As a mental performance coach, I work with individuals from all walks of life, sport interests, skill levels, you get the picture. I aim to help people not only crush their goals on and off the playing field but also possess the ability to better understand themselves as a whole and truly begin to believe in themselves and appreciate what sets them apart from everyone else.
It is possible that you came across this blog because Conor McGregor’s name was in the title and let me assure you, below this paragraph you will have the opportunity to read about him and why his mindset and outlook on life can impact your own, but before you do, let me remind you of something:
Even the athletes at the pinnacle of their sport who win the medals, get on the podium, appear to be unstoppable, and make it look so easy that you think they are immune to pain and free of conflict in their lives, have their own fair share of doubts, fears, anxiety, pain, and stress.
They all have most likely experienced failures, made just as many mistakes and have faced just as much adversity as any other person.
So maybe you are reading this and are wondering, “How do I become one of those athletes? How do I rise from the ashes and win in under sixty seconds? How do I get to the CrossFit Games, let alone get on the podium?” Let me stop you right there and share some bold words:
You will not become one of those athletes because you are authentically you. However, you can be inspired, motivated and learn from those individuals in order for you to be able to push yourself towards reaching your true potential both in and out of sport.
Now, if you know of or are familiar with the mixed martial artist and boxer, Conor McGregor, you might have somewhat of a sour taste in your mouth from the amount of negativity that has swarmed his existence both in life and sports from the media.
However, before you exit out of this blog post, take a few minutes and read on because Conor McGregor is much more than people give him credit for and his performance on Saturday, January 18, 2020, can really teach you about the power of your mindset.
Many are not aware, but at the time of McGregor’s rise in mixed martial arts, when he first made a name for himself, not one single person had a history of success as a mixed martial artist from Ireland.
Boxing was the main focus in Ireland and yet defeating all odds, McGregor focused on his internal conversations and upon defeating Eddie Alvarez for the UFC Lightweight Championship at UFC 205, McGregor became the first fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two separate weight divisions simultaneously.
So what can McGregor’s performance on Saturday, January 18, 2020, teach you about sport and life?
His performance can teach you that your past does not predetermine your future and by focusing on your mindset and internal dialogue, you can rise above and conquer.
If you followed his fight on Saturday, you know that he won with a knockout in under 60 seconds in the first round, (40 seconds to be exact.) You may also know that his dear friend and mentor Tony Robbins was courtside and moments after the fight went on to say, “What a turnaround he’s created within himself in the last year. He’s had a WORK ETHIC like no other — not only strengthening his body to be even more FIT than he’s been, but also and perhaps, MORE IMPORTANTLY strengthening his MIND, HEART, and SOUL.”
In a follow-up interview, McGregor gave an abundant amount of praise for the work he has done with Robbins over the past year and communicated that Robbins had provided him with all of the necessary tools to help him create a new frame of mind in order to accomplish his goals and beyond. But of course, Robbins simply provided the tools, friendship, and accountability. McGregor is still the one that not only had to put in the work but had to truly invest and believe in the power of his mind.
It is not a surprise that McGregor is incredibly mentally tough but what does that really mean anyway? What more can McGregor teach you about yourself and the power of your mindset?
Let me begin with Roger Staubachs’ words. “All of us get knocked down, but it is the resiliency that really matters.” Resiliency is important when you think about being mentally tough because as you may have noticed or have heard, McGregor was different this time around before, during, and after his fight on Saturday. His demeanor, attitude, communication, body language and so on did not resemble the McGregor everyone knew or perhaps thought they knew.
McGregor thinks about himself daily as an Irish Animal and as a man who has clawed his way to the top and has fought for every single ounce of his being. Once a man who was laughed at and not believed in, he mentions in a recent interview that the only thing that can break you down as an individual is your internal dialogue.
He goes on further to say, “Nothing can defeat the internal. The only thing that can take and break someone down is internal. Nothing external is strong enough. It is just about making sure that your internal dialogue and beliefs are strong enough that they can withstand the external. You have to know that the external is there and that you have to accept, embrace, understand and be aware of it. But you can’t let it seep into your internal dialogue and ruin you.”
What McGregor is referring to when he mentions internal dialogue is the conversations you have with yourself. These conversations, as we all know, have the ability to get very diluted and can transform themselves, with your approval, into stories made up of false information and excuses. This is where the importance of focusing on your mindset comes into play. So, continue reading on…
One’s resilience in sport and in life indicates their ability to handle the stressors and challenges that are present within training and competition. What you need to understand and realize is that adversity is inevitable when it comes to life and especially when it comes to sports.
People who are mentally tough such as Conor McGregor, are able to maintain their confidence, motivation, and focus no matter what is going on around them. Again, this was shown and performed to perfection on Saturday evening.
However, we must not lose hope, give up and quit when we try to be more resilient for one day, one week or even one month. Do not lose sight of the fact that resiliency is not a skill, it is a combination of many skills! To be resilient is to be able to do the following for an example:
- Stay focused among distractions
- Not allowing feelings of doubt to feed the monster and instead continue to preserve and feed the athlete
- Being able to have clear and precise goals
- Strengthening your commitment to your efforts and goals
- Having the ability to view challenges and obstacles as opportunities
If you take away anything from this blog post, remember that you are not born with resiliency. McGregor was not born with resiliency. This is a skill and you have to WORK FOR, just as he did!
I will leave you with this powerful statement McGregor stated in an interview, “Your lack of commitment is almost an insult to the people that believe in you.”
Now go out there and work for who you truly desire to be. Remember, you are not perfect and McGregor is not perfect but he is resilient, and therefore you can be too!
Ready to be more resilient? Ready to tackle your mindset and transform yourself from the inside out?
I can help you with that.
Reach out to me via email at email@example.com