At some point in your life you've been told to "man up", "suck it up" or something similar.

It's usually said by somebody who has the intention of driving you to that next level of performance...

by reaching down deep inside your soul...

and coming up with a handful of something extra.

There are undoubtedly times when 'sucking it up' is highly productive.

I would say there are also times when it's pretty damn stupid.


I have some thoughts on the difference between the two scenarios, which actually lie at opposite ends of a spectrum.

It seems the biggest difference lies in your ability to do the task you need to 'suck it up' to do.

'Sucking it up' to perform a task that you can do with ease and without harm to yourself is purely about application of effort. 

'Sucking it up' to perform a task that you can't do easily can lead to a chain of problems.

It encourages you to find a cheat way to get the job done. 

The successful cheat often becomes a short-cut and the non-cheating methods become abandoned and forgotten.

The cheat now is the only way to get the job done. It feels normal.

But it is still a cheat.

It is often at your cost.


Let's take a concrete example...

Let's imagine you've 'manned up' to do your sport injured.

You've found a cheat, compensatory way to keep going. 

It works so well that even when you're healed, you still use the cheat without even knowing you're doing it.

You never get back to your original way of moving and your cheating strategy actually makes you vulnerable to further injury.

What worked at the time was a short term strategy that was never meant for the long-term but our nervous systems are so efficient they can make many abnormal sensations feel normal to us.


When 'sucking it up' is the road to ignoring your own bodily signals for what is good for you, it's essentially a road to a personal hell of reduced ability.

Reach deep down into yourself to max out capacity you have by all means.

Just don't reach for capacity you don't yet have.

Build it away from competition so that it's waiting there, deep down for you.

Don't write cheques your body can't cash,

Arton Baleci

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