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Who are You Becoming on the Way to Black Belt?

One of my favorite quotes from the late Bruce Lee is, "As you think so shall you become." Too often we either neglect or even ignore our mental training. Are you constantly building yourself up or tearing yourself down? The difference between mastery of your art and just being average is how and what you are believing about yourself. Grandmaster Atchley spent over a year re-training not just my technical knowledge but also my mindset. During that time, I discovered that mindset is the razor's edge between mediocrity and standing out.

Personally, I often have to re-focus my mind on the things that make me strong. It is easy for me to start to doubt my skills and training if I let it go unchecked. Try to remember where you started and how far you have come. You are your most fearsome opponent. Your fears and self-doubt can sabotage all you have worked for if you let it. Keep your mind focused on your goals and remember who you are. It is highly important that you see yourself as who you want to become. If you can't visualize it, you can't have it. Let that mental image of you reaching your goals slowly change you into what you have a vision of. See yourself with a new personal best in the gym. See yourself winning that competition. See yourself becoming a black belt. Your body wants to change and adapt, but you have to feed your mind a picture of what you are wanting!

Losers constantly focus on their losses, not their wins. Meanwhile, winners focus on the wins and use their losses as learning experiences, not failures. When I lose a match, I watch the video footage and try to find where my mistakes are. When an opponent beats me, it makes me better. It is all in the mindset. Instead of dwelling on the loss, I focus on how much better I will become.

Bottom line: If you want to achieve black belt, you must see yourself as a black belt. Begin to act like it. Be confident and kind, never prideful or selfish. Show the utmost respect and courtesy to others in a manner befitting a black belt. Every black belt that ever lived had to start somewhere. Push forward and become what you are thinking!

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