Relax. No, Not Like the Song

People often ask what’s the best advice I can give them to help them improve at the gym. As “crazy” as it sounds the best advice is normally for them to relax. I understand that it sounds crazy given the context, how the hell are you supposed to be calm when someone is trying to punch/choke/stretch/knee/elbow you? Well, it’s really a lot of different factors that come in to play.

The first thing you need to have is confidence. Not confidence as in, “I can beat this guy”, but more like being confident in your own skill. You have to feel that no matter what happens, you have enough skill to combat whatever is coming back at you. If somebody punches me straight in the face, I know I can still come back at them. Really you should expect, the accept that that’s probably going to happen. I don’t know where people got this idea that you’re not supposed to get hit in a fight. A LOT of people flinch even from just being grazed, forget about getting hit full force. Same thing with grappling, even if I end up in a bad situation I have confidence in my skill to at least not be submitted. That confidence helps me remain calm regardless of the situation.

I think another big thing is to understand that nobody is trying to get hurt in practice. People worry too much about “winning” in practice, but nobody does that. I’ve even wrote another blog about this lol. The biggest take away is that understanding it’s not competitive will help take a lot of the edge off. Don’t get me wrong, everybody wants to do well in practice, but that doesn’t mean going all out to make sure you feel good about yourself at the end of the day. Everybody needs to look after everybody in practice, otherwise nobody will be training because they’ll all be injured! That’s always my biggest concern against somebody who’s being too competitive in practice, getting hurt, but I also understand that won’t happen if everybody can stay composed and relaxed.

In my opinion, the biggest thing is learning how to control yourself, both physically and mentally. The thing that people don’t realize is how those two are connected. A lot of people end up picking up the intensity without realizing they’re doing that. It’s one of the side effects of letting the adrenaline take over. Too many people fall in to that trap, in general. The best thing about this is that it’s also bled over in to my personal life. It’s helped me understand how I’m truly in control of how I feel about everything. I’m not one of those people that will blame someone else for my mood/attitude at this point. Even if someone does something bad to me, I’m not going to let that ruin my day. It can be hard, for sure, but I’ll always choose to focus on the positives over the negatives. Lashing out against people doesn’t make you strong, letting shit roll off your back and keeping it moving does. The more you don’t let other people effect your mood, the more power you realize you have within yourself, the easier it is to control yourself during sparring/fighting.

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Hey, Can I Ask You A Question?

I get a lot of the same questions from people, and figured I would answer them in a blog. This is that blog.

What’s your diet like?

Let me preface this by saying that I’m not going to get detailed here. I’ve give a basic understanding of what my diet is like, but I won’t be going in to specifics. If you don’t live the same lifestyle as me, then you don’t need to follow the same diet that I do. Monday through Saturday I don’t eat anything with artificial ingredients in it. If something occurs in nature, then I can consume it. That includes some preservatives like sea salt and citric acid. I allow myself one cheat day where I eat whatever I want, so I can make up for any calorie deficit and to keep my body adjusting. When done properly, this can trigger your body to pump out more hormones, which can help your recovery/performance.

What does it take to become a professional MMA fighter?

Time and dedication are the two things that are not only needed the most, but also what people seem to be lacking the most. When you’re an amateur fighter, you’re supposed to be figuring out what kind of fighter you are, as in what will work for you and what won’t. There’s a very slim chance that you’ll figure that out in just a few fights, or years even. So in my opinion, patience is the greatest virtue you can have as a fighter.

I’ve noticed your mindset change recently, what happened to make you more driven?

This is the kind of thing that you can never explain to anybody. It came from within myself. I looked myself in the mirror and asked if I was living my life the way I wanted to. I asked myself if I was actually being the person I wanted to be, and be remembered as, and not just trying to portray myself as something I’m not. I realized that most peoples’ opinions are completely irrelevant to myself, what I’ve been through, and what I’m trying to achieve in life. That what other people think has nothing to do with where I end up, but what I actually accomplish is what matters. Once that happened, I started living my life the way I should in order to do the things I want and things started to line up for me the way I wanted them to. I think it’s almost impossible not to stay positive and ride the wave of momentum once you see that actually taking place.

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Let’s Stop Empowering Cowards

I never thought I’d write a blog based off a new social media website starting up, but here we are. I’m sure most people have heard of Sarahah by now, but in case you haven’t I’ll sum it up real quick. It’s a social media tool where people can anonymously leave other people messages. First of all, I’m pretty sure that’s what Twitter mostly already is. Secondly, why in the world would anybody want to do this?

