Step Into the Fire, Come Out Stronger
What’s In a Name? What Does Red Hot Mindset Mean?
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I’m excited to share with you the message behind the name Red Hot Mindset. I want to establish what the name means and why it matters, but first, since this is the introductory episode to the show, I’d like to share a little more about me and my background so you know who you’re listening to on this podcast.
My name is Gabe Cox, and I’ve been married for 14 years to an amazing man, and we have three boys, ages 12, 10, and 6 as of this recording. My oldest boys are competitive gymnasts, the oldest an elite with huge aspirations of his own. My youngest son is a wrestler and keeps bugging us to start mixed martial arts. He is a feisty little thing sitting at about 30 pounds, but he’s a force to be reckoned with! Pretty much all day he’s either doing his workout or punching and kicking the air practicing his skills. I am a boy mom through and through, and our house is loud and crazy, filled with risk and adventure, and there’s never a dull moment.
We love all things outdoors, but my favorite pastime is running! As you’ll find out in future episodes, many of my life lessons stem from my running, and one of the reasons I run is because it challenges me to do hard things and helps me to realize that I am capable of more than I think I am. Running creates disciplines that leak over to all other areas of my life, and I love that!
I studied both print and broadcast journalism as well as communication studies at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, and though I never formally entered into that career, I feel blessed to be able to hone in on those skills as a writer, coach, and podcaster! Since I can remember, I’ve wanted to be an author, and I can’t tell you how amazing of a feeling it was to see my first book go live to the public last fall! Through many emotions, setbacks, and victories, I was able to realize that dream come true.
My book is called Mind Over Marathon: Overcoming Mental Barriers in the Race of Life, and I wrote it based on the mental training and success principles that I used to achieve a qualifying time and bid to the 2016 Boston Marathon. Runners love and resonate with it, but the actual running part is optional! The book is actually chock-full of success principles to take your dreams from inception to a flourishing finish. At the end of each chapter, I provide a short faith devotional, reflection questions, and an application that you can implement immediately in your life as you work toward your own goals. If you’re interested in checking it out, you can snag two free chapters at www.redhotmindset.com/mindovermarathon. I’ll make sure to leave a link to it in the show notes as well.
While writing that book, which was five years in the making, I realized I wanted to help others break through their mental barriers so they can run their best race, live their best lives, and achieve their own dreams, and that’s when the thought of Red Hot Mindset was conceived. My mission is to help you step into the fire and realize your full potential so you can boldly go after your goals.
You may wonder, what does the podcast name signify, and what does it have to do with mentality? Why Red Hot Mindset? It goes a bit further than just the fact that I have red hair or tried forming a “Red Hot Club” in college exclusive to redheads stemmed from feeling left out of the blonde versus brunette drama. The simplified version is this: Why Red Hot Mindset? Because in order to go through the refinement process and crush your goals, you have to be willing to step into the fire.
The refining process is all about applying heat to draw out impurities. It’s kind of like an onion. You have to peel away one layer at a time. That’s what refinement is. Little by little, over time, each layer is peeled away to expose a new layer and eventually create something beautiful.
The heat slowly breaks away any and all mental barriers that are getting in the way of achievement. The heat is the training process. I think about this in running — actually, most everything I think about relates back to running! When we are training for a specific race, we find a training plan to follow. Sometimes we look at that plan and don’t understand why we have to do the scheduled tempo or hill workouts that are listed. We ask ourselves why they matter if our only goal is to finish the race. But those specific workouts are the heat in the process. They are what get us out of our rut of the same mileage and the same pace, workout after workout, day after day. The hard workouts that break up the mundane paces are what change us!
Many times we get caught in a routine or create habits that seem fine on the outside, but over time they’re not really doing anything beneficial for us because they have become a pattern of the same thing over and over again without different results. They aren’t having a profound effect on our lives.
Those hard runs that we don’t want to do are the ones that matter. They push us to another level. They bring us out of our comfort zone. And, honestly, they make us feel like true athletes because we’re doing the hard things. When we do the workout we don’t think we can do, it slowly breaks away the mental barriers of can’t and changes our vocabulary to “I can, and I will.”
To be Red Hot means you’re willing to be put under pressure, to go through the fire, so you can come out stronger and able to break down the “walls” blocking your way. We can’t have a breakthrough without stepping up to do something about our current circumstances and the “want” to change them. What are the walls or giants? They’re the lies of our past that tell us we’re not good enough or that we don’t have what it takes. They’re the influences in our lives that want to keep us small and sheltered because they think they know what’s best for us better than we know ourselves. The walls are our low expectations or our limiting beliefs that stand in the way of us climbing our way over.
I know you know what I’m talking about. I’m not the only one that has dealt with the skeletons in my closet or buried my insecurities deep down and replacing them with a smile on my face. We all have our own internal battles to overcome, and once we realize that, it makes it easier to move forward. Just because someone appears to have it all together doesn’t mean they do. We are all in a constant struggle to better our lives by changing our current circumstances or refining ourselves. Stop comparing your worst to everyone else’s best. Comparison will steal your joy and stunt your growth. Compare you to you. Set a standard for yourself to improve on your own race times or past victories. Run your own race and work to better yourself.
