I really enjoy thinking of things in terms of metaphors. This outside the box thinking can be quite helpful. It often aids in helping me change my approach towards the many challenges in life.
One of my favorite metaphors I got from The Fighter’s Mind by Sam Sheridan (highly recommended by the way).
I will paraphrase in the way I tell myself:
Be confident as fuck in the ring. Be equally as humble outside of it.
I love this mentality.
This is how a Warriors thinks. I want to be a Warrior…
Think of the ring as whatever is in front of you – a big project, your at-bat , a speech, meeting an important deadline – any time when you are in the middle of achieving something. It is best you seek out these times instead of letting them come to you.
Let’s start with humbleness.
Out of The Ring
This period is just as crucial – if not more – than when you are in the heat of the battle. You’ve heard practice makes perfect. I believe in this 100%. The situations when I have been extremely nervous were often a result of a lack of preparation. I did not plan my attack correctly. I was overlooking some important information/data/sign/hint – whatever it may be. What I find fascinating is that not many people want to put in work in this part of the game because it includes more tedious work and many hours. In our ADD world, time and attention to details are precious. Many of us have become soft.
We all need reminders every once and a while. We need to put in the necessary work.
This is the time when you should be working your ass off.
You need to be hungry.
Seeing things from an outside perspective.
Taking new angles.
Doubt will be in play when you’re out of the ring. You can use this as fuel.
In The Ring
There will be times when you find yourself in the ring when the event is planned. You obviously have the most control over these types of situations. You can plan your attack. You can scope out your competition. You can evaluate your environment. Hopefully you will increase your chance of success by your Out of The Ring preparation.
However, there are times when you will find yourself in the heat of the battle unexpectedly. These situations can be common – whether it be a random confrontation, a call into the bosses office, or an unanticipated attack by a stranger. Times like these are when your true training comes out. What have you been studying? Have you prepared for this situation? How developed are you? Many of these questions will likely be answered quickly.
This also brings up a good point – you need to be able to shift from Out of The Ring mode to In The Ring mode as effortlessly as possible. I think of this as being in the zone. This more effortless and timely this shift is will put you in a state that will increase your chance of success.
Lets get back to what needs to be done In The Ring:
This is when you should be out of your head.
This is when you should have total confidence in your training. There is no use for doubt now.
100% attention on what is in front of you.
You’re going to win – at least that’s what you need to tell yourself
I obviously apply this differently than how others would. There has never been a day where I physically stepped in a ring and was ready to throw down. This day may come sometime…
Despite not having the physical punches thrown at me, I – like everyone else – still have many everyday obstacles in my way. Even if you run from these, life will continue to throw more your way until you learn how to handle them. I find this mentality as a great way to overcome these difficulties.
The genius of the ring metaphor is there is a feedback loop. You start by preparation. You are gearing up for this big event. You work to overcome all the possible obstacles that may be thrown your way when the time comes. Then you find yourself in the moment. This is when you have to put your training aside and trust that it has prepared you for this moment. You then go all-in with supreme confidence.
You may win or you may lose, but if you treat it correctly you will always come out a winner.
If you win, you can move forward with similar practices and prepare for your next fight. But don’t become overconfident. You must treat your success as a one-time thing. These previous successes will not guarantee success in the future. Remember this.
If you lose, you must reflect and learn some lessons. There is a reason you lost. You may not have prepared enough. You may have miscalculated the opposition. Maybe you’re just not good enough right now. But you will be better next time. No matter how good you think you are, eventually someone will come along and knock you off your course. This is needed for your growth. Embrace it and invest in your failures.
Humbleness -> Confidence -> Humbleness
Preparation -> In the fight -> More Preparation
This is your feedback loop.
The more you test yourself early, the better – as long as you are learning lessons. Don’t fall for the same trick twice. Don’t let Einstein call you insane…
So next time you step in the ring, go in with all you have. Make the adjustments in the ring and remember to learn those lessons afterwards.
Adapt to what is in front of you and stay humble. Learn from those better than you and apply it to your life. Experiment with new ideas. Test new approaches.
This mix of confidence and humbleness will eventually bring you the results you seek.
Understand life in general is your ring. You’re already all-in. Continue to discover your personal direction and show this world what’s up.
I wanted to wish you luck with your future battles, but you don’t need luck. You just need to step in the ring…