When we're faced with a particularly difficult challenge in our lives, it can be hard for us to dig up the mental toughness we need to get us through. Segmenting makes it easier by keeping your mind off the big picture and on something you know you can do.
On The School of Greatness podcast, host Lewis Howes talked with former US Navy SEAL Eric Greitens. In the podcast, Greitens, the author of Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life, shares his experience of going through Hell Week, the toughest week of training in all of the US Military. If you're feeling overwhelmed with a challenge in your own life, Greitens suggests you do exactly what he did during his training and practice segmenting:
"...if you think about the enormity of making it through Hell Week, you actually can't mentally process it.... so what you'd do in Hell Week is you'd say 'I'm just going to make it to the next meal.' And if that was too much, you'd say 'I'm just going to make it for another 10 minutes.' Sometimes it's overwhelming to even think about getting out of bed... so what you do have to do is say to yourself, 'can I move my toes? Yes. Can I move my fingers? Yes. Can I take a deep breath? Yes. Can I open my eyes? Yes. Can I put one leg out of the bed? Yes. Can I put the other leg out? Yes. Can I put some weight on my heels? Yes.' Then you're standing up."
You may not be going through the same type of rigorous physical training, but breaking things down can help you tremendously. Instead of wondering how you'll ever get through a tough day, or how you'll manage to finish a project, stop and think about the things you know you can do. A lot of our anxiety and stress come from being overwhelmed with how big something is, but those big things are comprised of little tiny segments. Mentally block out the big picture, keep asking yourself what the next simple step is, and take it. The whole episode is worth a listen, so check it out at the link below.
How to Fall In Love with Pain: The Key to Resiliency and Success [The School of Greatness via Lewis Howes]