Here’s an interesting thought—there are girls on stage day who are leaner than you and better conditioned with more experience. But you have the potential to beat them just by believing you can.
It all sounds corny—‘believe in yourself and you can achieve anything!’ But there is truth in it. Let’s pretend for a minute that you have identical twins competing in the same show and category. And for all purposes of this article, their prep was exactly the same and they presented the exact same package on stage. The only noticeable difference was their presentation. One was happy, smiling and looked confident on stage, the other was nervous, looked down at the floor and her posing was rushed. Which one do you think is going to place better?
With a winning attitude, you can outperform your competition!
It is important to maintain a good attitude throughout your prep, and not just on stage day. It is easy enough to follow your meal plan, weigh the food and follow your training to a tee. Just follow instructions written out by your coach, right? Follow this, and you should achieve this. In theory, this is how it should work but this only paints half the picture. Your coach can tell you how much to eat and tell you that you’re doing a good job. But your coach doesn’t control your mindset. That is something that you need to control yourself. It is difficult to push past poor self-image and self sabotaging behaviours that have been instilled from as early as childhood. In high school, we used to compare ourselves to the pencil thin celebrities in mazagines. Fast forward to present day and we have social media and we are bombarded around the clock with endless images of gorgeous fitness models.
We all know that Instagram fitness pictures are usually heavily filtered, photoshopped images which were taken when the model was looking her best. But it doesn’t stop us from flicking through and thinking ‘look how lean she is. I need to be more like this’. Cue meltdown.
Before you screenshot your Woman Crush Wednesday and start doing panic cardio, remember that yes, you look different from your competition and your idols and that is okay. Ultimately you cannot control what the judges are looking for but you can control your mindset and your attitude. Your legs may not be as well developed and your abs may not be as prominent but you have something different to offer. Who knows, it may be just what the judges are looking for. Once you start doubting yourself, you stop enjoying the process. You talk yourself out of things. You half-ass your prep and your results come to a halt. Stay focussed on what you can control and don’t self-talk your way out of success.
This is something we are all guilty of at some stage. It even happens to champions, like Kirsty Botfield. Kirsty competed in her Pro show and believes that if she didn’t improve her attitude, she would not have made it to the World stage:
“My one main tip for prep, one that I really noticed gave me the most results was self-belief and visualization. My last prep was dreadful at the start. I had no progress or results for 5 weeks, even though I was doing everything by the book with training and nutrition, and in theory should have been having magnificent results....however, I had so much self-doubt and negative self-talk that absolutely nothing was happening, to the point I was ready to pull out of my competition. It took me just turning around my attitude and above all, believing in myself and visualizing what I could accomplish for the physical results to start to become visible. If I didn't have that self-belief, I would not have made it to the world stage as I just would not have looked physically ready. I kick myself a little bit for not having the right frame of mind sooner, as I know I would have had an even better result, but it is what it is and I certainly know for next time.”
Visualisation techniques are nothing new and have been used by many successful business people and athletes. Arnold Schwarzenegger is known for his winning attitude and incorporating visualisation techniques into his prep. He believed that he had won before even setting foot on the stage, practicing his acceptance speech in his room and calling his mother the day before his competition to tell her that he had won! Imagine if Arnold compared himself negatively to his competition, or if he let his nerves get the best of him and didn’t nail his posing—do you think he would have had the same outcome and success?
The key to being a champion is to think and act like one. Your thoughts are like a magnet, you will attract what you think. Have a positive attitude and believe in yourself and others will believe in you too.
Kirsty Botfield is our sponsored model, WBFF Fitness Pro, vegan bodybuilder and an online coach. Follow her on Instagram @kirstybotfield