All runners experience the WALL at one point in their lives, usually during a race between miles 18-22. That wall seems insurmountable and paralyzing. It puts doubt in our minds that we can finish or that we even have what it takes. We second guess our decision to run the silly race altogether! It makes us want the easy way out. It endeavors to take us out of the race! The WALL actually occurs when our glycogen levels are off, and it creates the phenomenon where we feel as though we can’t push any further, and the feeling can sideline us if we aren’t careful. Mindful preparation, knowing the right fueling, and pacing ourselves can keep us out of that uncomfortable zone, but not always. You never know WHEN that wall will come, and you always have to be prepared to crush through it. The refining process, the training process, is what will get you to be mentally tough enough to push past. You just need to remember that your breakthrough is on the other side of that wall. We cannot have a victory without a struggle. We cannot win without a fight.
None of us like to go through the trials and tribulations of life. Let’s be honest, none of us like change! Change is hard. Change takes us out of our comfort zone, but it’s also necessary in order to grow. Trials can seem unfair, and they are never easy, but when we use the trials, we can grow through them, and they chip away at our weaknesses and draw out our strengths if we let them. We all have our rough edges, but little by little we can whittle away at our fears and insecurities, and underneath lies our faith and confidence. God doesn’t cause the bad in our lives, but he sure can take our messes and turn them into something beautiful. Will you allow him to do that for you? Stepping into the fire means you are willing to change.
A blacksmith can take old, used, dilapidated steel or iron pieces and turn them into useful tools and resources such as nails, axes, and smooth faces for special hammers. When we were on a family vacation in Virginia a few years back, we witnessed a blacksmith at work in the interactive Jamestown and Williamsburg museums. It was fascinating!
He took a regular piece of steel and turned it into a nail with a sledge over a raised brick hearth and a soft-coal fire. It was the neatest thing to watch because it took precision, but watching the metal and how moldable it was through the heat of the fire was almost magical! It transformed from this rock-solid piece of metal that literally had no use to a tool with a purpose. My boys loved watching the process, and they each were able to take a nail home with them as a memory of the trip.
The definition of refinement is the process of removing impurities or unwanted elements from a substance, or the improvement or clarification of something by the making of small changes.
To be “refined” means we are being made new. It means we are making small, subtle changes over time. When we are in the heat of the battle, when we are going through adversities, when things get hot or uncomfortable, those are our refining moments. We are being made new. We have to be able to withstand the heat in order to come out the other side refined.
It’s interesting because silver and gold aren’t beautiful in the beginning. These metals aren’t considered “pure” before they undergo their transformation. The heat draws out the imperfections and transforms them into shiny, beautiful, and valuable objects. The refining process is what purifies an impure metal.
I’m sure if the metal had feelings, it would initially hesitate being put through the fire. It would fight it. It would whine and complain and dislike the pressure in the given moment. It would be easier for the metal to stay the same, to remain useless, just a piece of garbage, rather than to endure that heat and torture.
Imagine it, can you see the pain the metal experiences in those moments? It’s put on fire and being shaped into ways it didn’t know possible. At the moment, that metal is not very happy with you. It doesn’t understand why you are putting it through the torture of the fire. But I bet you when it sees its reflection afterward and the major transformation it underwent, it would tell you it’s worth it. The metal transforms from a piece of garbage into a valuable resource. It now has a purpose and functionality that it didn’t have before.
What are some painful things you go through because you want to? You get a tattoo to express your individuality. You pierce your ears or something else for a little bling. You wax your legs or eyebrows so you don’t have to do it nearly as often and can still have smooth skin. Or better yet, having a baby! We put ourselves through that torture because of the end result. It’s a momentary pain for a lifetime of joy. We gain the most precious gift if we’re willing to endure 9 months of the unknown. And with however much pain we experience, it’s like the moment that baby is plopped into our arms, we forget the whole thing! What pain?
Think of stepping into the fire as a momentary pain as well, and it’s worth it to see how you shape up. It draws out your hidden potential and builds a confidence in you that you never knew existed. Would that be worth it to you? Would you be willing to step into the fire knowing it’s a momentary pain for a lifetime of gain?
The process of refining can take time. It doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s not instant gratification. It takes hard work, persistence, and patience. How do you test if a metal is pure? Do you know? I learned that all you need to do is look into the metal itself because if it’s pure, you’ll be able to see a reflection of your own image in it. What do you see when you look in the mirror? What you should see is the image of God because you were made by Him in His image. He molded and shaped you. He purified you. He leads you through the fire to shape and define who you are.
We talked a little bit about the blacksmith’s role already, and I want to talk a bit about a silversmith’s job because they aren’t quite the same thing. They take on different roles. The silversmith’s main goal is to eliminate all of the metal’s impurities so it can flourish. The silversmith draws out the metal’s purpose. The purpose was there all along, it’s always been there, but the silversmith helped fire the ugly layers off in order to see the metal’s true value. Let God be your silversmith. Don’t be afraid of the refining process. The heat of the battle is what changes you. Remember, you cannot have victory without a fight!
Don’t be afraid to step into the fire because it’s worth the momentary pain for a lifetime of fulfillment and purpose. When you look in the mirror see your true image as God created you. Let the layers peel away so you can see the precious jewel hidden within.
And that’s the depth behind the name Red Hot Mindset. My mission is to help you overcome your mental barriers in the race of life so you can realize your full potential. The refinement process is what transforms you! Don’t be afraid of it. If you stick with me, I’ll help you stick to your goals. We are going to step into that fire together and come out stronger. I believe in you!
Step into the fire and come out stronger!
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