CrossFit Pagosa hired a coach many years back named Lao Tzu. He wasn't the best for lifting technique and tips but he had great insights on how to motivate each of us in our mental game. Coach Lao Tzu has two important concepts that he wanted me to emphasize: presence and actions.
"If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the moment"
It's the start before a WOD and you have expectations for "x" number of reps or rounds. 321 Go!.....holy shit I don't think I'm going to survivor this workout. Drop all pressure about the workout and just move, breathe, monitor your form, and be. The workout gets done and just be happy with what you did. Have no judgement whether you could have done better or worse or if you were happy. Acknowledge these feelings of performance but do not dwell on them. Make note of them and then go on with your day. As Coach Lao was advising: don't live in the past.
You woke up in the morning and due to your busy schedule you won't make it to the gym till 530pm. As you have your quiet moment in the morning you talk yourself into look at the WOD. You spit your coffee out of your mouth as you read the details of Miskimen's Wrath. You start thinking about the future, a possible and unrealized future, and how the workout will be so hard it will kill you. Coach Lao's words are being ignored about not living anxiously about the future, which by definition isn't even here! You decide not to show up. Such a poor decision. The only moment you have power over is the present. The only moment that you share with everyone else is now. Living, experiencing, and controlling now can bring peace.
Coach Lao was also tasked with how to be a great lifter, coach, team mate, WODstar etc. I thought he would come back with some Russian/Chinese workout program but he didn't. Whatever we want in life is only a manifestation of our mental health. Coach Lao summed it up perfectly in the quote below that we will end with. WOD hard my friends.
"Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny."