5 Ways that Crossfit Changes your Mentality and Self Esteem

Well, you decided to give Crossfit a try, did you? You saw all the pictures of those great transformations people experienced and want that for yourself.

You’ve had enough of that wibbly, wobbly stuff around your stomach and you are going to do something about it once and for all.

But as our most beloved Sport is going to change your body for sure, it is also going to have a big impact on your mentality as well. Here are five ways in which Crossfit will change not only your body, but also your mentality.


I remember when one of my coaches said to me, ‘You know, when you first came here you were all shy and guarded – and now, when you walk into the Box it’s like you want to say “Look at me, I am here, bring it on.'”

I took a minute and thought about it before realising that she had been right. In school I hated sports. I loathed P.E. so very much that I had nightmares before class. Therefore, I felt severe restraint working out with or in front of other people and I had problems with my body image. Crossfit changed that.

crossfit athlete male barbell cleanSource: RX'd Photography
Become mentally stronger

In half a year I had learned things I had never been able to do before and never even thought of doing. While trying and failing and trying and finally succeeding I became much more confident that I could master anything if I did try hard enough. Some time ago I also transferred this new won self-confidence onto other aspects of my life – I decided that I would not let myself be bossed around by what I thought other people would expect of me. And more often than not I catch myself thinking: “Oh, that seems hard – let’s try it.”


Progress takes time. When training Crossfit you will learn that – as your body composition changes slowly over months – your progress with every exercise also need to be well nourished by your patience. But trying things like Double Unders over and over again until you have finally mastered the movement can be one of the most satisfying and life-changing experiences you may have – everybody, who remembers their very first Muscle-Up or Handstand-Walk or what have you, knows what great feeling of conquer it is to have finally done “it”. In the long term this causes you to become more patient in other parts of life as well. You will realize that constant work pays off and more often than not will finally get you what you want.


One of the first things you learn at your local Crossfit-Box is that the expression “I can’t do that anymore” doesn’t exist.

cara sigmundsdottir crossfit athlete overhead walking lungeSource: RX'd Photography
We all start as rookies, even the top pros

When you observe a common WOD, you will see people spurring each other on to push themselves through the next few minutes of a gruesome Workout. The community encourages you to try harder and not give up. Within the first minute of my very first Crossfit WOD I knew I would finish any workout no matter how long it would take or how much it would hurt – just because I had seen how hard the others had slogged away.

You will establish routines of thinking “Oh, I can do one more rep of those [insert most hated excerise here]”. After a while, you will be able to transfer this resilience onto other aspects in life, always remembering that you can take on everything after you completed a total Murph-Workout!


As I said before, I myself felt weak and thought my body hated me, because I couldn’t do a handstand or even normal single unders. But as I got accommodated with the world of Crossfit, I also discovered that I was a pretty adventurous person.

Once we did Sledge-Pulls at the Box by pulling tires with a rope hung around our shoulders like a sash. Just before we had done Farmers Walks. I loved the Sledge-Pulls and my coach noticing that and asked me if I would like to combine the Sledge-Pull with the Farmers Walk. I thought to myself: “Cool, that sounds totally crazy, let’s do it.” And seconds after I was pulling the tire with my shoulders while carrying two 24kg kettlebells in my hands.

brooke ence crossfit athlete during wodSource: RX'd Photography
Brooke Ence destroying a WOD

I had so much fun with that workout – and I will always remember that when the next opportunity to try something crazy comes around the corner. What you can take away from this story is that Crossfit will encourage you to try new things. Since you have already learned that constant work pays off, you will also conquer your fear of trying certain things for the first time. Nobody other than yourself is going to stop you. That is what you will learn best through Crossfit, because at a certain point you have to do a workout you are afraid of – and that’s the time you will finally lose your anxiety.


A Crossfit WOD is a brutal, stressful entity of pain – every decent Crossfitter knows that. But what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, doesn’t it?

Crossfit will build up your stress-resistance not only for physical exertion but also for other aspects of life, work for example. Your boss is pissing you off? You got a deadline to meet? Well, all of that breaks down to the same principles as a Crossfit-WOD does: You are under a lot of pressure and you need to perform.

But Crossfit teaches you how to deal with that pressure. When you can say to yourself “I did 350 kettlebell swings in 10 minutes today” that isn’t going to finish your next presentation. But it allows you to realise that if you can manage such a bucket load of stress, you can also calm down and handle stress at work more effectively by noticing that nothing is as bad as it seems at first.

These are my five ways in which Crossfit is going to have an impact on you mentally. Do you have any others to add? Let us know in the comments!

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