Originally posted at Rybo’s Memo — I GIVE UP on Mar. 5th 2017

Today. I did give up.

When I was in the gym doing my incline bench press, I got inspired by some muscular guy on Instagram so I was trying something new for the first time. Where I was holding one dumbbell up in the air with one arm, and pressing the other dumbbell with the other arm. Then switch arms pressing the dumbbells. Things went well as I was warming up, weights felt light. But…

When I got to my working weight, the new way of dumbbell presses made me suffer.

My left arm would be shaking while trying to hold the dumbbell in the air, and my right arm would also be shaking while pressing the dumbbell up.

10 Reps.

I’m only half way done.

Now I switch arms, and try to do 10 more reps with another arm.

By the time I got to the 7th rep, my right arm could no longer hold the dumbbell in the air properly, and my left arm is out of gas to push the dumbbell up.

I was suffering. I was in pain.

“You’re too weak for this.”

“Give up.”

“Just quit.”

I tried to battle with my mind, but I lost.

I did give up.

I dropped the weights and gave up.

I took a sip of water and looked at the clock.

Ensuring that I get ample of rest before my next set.

During my rest, I reflected about why I failed to complete my set. I reflected on why my inner critic dominated my thoughts.

I decided that I will do whatever I can to silence my inner critic.

I will tell my negative voice to shut the f*ck up.

OK. Let’s go!

Rep 1.

Rep 2.


Rep 6.

That negative voice sneaked upon me again while I was struggling with my 7th rep.

“Rybo. You know you can’t lift this.”

“You can’t do it. Give up.”

“Just drop the dumbbells and rest”

I tried so hard to silence the inner critic.

I made my 7th rep.

As I was struggling with my 8th rep.

The same voice came spoke in my mind, trying to persuade me to give up.

I ignored it. I focused on pressing the dumbbell hard.

I made my 8th rep.


I made my 9th rep.

During the mid-way of my 10th rep, the dumbbell felt like 1000 KGs.

I had no energy to complete that 10th rep.

My mind spoke dominantly and told me to drop my dumbbells because there’s no way I could finish that.

I somehow just didn’t give a sh*t about what my mind was telling me, and I told my mind to shut up. I focused on believing myself that I could finish that 10th rep. I could finish my set.

I pushed and I pushed.

Amazingly, an astonishing power came out of nowhere and helped me push the dumbbell up in the air and completed my set.

I finished my set!

I was so happy, I conquered myself.

I conquered my false beliefs.

I conquered my inner critic.

I don’t know what happened there.

It may be the adrenaline rush, but I really don’t know.

All I knew was that I became a better person after winning the battle within. It empowers me to pursue more difficult challenges moving forward.

It’s our natural human trait to be comfortable, and whenever we’re trying to step outside our comfort zones, our mind will try to pull us back to safety. Just like how my mind kept telling me to give up because “struggling” is outside of my comfort zone.

The only opportunities for growth are when we push ourselves outside of our comfort zones. When we struggle and embrace the pain that we’re going through. When we silence the critics outside and the critic inside. It is only when we face hardships, that we will grow.

We become mentally stronger by challenging our mental strength capacity day in and day out.

Don’t Give Up. Mental strength is a habit that we master through practice.

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Rybo Chen is an engineer by profession and a self-help enthusiast by passion. He is an aspiring blogger looking to share his thoughts and ideas one article at a time and hoping to help people along the way. More of his writing can be found at www.rybochen.com.