So, you’ve spent X amount of weeks or months prepping for your upcoming show.
You followed your plan to a “T”.
You didn’t skip your meals, you kept cheating under control, you did all of your cardio, and you made sure to always hit the weights hard and heavy.
You’ve spent hours working on posing and perfecting your presentation…
You’re ready to roll, and everyone around you sees it.
Yet it’s the one thing you fail to believe…
In YOUR eyes, you’re not ready.
You’re soft, your shape is horrible, you’re holding water, you’re not big enough, you’re not lean enough…
The competitors you stalk on Instagram and Facebook, who you KNOW are doing your show, look so much better than you – and you don’t stand a chance.
You know in your heart that these things aren’t true, but no matter what you do, or what anyone tells you, you can’t shake these thoughts.
I think as competitors we all go through it. From the greenest novice, all the way up to the top level pros.
It’s really hard to be able to step outside of yourself, and not judge what you see in the mirror. It’s even harder still to stay focused when all that negativity is creeping into your brain – almost constantly.
So today’s blog post is about how you can find your INNER CONFIDENCE AND INNER PEACE, and ready yourself mentally to get on that stage and shine.
Figure and Bikini Competition Day Tip #1: Take Off The Pressure
Many times, anxiety for competitors can come from the desire to win, or to at least place at their show. The thing is, even if you bring your absolute best, there is no guarantee that you’ll win.
Someone else’s best could well beat your own, and there’s nothing you can do about that.
This sport is SUBJECTIVE.
It’s based on the opinions of others, and you cannot control whom the judges will love on that day.
And hey, IT JUST MIGHT BE YOU!
But even if it’s not, what use is it for you to spend your entire prep (especially as you get closer to the show) worrying about the things you cannot control?
So just take a step back, don’t worry about where you might place. Focus on bringing your best by leaving no stone unturned. It’s in doing that where you will feel triumphant no matter what.
Figure and Bikini Competition Day Tip #2: Acknowledge The Journey And How Far You’ve Come
As physique competitors, I often think we don’t take enough time to stop and appreciate the journey.
Stepping on a stage is a lifelong goal for many who participate in the sport of bodybuilding.
The fact that you’re finally doing what you’ve dreamed, or perhaps you’re continuing to compete after having done your first show and gotten “the bug”.
Each time you get the opportunity to get out there and show what you’ve got, you are living your own dream, and perhaps inspiring someone else.
So at the end of the day, the end result isn’t the most important outcome.
The process is, your determination is, your overcoming a fear is, and so is your hard work coming to fruition. Acknowledge it, and celebrate it. Then be proud to present it on the stage.
Figure and Bikini Competition Day Tip #3: Remember You Wanted To Do This Because It Looked Fun
Do you remember what motivated you to want to compete in the first place?
Was it the beauty and glamour of sparkly suits, the women with incredible action figure like physiques?
Was it something that you thought would be a great challenge, something new to focus on besides your typical gym routine?
But most of all…
You thought that it looked fun!
And indeed, competing can truly be a fun and rewarding experience. So what good does it do you to sit back and worry about every aspect of it every 5 minutes?
Now this is not to say have a “carefree” attitude when it comes to show prep, it just means to allow yourself to have fun with it, to enjoy the process, and to let it be something that brings a POSITIVE challenge to your life.
Figure and Bikini Competition Day Tip #4: Change Your Mindset Towards Positive Thinking
When those feelings of doubt start to kick in, it’s really important that you do indeed step back, and simply acknowledge that they are there, and they are real.
It’s in facing them that you can overcome them.
If you have doubts about where you are currently, take a step back to go over your progress photos, and compare where you started to where you are now to get a full picture of the journey you’re taking.
It’s normal to have jitters, but to allow them to aggrandize to the point where they are completely counterproductive, and somewhat self-destructive, will make this process far more difficult that it needs to be.
When those thoughts of doubt creep in, consult with others whom you trust that are connected to the industry.
Whether that person be a coach, personal trainer, local judge, or fellow seasoned competitor, having an extra set of eyes that are completely removed from your situation on a personal level can really put things into perspective.
You may be able to get some honest feedback about what you need to do to bring that personal “winning look” to the stage.
Sometimes things aren’t as bad as you may think they seem, and hearing that from someone else may help you to feel more confident.
And when you do get any critiques, think of it as POSITIVE CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM.
Take what you’re being told and see if you can fix those things (we all have flaws), and at the same time, focus on the strengths of your physique and presentation, and really accentuate those.
This game is nothing but smoke and mirrors, find your positives and bring them to the forefront.
Figure and Bikini Competition Day Tip #5: Stay Off Of Social Media If It Makes You Insecure
This game of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is truly one big conundrum.
On the one hand, they are amazing tools to connect with others, particularly in our niche sport. But on the other, they can lay the foundation for envy, insecurity, and more, just from someone simply looking at a picture.
The great Benjamin Franklin “Believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see.”.
And when it comes to social media profiles, that really needs to be applied.
People only put out what they WANT you to see.
They post images in their best light, best angles, and then add filters for a more dramatic effect. They write words that make them seem they’re spewing out sunshines and giggles everyday, all day.
Prep is easy breezy, and they get to eat a ton of food, do no cardio, and train two days a week, and look fabulous….
“Believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see.”
The truth of the matter is, a lot of people are not very truthful when it comes to sharing their process.
I mean who wants to follow someone who keeps it really REAL, and shows when they’re up AND when they’re down…
Well ok actually many people appreciate the raw reality and honesty, but many in the social media game don’t get that.
And even if you ARE following the process of someone who is truthful and they still look great, don’t allow it to intimidate you. Let it inspire you, and push you to be better – for yourself.
It’s all about perception.
Hopefully some of these tips are helpful to you if you’re about to step on that stage, or if you have a show coming up in the near future.
Stay positive, allow this journey to EMPOWER you. Remember why you had gotten into this game in the first place, and really allow yourself to shine up there – drama free.