Programming Your Mind For Grappling

If I decide to start teaching again, what I tell you here will become part of Month 1’s curriculum.

And I say that because it is the basis for all success and failure, both yours and mine. Here we go…

First, recognize that you ARE your thoughts. Period. Whatever you think about from moment to moment…

grappling dummy brain

…is what you’re programming yourself to believe. And whatever you believe, is (or soon becomes) your reality.

Don’t think that this is new-agey stuff. It’s science. There’s tons of research behind it, it’s been used in psychology for years, and the highest level performers in most fields use it all the time.

So, do you think you are… or aren’t… a devastating submission grappler?

Well, whether you think you ARE or AREN’T, you’re right. You create your reality with your thoughts. There’s a lot of reasons for this, but one of the biggest is called BIAS CONFIRMATION.

Bias Confirmation means that, whatever you think, you will unwittingly search out evidence in your life to prove that it’s true, and ignore the evidence that it’s not true.

For example, if you think your grappling sucks, you’ll focus on what you do wrong, how often you get tapped out and all the people who are better than you…

…but ignore all the things you do right, how often you tap others out, and the people that you are better than.

And because you believe that you suck (whether you actually do or not), your subconscious will take action to make it true.

It will lead you to not enjoy training as much and cause you to skip more classes.

It will cause you to not ask advanced students to teach you things you want to know.

It will make you focus on your disadvantages (age, natural athleticism, aptitude) rather than your advantages

It will convince you to not even try to become great quickly, because you’ve already decided it’s going to take you a long time.

And the result is that you will suck. In other words, those negative thoughts create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So the point is, if you want to maximize your potential…

You’ve got to monitor every thought you have

Feeling intimidated by another grappler? Stop it. Think someone else is better than you? Nope.

Thinking you aren’t as strong, mat-savvy or tough as someone else? Knock it off. Think your age, injuries or personality is holding you back?

Re-write those thoughts in your head so you see them as advantages, not handicaps.

And speaking of re-writing your thoughts, just imagine how powerful it would be if, instead of constantly thinking things like “I’m pretty old to be doing this” or “These younger guys have a huge advantage on me.” or “I’m just not as strong as that guy”…

you re-wrote your thoughts as “My age gives me a huge advantage over these younger guys. I’m massively smarter and more strategic than them because of it”.

Or, “That strong guy has just motivated me to become even stronger than he is. I’ll unstoppable!”

Feed the positives and starve the negatives

Just like you’ve got to feed your muscles if you want them to perform, you’ve got to feed your mind positives thoughts if you it to perform, too.

I’m going to write more on this in upcoming posts, but don’t wait for them. Here’s a simple exercise you can do to start re-writing your thoughts to the positive, rather than negative.

Each time you are about to hear yourself use any of these phrases (either out loud or in your mind)…

“I can’t..”
“I don’t…”
“I’m not…”
“I won’t…
“I wish…”

Insist that INSTEAD you think or say something that starts with:

“I can…”
“I do…”
“I am…”
“I will…”

Right off the bat, you’ve knocked out 75% of the negative self talk phrases you’ve been repeating to yourself, and re-written them into positive phrases.

This might not seem like it would make big changes, but I guarantee that right now your subconscious is listening to what you’re thinking, and waiting for you to tell it what to do and what to believe.

Remember, whatever you think about is what you’re programming yourself to believe. And whatever you believe becomes your reality.

Keep training!
Bob Dorris