Last Monday I talked about Arnold Schwarzenegger, and how his mindset was his real secret to success in his lifting, acting and political career. Today I want to talk about how to develop the same kind of winning mindset.
I already alluded to this a couple of weeks ago when I said that changing your habits is easier than changing your thinking. There’s what you do on a day to day basis, and then there’s the way you think.
The overwhelming majority of self-improvement and success books focus on the thinking. Common advice is to think positive, think abundance, think confident and similar utter nonsense. Now I’m all about positive thinking and I hate crabs and whiners, but I’m also a pragmatic – I do what works.
It’s like the guy who is kinda shy with women and who gets the advice “just be confident”. Well duh, if he knew how to be confident, he would already be doing it. Even worse is if the guy now starts faking it, trying to be James Bond.
Most methods to gain confidence and success focus on this – the thinking. But after helping thousands of guys to gain muscle and strength, and going myself from a skinny-fat 120lbs who couldn’t do a single Push-up (I was so weak I even lost at armwrestling to a girl) to a muscular 170lbs with a 400lbs Squat, I’ve concluded that it’s really the doing that matters.
It’s not rocket science – when you dramatically transform your physique and skyrocket your strength, people will notice. You will get compliments and gain respect. This positive feedback combined with the courage you develop from overcoming your fears daily in the gym, is where true confidence comes from.
The resistance that you fight physically in the gym and the resistance that you fight in life can only build a strong character.
– Arnold Schwarzenegger
In fact, several of my StrongLifts Members have confided to me that they used to be shy around women and/or with people before they started SL5x5, but that this radically changed once their strength started to increase, almost always very quickly. Heck, often the women are now shy around them!
Meanwhile those self-help gurus will tell you to just sit at home, think confident and visualize your goals. To the guy who is too lazy to go the gym 3x/week and who doesn’t understand that the way life works is that you get what you put into it, this blather is cocaine. And it’s at least as dangerous.
You should think positive and I’m a firm proponent of visualizations, but you do have to take action to get somewhere. And when you take consistent action towards your goals, the thinking will automatically take care of itself. Fact is, increased competence boosts confidence, and it does it amazingly fast.
I’ll talk more about taking action next time.