A question I often ask my athletes is, “Are you satisfied with the result?” In reality, whichever way you answer I’ll be judging you, but the thought process behind satisfaction gives us important information to build on.

Often people will view being “satisfied” with an outcome as quitting. It’s a popular stance to claim you’re not satisfied despite winning, giving the implication that you’re going to go back and work even harder to become even better. The missing link here is the relation between satisfaction and motivation. Being satisfied with a result doesn’t mean you don’t want to improve, it just means you can appreciate the work it took to get where you are.

The potential downfall of the “never satisfied” attitude is a spiral of negativity towards the outcome of your work. Whether in or out of the gym, never allowing yourself to be happy with the results of your work takes away a lot of the meaning behind the journey. We always hear people talking about the importance of the journey. In the sport of CrossFit it’s perhaps more relevant given the time we spend training in comparison to competing. But, if you can’t take any satisfaction from the outcome of your journey, how can you motivate yourself to continue the journey?

We’ve all experienced at some point (or at least know others who have) a lack of enjoyment in training. One day you’re in the gym and you have a realization that you don’t enjoy being there and can’t wait until you’re done for the day. Maybe it’s just a one day thing when it’s just not clicking. Maybe it’s something that’s been building for a while and you suddenly realize it’s been there for the last month. That’s the time to sit down and re-evaluate your goals, figure out why you’re doing it, and what the journey has given you so far. In all likelihood, your enjoyment is stemming from the amount of satisfaction you’re allowing yourself to take from training and competing.

So, next time you’re frustrated with your training or question why you’re at the gym, take the time to write down the improvements you made in the past 6 months of training. Write down the things you’re proud of doing and what goals you’ve been able to achieve. Before you set yourself new goals, allow yourself to enjoy hitting the old ones.

Allow yourself to be satisfied.