I already know people will say, “it’s all in good fun”. This is the most ass backwards thing ever. I will assume people who say this have never been on the internet before. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen people who have had nice things said about them on this thing, but you know they’re not posting all of the negative messages they get. Even if they are, of course accompanied by some snarky remark about how they don’t care about what the person has to say, it doesn’t accomplish anything. This person already doesn’t have to courage to say these things to you, so if you think they’re sitting there at their keyboard crying in anguish at your comeback, you’re only fooling yourself. A lot of people will take any chance they can to knock your confidence/self esteem, and all this is doing is giving them another chance at that.

A lot of people already give too much headspace and concern to what others think/say about them. I know I’ve said this before, but if somebody isn’t going to be there for you at the end of the day, then what they think is irrelevant. I know for one that I used to let social media distract me in my day to day life. I would let something somebody may have said to or about me online ruin my day. It sounds silly, but it happens. One of the biggest things that helped me get over that was actually deleting my social media pages for about a month or so. I came to realize how little the things happened on there mattered. It doesn’t matter if people give me likes, encouraging comments, hate, or have bad things to say about me. I still have to wake up and go to work to get to where I want to be myself every day, so it really doesn’t matter at all to me if people want to support me or not. I plan on making it regardless of who has my back.

So nah, don’t think I’ll be signing up for Sarahah

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I use this blog for a few different reasons. I think mostly to vent, and give my perspective on certain situations. Today it’s going to be about what I perceive to be my problems with relating to people.

I already know some people will say that sounds weird for me, that I’m a nice guy who people seem to have no problem getting along with. While that may be true, that doesn’t mean I can relate to or have a lot in common with them. I often find myself being solo in social situations, depending on who is around at the time. Thankfully I don’t have anxiety about this kind of thing. That being said, I have sat back and really thought about why that happens.

The most obvious thing here would be how much you have in common with people. That’s where a lot of the disconnect comes for me, I think. I want a lot of the same things out of life as most people, I just want to go about it a different way than they do. And while I’m working towards that, a lot of people can only see where you’re currently at and think that’s where you’ll end up. People that have never talked to you about your goals or how you plan on achieving them, but they somehow know whether or not you’ll be successful. These people are assholes, to be blunt. They’re the same type that will put others down, then ask why people aren’t supporting them. These are the type of people you should disassociate yourself from. Staying around people that would rather put you down than lift you up will only make sure that you stay down.

It’s ┬ánot just about having things in common though, qualities can also make it hard to relate to people. I honestly haven’t met many people who have the same drive and passion for what they do that I have. I could probably count them up on just my hands. It’s actually somewhat irritating to me. I always hear people talk about how they want the best for themselves in every aspect of life, but then constantly have excuses or decide to settle for something they really don’t want. I could never be like that. A lot of people seem to want to take the easy road these days, or give up once they hit a rough patch, but that’s not going to lead to a rewarding life. Everybody has some type of hardship to deal with, but it seems less people are willing to push through or be patient enough to make it out better on the other side. The only thing I know from talking with others who have done this in their own life is that it’s the quickest way to getting a life you regret. Obviously I only speak for myself, but people ask me why I do what I do instead of trying to find something “more stable”. I’m not going to have a life that I regretted or wondered what could have been.

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Formerly My Own Worst Critic

I used to think that we should always be hardest on ourselves when it came to things. I would always take things other people said in to consideration, but at the end of the day I always broke myself down the most and was the hardest on myself for things. It took me a while to realize that’s actually a quick way to become your own worst enemy.

Before I really get in to this, I’ll say that the only fighter that I really watch is myself. I still look for things I can improve on in my fights, training sessions, and workouts. I need to identify these things myself so that I can formulate a plan to improve on them. This is more about criticizing myself and making myself feel bad about those things. I know that I’m not the only one who has done this, and there are people I know who most likely do it themselves. I think it’s hard not to break yourself down that way. When you’re constantly hearing how things should be done from outside sources, it tends to shape the way you think. When I think about when I used to do this, I know I never thought what I did was good enough. Even if I went and performed well, I would never be satisfied. That’s not a good frame of mind to be in. While I know I can still improve on everything I also need to give credit where it’s due, and be sure not to pile on myself when things went well.

Once I realized I was stuck in this thought pattern, I committed myself to changing it. While I still watch myself, and identify the things I still need to work on, I also make note of the things I do well and should continue to do. I think a lot of the time our thought process ends up doing us in at the end. We get too stuck on whether or not we’ll be good enough that we fail to realize that maybe we already are. That’s the biggest thing I think I’ve taken away from most of my recent self analysis. When it comes to what I do, my opinion of myself is what matters the most. So why should it be anything but positive? I can say that things have only gotten better for me personally since I became more worried about my own opinion of myself than what literally anybody else thinks about me. I’ll let everybody else worry about everybody else, and just keep worrying about improving myself.

