Mental conditioning is a process of thinking that makes people behave in a particular way and in a particular situation. Majority of human beings act, speak or live by a particular mental conditioning bored into their subconscious through an event that happened in their past.

The human mind is the seat of thoughts. It is the brewing ground for all words and actions that we speak and do. It is what you put into it that it processes and produces in a refined form. For you to maximize your potentials, you must deliberately program your mind to feed on positive things so that your results will be positive as well.

It is a lot easier to act yourself into a particular feeling than it is to wait around and feel yourself into action. So if you don’t feel confident, that is okay, just act confident, even if you are scared, that is okay, just act as if you are not. The Karelian Bear Dog chases the grizzly bear not because he’s bigger or stronger, but because he believes he’s bigger and stronger.

Also, you’ve got to speak and act with confidence.  Do you respond with confidence? Remember confidence is a choice. You see, champions don’t wake up one day and say, “Mmm, well the sun and the moon and the stars are all lined up today, so I will be confident”. It doesn’t work that way with champions. Rather, champions make the choice every day to jump out of bed and be confident. They know their ‘ABCs’ are to ‘Always Behave Confidently’ because confidence is a choice. Champions know that for them to remain champions, they must pay the price of discipline. They are not only confident, but are also very disciplined. They do the right thing at the right time and don’t wait to be cajoled to do what they ought to do to win the medal.

Very few people are truly committed to the pursuit of excellence. Get out of the rut and do something new, something creative; something that will task you mentally. Get used to looking at yourself in the mirror, and answering to yourself. Because every night, when that head hits the pillow, that’s the person you’re going to answer to. Other people are going to tell you, you can’t do it; that you’re not big enough, fast enough or strong enough, but you must never give in to such lies. Constantly raise the bar and challenge yourself Never settle for average, rather aim for excellence.

Worse still, you may be surrounded by a bunch of yes people who tell you that you’re the best when you are really quite average. You can’t afford to listen  to them because champions know that it doesn’t matter what people think; champions are made – they’re developed, not born, and anyone can be a champion if they are committed to excellence and follow the fundamentals.

Motivation is key; it is a daily decision and to stay motivated, you’ve got to surround yourself with people and things that motivate you. Do you have a vision board posted in your office, room, car or locker that shows you what you want to accomplish? Consider this advertisement: Coke and Pepsi are the two most famous soft drinks and that is largely due to the fact that they saturate the market and your head with advertising. You want to advertise to yourself on a daily basis with vision boards, photos of your next opponent, quotes or goals written on your bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker and by reading a lot from good books.

1984 Olympic gold medal winning Team USA Hockey Coach Herb Brooks said it best in the great movie; Miracle when he said “Your time is now.” The time is now, the place is here. Your career is the sum of your today’s activities. The only factor that is the same amongst all baseball coaches in the world is that they have 86,000 seconds in a day to either spend or invest in the development of their potential. Maximize your time and you will get the most out of your days.

Stop counting down the days and start making the days count. You’ve got to make your days count by making wise investments into each day that you are privileged to see. Set long, medium and short and term goals as you commit 100% to achieving them. Realize that yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift that’s why we call it the present. Maximize this day and get the most out of today because your career and life will be the sum of your today’s activities.

What are you going to do today to get better? What is your goal for today? Do you see a pattern developing here? Throughout each day there are going to be distractions, fish hooks that rip you out of the water while you are searching for your goals. When you get side-tracked, get off the wrong exit on your way to work, realize that you must get back in the moment. That winning is an end result that takes care of itself. You win the moment by remembering what is important now.

Your toughest opponent in life will be to master yourself. And once you become a master of the mental game, you give yourself the best chance to become who you were originally created to be; free from any form of inhibition or negative mental programming. Below is an illustrative story to drive home the importance of breaking free from unhealthy ‘mind ropes’. It is titled ‘the elephant rope’.

As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at any time, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.

He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”

The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.

Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once? Have you given up because you can’t seem to figure it out? Now is not the time to give up. It is too late to give up. If there is anything I know about success, it is the fact that it comes out of trying many times until things begin to fall into their rightful places. That you made a mistake does not make you a mistake. That you failed an exam does not make you a failure. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Failure is part of learning; we should never give up the struggle in life.

Never forget, you become what you believe.