The moment had come. I’d prepped for months, and was about to step on stage with 20 of the best physiques in the world. I had butterflies in my stomach, and I also had two options. I could walk into the bright lights focused on my competition, and exactly who I was up against. Or, I could smile big, hold my chin high, and think about the hard work I’d put into my preparation. Thankfully, I made the conscious choice of picking the latter, and as a result I cracked the top five. It was my 2nd IFBB figure competition to date and… I cracked the top 5!!
I’m a firm believer that more than 50% of how you look on the outside has to do with what’s happening on the inside. Inside your head, that is. Your prep for a bodybuilding competition is physically taxing, and it will push you to your limits. But the battle goes beyond your body. It’s mostly mental, and through my journey to the stage I’ve had to learn how to prepare not only physically but mentally, too. It’s something I practice regularly. In fact, I’m about as consistent with mental prep as I am with food prep. And boy, do I like to eat a lot!
My overall approach is based on optimistic thinking. Looking on the bright side goes a LONG way. Here are a few examples to help you understand my train of thought:
1. Instead of fixating on what I might consider “flaws,” I focus on areas of my physique I’m proud of.
2. I acknowledge all progress, no matter how small. In fact, I take each day one meal at a time. If I get everything in, and rock my workout… it’s a good day!
3. If I say something negative about myself, I come back with something positive.
4. I never compare myself to others, especially other competitors. I try to be the best version of myself, both mentally and physically. If you waste your time comparing yourself to others, you’ll only feel bad about yourself, and never have the opportunity to be your best you.
5. If I suffer an injury or hiccup along the way, I don’t think about my limitations or what I can’t do. Instead, I focus on what I can do and have the power to change.
6. When I step on stage, I don’t worry about what could happen or who might show up. I focus on my journey, and what I’ve practiced. I also have fun! You spend weeks and weeks preparing for a very short moment on stage… soak it up!
Practicing this approach is an extremely important part of the process, a process I feel everyone can thoroughly enjoy if you’ve got the right perspective. Think positive thoughts, love and respect yourself, and be proud of every accomplishment along the way. The confidence you achieve through this mental approach will shine through on stage, and no matter how you place you will have already won.
Fitmark Ambassador 2013