I really like watching UFC. If you don’t know what it is, stick with me because it can get a bad wrap. It’s brutal and that I like it so much even surprises me, as I generally lean to hippie stuff like yoga and kirtan music. But for whatever reason, I’m hooked on this extreme competitive mixed martial art fighting where rules pretty much don’t apply. Maybe I like the theater of it all because it certainly delivers on that from the start. Actually, my favorite part of a fight happens right at the beginning. It’s the “walk out”, where the fighter is all pumped up and walks out to their favorite motivational music.
The walk out is a perfect example of an athlete working their alter ego, one of the tips I share in this podcast. Accessing this aspect of self on steroids is actually a secret super power of many incredible people we admire from high performance athletes to stage performers and presenters. They know that having something they can access, whether it’s an image or an actual totem, helps them activate the person they need to be to get the job done. Back to UFC, uber champion Ronda Rousey (yep, one of the main drawcards in UFC is a gorgeous woman – but don’t let that fool you, she’s a killer) twists her long hair into tight side buns as part of her “get ready to rumble” ritual. Here she is doing her walk out and you can see, she’s in full alter ego mode.
The art of getting your confidence back when it’s been knocked out of you is something that comes with practice. It’s also a choice. Time and time again, when I’m watching UFC fighters literally get knocked out, it’s fascinating to observe the mindset of an athlete. It takes an extreme amount of self belief to get back to the rigours of training, let alone stepping back into the life or death struggle in the octagon. And that to me is the perfect symbolism when it comes to getting confidence back. That willingness to learn from mistakes, that maturity to not allow a let down be anything more than an experience to grow from, and that deep inner knowing that there is something within, worth having another shot.
If UFC fighters don’t inspire you to follow their lead if your confidence takes a tumble, find any athlete or performer you admire and just know, there is something that they do, to step outside themselves and break through any of the normal doubts that might hold them back. It’s nspirational and the kind of stuff that’s available to all of us.
What could be your alter ego? What could you use as a totem that can signal that when you put it on, it’s time? I’d love to know if you use this technique – post it here.