Visualization and mental representation of your own self-image is the most important factor that either pushes or inhibits your achievements. Growing up, gymnastics did give me a great base for physical strength but I have learnt that physical ability is a minor contributor to reaching one’s potential.
“You are the person that either pushes yourself forward or holds yourself back.”
Just months before competing at Nationals for Power Lifting, the staff at CoreXcellence had suggested that I start reading the book Mind Gym. They had brought to my attention, that my mental perception of myself was lacking confidence and belief.
“To achieve anything you want in life you must first start by getting out of your own way.”
I knew deep down that I was able to lift heavier then the weight I kept placing on the bar but for some reason when I attempted to push my limit, I constantly failed.
“Fear of failure, more than any single thing, keeps people in sports and in all avenues of life, from realizing their full potential.”
A few chapters into the book, I became hooked. Mind Gym is not only a guide to inner excellence for athletes but can also be applied to all individuals who deal with mental barriers and lack the belief in their abilities for success. Every chapter in the book leaves you with a notion and steps on how to improve your self-perception, how apply it to your life and how to deal with both internal and external stressors.
“You can’t control performance until you are in control of yourself.”
This book speaks through the experiences of many athletes. Rather than acknowledging their accomplishments or natural talents, Mind Gym provides a glimpse into the mental struggles and barriers of the athletes throughout their career and the steps that they took in order to reach success beyond limitations.
“Limits begin where vision ends.”
As a power lifter, my focus was to successfully complete a 225lbs squat at Nationals. I struggled for months to try and reach a 215lbs squat. As Nationals approached, I got help from the CoreXcellence staff for mobility and correction of my squat technique in order to figure why I felt strong but was unable to perform at my highest capacity. The first day of walking into CoreXcellence, I was told to place 215lbs on the bar. After just one warm up set, seeing the weight that I was unable to do for many months caused my mind to wonder in a negative downward spiral. I began to second guess my ability to lift.
“How we think affects how we feel and how we feel affects how we perform.”
Having read a couple of chapters from Mind Gym, I immediately took control of my thoughts, directed them towards positivity and focused on successfully completing the lift. That was when I truly realized that my mental game needed some work.
“Learn to view pressure as a challenge to meet rather than a threat of defeat.”
What I did differently in preparation for the most important meet of the year was not only to train physically but focused more importantly on my mental preparation.
“Your attitude more than your aptitude determines you altitude.”
Four days before Nationals and having completed the Mind Gym book, I felt stronger, capable, filled with positivity and determined to succeed. I decided to test my mental limit and headed to the gym. This is when I noticed the biggest impact that the mind had on my overall performance. My squat had gone from a struggled 215lbs to a fully completed 250lbs within a week’s time.
Had you told me a year ago that a book alone can improve my self-perception, confidence, achievement, determination, belief and attitude, I would have never thought it to be true. But after reading Mind Gym and noticing the immediate impact that it had, not only on my performance but my life in general, I highly recommend this easy read. To acknowledge self-defeating behaviours is not an easy thing to do and took me quite some time to accept my unrecognizable negative attitude and to be able to transfer the unintentional stressors into fuel for accomplishment.
“A.C.T: Accept your present state, Create your desired state and Take action steps to get you there.”
I ensure you that individuals from all walks of life can benefit from reading Mind Gym. It definitely helped me to improve as an athlete, a student and now a confident 23-year old girl.
National Bronze Medalist Power Lifter
Accomplished Fitness Model