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Credit? We Don’t Need That

No, I’m not talking about the credit you use to get things like housing and cars, but rather the credit from others I see more and more people chasing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to hear nice things about ourselves from other people, but it seems like it’s almost becoming an addiction of sorts for some. I’ve had people get pissed off at me for some of the dumbest things imaginable lately, and a lot of it has centered around their need for me to acknowledge them in some way.

As usual, I blame Facebook for a lot of this haha. Ever know somebody get mad because somebody didn’t like their post but shared it? How ridiculous is that??? Are you five years old? This is something I see people complain about online, and it makes me think peoples’ perspectives are so out wack now. Nobody I know is getting paid from Facebook shares, but I still see them complain like they are. It’s unbelievably petty to me. There are so many other things to worry about, I often wonder how these people even get through their day to day.

The other big thing I’ve noticed people getting upset over is getting credit for other peoples’ success. I hate this more than anything. Unless you helped the person accomplish what they set out to in the moment, then you don’t deserve that much credit. This is a thing in both wrestling and MMA. I always hear people say, “I showed them that”. Yeah, well, they still had to go in there and do it themselves without you and just because you may show somebody something doesn’t mean you’re responsible for their success. It’s actually extremely insulting to that person to claim as much. I think this mostly happens when people get jealous over the attention someone is getting for something they did, which makes this even sadder in my opinion. If you can’t be happy for other peoples’ success, then you shouldn’t be around them.

If you’re helping someone only to get something out of it later, you’re not really helping them. I feel like more people are only doing things in the hopes of getting that ever important shout out these days. As someone who has had people say things like, “hey man, I showed you how to do that”, after doing something, it’s really shitty. I know everybody likes to get their credit and shout outs, but don’t care about it so much that you alienate the people you’re “helping”. I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t need that at all. A personal thank you is more than enough to me, and I think means more as well. I’ll never take credit for someone else’s work, and I think it’s something more people should make an effort to do.

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A Continuation of Sorts

I thought that with this blog I would expand a little bit on what I wrote about last time. I ended my last blog saying a lot of people had asked me about changes I had made in life, so I figured I should expand on that some. There are a lot of smaller things that I changed, but I figured today I would touch on the main ones.

I did touch on one of the things last week, but the biggest one was looking at myself and my own actions. Everybody has their own standards, and definition of what they think makes somebody a good person, or makes something “right”. I feel like a lot of us have forgotten that though. I see people judging other people for something they’ve done, when I know the person saying something has done something similar. It’s really funny and kind of shocking when this happens, but I have seen it happen more and more lately. Everybody is so quick to rush to a judgement based on what their perception, without asking for any further context or the person’s situation. It’s disappointing to me, because nobody wants to be treated like that, but people have no problem doing just that seemingly just to get their friends to agree with them. I’ve also seen a lot of people who talk about how they’re going to live their life on social media, but then they do the exact opposite, and normally blame it on some outside factor. I see people all the time say they’re going to do something, then if somebody brings it up later it’s always, “well, it didn’t happen because of xyz”. And I don’t mean that as in every once in a while. I see people post stuff then make up the excuses later DAILY. It’s crazy to me to try and be like that, as I see it only as a way to disappoint yourself.

Another major turning point was about a year ago, I started to more closely examine my relationships with people. I had reached a frustrating point for myself, and it honestly felt like a lot of people had left me high and dry. I understand that everybody has their own life and their own things going on, but I was confused because I had voiced these concerns with some people who said they would be there for me and they pretty much just told me to get over it. This is where most people would say they “cut them off”, or disassociated with those people, but that wasn’t really an option for me. Some of these people I saw or spoke to every day. I just decided that if they weren’t going to be bothered by what I had going on that I wouldn’t tell them anything I had going on. I also realized that I didn’t need their approval for anything, which was a huge relief too.

I would say the biggest thing though was realizing that nothing anybody could say or do could affect me, unless I gave them the power to do it. I think too many of us are looking for approval from the wrong people. I don’t care what you do or accomplish, if you can’t break away from people who never make you feel good enough, you’re weak AF. I’ve had coaches tell me straight to my face that they think I wouldn’t perform well, but I don’t do this for them. What I do is for whoever is going to be there for me in the tougher, more private times, which right now is nobody. But that’s fine to me for now, because it means I don’t have to worry about anybody else giving me a hard time about what I want or trying to make me feel bad because I don’t live up to their standards.

If you really pay attention to what people do more than they say, you’ll probably notice that most people are hypocrites. You’ll be much better served not to worry about all of them and to just focus on yourself.

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