What a whirlwind month. Iron Athletics converted over to Iron Performance and started construction on our new training facility: The Iron Performance Center. Although this transition has held up training for a few weeks, it has given myself a chance to step back, reflect, build new systems and learn even more about the greatest profession in the world. Why? To better service the athletes and clients associated with Iron Performance.
Throughout this break, I’ve read a shit ton of books and attended the highly respected NSCA Coaches Conference to collaborate with some of the greatest coaches in the field. First off, if you’ve never traveled to better yourself professionally or picked up a book in the last month, get your ass moving as the simple act of reading makes you smarter. Through all the lessons and pages, one concept of focus stood out above all else, the power of the mind.
The Law of Attraction
Like attracts like, positive attracts positive, negative attracts negative. Yes, I’m talking about the mind, more specifically your thought process. Believe it or not, you have an incredible tool to attract success built right between your ears. That hunk of grey matter is an amazing mechanism to bring you your deepest desires. The problem is we typically never maximize it’s potential. By thinking positively, you enable good things to happen to you. Vice versa, if you think negatively you enable bad things to happen to you.
Is It Fate?
Some call it God, others call it fate, others simply believe things happen for a reason. Regardless what you believe, you’ll notice a pattern. For example, ever notice how someone who’s having a “bad day” continues to have poor things happen to them? What about someone who’s laughing or in a good mood throughout the day? You’ll notice they tend to have good things occur or at the very least not be affected as harshly by negative occurrences. This is no coincidence. It’s the law of attraction. It’s the power of the mind.
How Does The Law Work?
You may be thinking “I think positively often, yet I feel nothing I desire has come to me”. If I believed this person, I’d answer with “Patience, it hasn’t come yet”. Remember, we as humans created the concept of time. The law of attraction doesn’t care about time. It simply provides opportunity through positive thinking on its own timeline. Think positive, you then act positive. Acting positive typically leads to more opportunities. What’s more important is that it allows you to RECOGNIZE opportunity much more efficiently. Don’t believe me? Hang around a “Negative Nelly”. They can’t see the good in anything. It truly is a glass half empty, half full moment.
See things (even negative things) in a more positive fashion and you will be able to recognize opportunity and see what others can’t. Understand and EMBRACE failure (more on this later). Understand that YOU control your perceptions of your environment meaning YOU have the ability to view what happens in your life through a positive lens. Your perception is then proceeded by action that has a direct correlation to your thought process. In other words, YOU become a master of fate.
Harnessing Your Mind
This is the tricky part. As humans, we can’t always be positive. It’s simply impossible (not to be negative). Keep in mind that we are HUMAN. We feel emotion, both good and bad. Anger, sadness, grief and joy are all hardwired into our being. The difference is being able to control yourself in the best manner possible. Acknowledge your feelings instead of bottling them up. Allow yourself to feel pain, sadness, anger or grief but don’t give up control to your emotions. It’s the ability to acknowledge your emotions while remembering you have control of your fate, of your mind and your proceeding actions. It takes a ton of practice, believe me. I’m still learning as a coach and person however I understand it won’t happen overnight. Controlling your mind takes daily practice and starts with the most crucial factor: your attitude.
The books I read aren’t always exercise science based. In fact, the books I typically study are psychology, mindset and stories of successful individuals who have preceded me. Although many of the people in those books came from different backgrounds, they all had the same thought process. Use positive thinking to evoke positive outcomes. Many of them simply believed that you need to “fake it till you make it”. Act as if you are successful and success will come. Carry yourself as an elite athlete and the elite will come to you. It starts with attitude.
In North Carolina, I had the pleasure to listen and chat with one of the most decorated strength coaches in the world. Coach Kenn of the Carolina Panthers had no trouble telling it like is. The takeaway message from Coach Kenn is words win. What you tell yourself matters. Have a positive attitude, you’ll be successful. How you carry yourself on a daily basis affects those around you. Your self talk will make or break your mind. It’s common sense! Think about a scenario you’ve been in recently. The saying “misery loves company” is true. The statement “you become the average of the five people you surround yourself most” is true! “Iron sharpens iron” is, you guessed it, true! The Law of Attraction is in full effect, just look a bit closer to your surrounding environment. Your attitude has a direct correlation to your actions. Your actions directly correlate to your outcomes.
Putting Attitude Into Action
The mind and thought process are extremely powerful however keep in mind that harnessing their potential is not simply wishing for something to happen. It’s envisioning what you desire and adapting your thought processes to help you achieve them. This change in thought allows you to see things differently meaning you are able to learn, prepare and take action differently.
You still have to work hard, have talent and skill. What positive thinking allows you to do is learn BETTER than those who are not positive thinkers and RECOGNIZE opportunities. Whether you capitalize and sacrifice for those opportunities is up to you. Remember, your attitude dictates your outlook which in turn dictates your actions.
You will still experience failure, in fact it’s completely necessary to learn. The difference is those with negative thinking become defeated whereas winners adapt and take action. The winners RECOGNIZE failure as an opportunity to learn, adapt, reflect, and get better. They try a different approach while keeping an open mind. Negative thinkers stay stagnant and become defeated.
Don’t make the mistake that positive thinkers don’t struggle or truly feel the emotions that accompany failure, defeat or loss. They most certainly do. What separates them from negative thinkers is what happens NEXT. When the dust settles, they sit back, acknowledge their feelings and change their perception of their present situation. Their failure now becomes a lesson, an experiment, a challenge to overcome. Guess what? They acknowledge failure, they learn from failure, they adapt to reach success.
As stated earlier, you need to practice. Harnessing your mind is a life long journey however it’s the most effective way to achieve happiness and success. To start, keep things simple. Control your attitude. Go to bed thinking about one good thing you will do the next day and wake up thinking of another. Want to start the day off right? Don’t hit the snooze button on your alarm. Get up, embrace the challenge. Simple. Watch as the snowball effect takes over and you become more productive and give better effort in all aspects of your day and in your life. It’s like Coach Kenn said: Words Win.
Matrixx specializes in adolescent athletic development. He coaches some of the top athlete prospects coming out of high school in the Niagara region. He also works with dedicated members of the community who are passionate about improving personal fitness. Matrixx is also the author of The Iron Guide to Building Muscle.