openly about other players, coaches, rankings, and winning. 
5. Blame the coaches! 

crush someone's confidence



dr rob bell speakerDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes and is based in Indianapolis. Some clients have included three winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. 

Please Check out all the books and the mental toughness podcast - 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and coaches about Mental Strength and their Hinge Moment. New blog posts are published weekly. 

instead of goals

instead of goals

In 2021, Do This Technique Instead Of Goals…

If you’ve followed me for an extended period of time, (and chances are you’ve haven’t), then you’ll have come across my disdain for goals.

I’m not against setting goals of course, they are effective! It’s just that goals get perverted into only outcome based objectives; we need to do this growth technique. 

In fact, here are some of our previous posts on goals. 

Why There is Only One Reason That Destroys Your Fitness Goals

Three reasons why SMART goals are stupid

Use this Top Gun Technique for Goals

Make Goals NOT Deals

The one way to FAIL at your goals

Three ways professional athletes crush their goals.

What happens AFTER you reach your goal? 

One of the major benefits that we need in life isn’t by looking forward as much as it is looking at our past or even our current state. 2020 taught us much about ourselves and our own hurts, headaches, and hang-ups. So, instead of goals, try this technique. 

When we examine how we are doing right now, our mood dictates our answer. If we are basking in the glory of a win or great performance, then we are happy and pleased. 

However, if we have recently not done as well as we liked, then we are sad and angry or depressed. 

Our mood fluctuates because we are conditioned by a mindset of scarcity. (Even if we are good, it’s not for very long). 

We often focus only on the negative and where we lack in life. You don’t have as much money as you want, not as much success, not as many friends or toys, or not as happy as you want.

We all look at life and are not content, even though we have all we need, we are still left wanting more…

I’m all about improvement and being the BEST at Getting BETTER. It’s just about approaching improvement and progress from a mindset of abundance rather than scarcity

In 2021, instead of goals this year, focus on gratitude instead. 

The benefits of thanks and gratitude are numerous and in fact, it’s where we need to start the process of getting better and improvement.  I’m not a believer in an attitude of gratitude.

It’s a myth.

I believe in an action of gratitude. 

We need to take certain steps toward having an abundance mindset. 

That’s why for this year, instead, try keeping a thanks journal. 

Write out and reflect on what is positive right now in your life, even if awful stuff is happening.

You can begin by focusing on people in your life and what you admire or are thankful about them. This is a choice, you can bask in the negativity of a loved one or the annoying quirk that they have, or you can be thankful for their good qualities or how they positively impact you.

Remember, everyone is a coach. 

Your gratitude muscle and abundance mindset will improve if you just keep a thanks journal a few times a week. 

Pray and if that doesn’t work, pray again. Take a few minutes just to be thankful. We don’t need to be in wonder of the splendor to be grateful, but to focus on the obvious and the mundane and to still remain grateful. 

I can wake up in the morning and be in a state of anxiousness right away by what someone else has or hasn’t done. Or I can take a few moments and address the blessings that are in my life that I take for granted.

It’s sad, but I take for granted my ability to walk, or work out, or access to fresh water, or my health or my kids loving smiles, or that I’m even alive!  

It’s a choice to be hateful or grateful. But we have to exercise this choice, it doesn’t come naturally for me. Or maybe it does for you! If it does, let me know how you do it. 

We can’t be hateful and grateful at the same time however. Instead of goals this year, focus on keeping a thanks journal, making gratitude close to your heart, and enjoying the little things that we take for granted. 

Remember, Make it a GREAT year, unless of course you have other plans.


dr rob bell speakerDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes and is based in Indianapolis. Some clients have included three winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. 

Please Check out all the books and the mental toughness podcast - 15 Minutes of Mental Toughness as we interview expert athletes and coaches about Mental Strength and their Hinge Moment. New blog posts are published weekly.