How to Use Your Mind to Improve your Self-image

Martial arts bjj in PortlandWe all get caught up in our day to day to do’s. How we spend our time will determine how we feel about ourselves and determine what we can accomplish. It is important to make an asserted effort to always be changing never let yourself get caught in a rut and repeat week to week, month to month and year to year the same pattern over and over. This is easy to do, but this repetitive trap will never let you reach your true potential.

We have ever changing expectations to follow, and some of those tell you what you can or cannot do. Distinguish these thoughts instead of putting yourself down for something you failed at then recognize what you did wrong and use it as another opportunity to learn. See yourself succeed and overcome those obstacles. Having the confidence to admit where you are weak or lacking is powerful and doing things outside the box to keep improving will make you much more apt at reaching your potential.

In this article I am going to list a few easy steps you can do to change your habits and develop the discipline to accomplish more and find more success in what ever you are passionate about.


  • Visualize

I read about a study done on the power of visualization. They took 3 groups of people and had each group shoot free throws on a basketball court and recorded each group score. Group A did nothing for 30 days, group B practiced for 20 minutes a day on the court and group C visualized shoot baskets for 20 minutes a day. Group C never picked up a basketball they just went through all of the details of the process the best they could.

At the end of 30 days Group A did not improve at all, group B improved about 27% and group C improved about 26%. I thought this was amazing. I always knew visualization helped, but this is awesome to see how powerful it actually is. Try this exercise:

  • Spend 10-20 minutes every day going through your martial art techniques in your mind be precise and specific. See yourself perfecting the movements. Visualize somebody throwing a punch at you or trying to evade your strike and see yourself clearly responding and delivering the appropriate follow up. Often times in martial arts we call this sense of enemy. When you visualize a sense of enemy your practice sessions will have more life and enthusiasm, they will be a bit more realistic.

Be creative and picture yourself doing your visualization practice whenever you have some downtime. Whether commuting to work or 10 minutes before bed, make use of your time in different ways.

Another way you can use visualization is to imagine what your life would look like after you accomplish one of your goals (Getting a Black Belt, losing 30 pounds or learning a new language). Notice the change in your mind set, confidence attitude these feelings are what will make you successful.


  • Martial Arts Read a Biography This Month.

Someone who is at the top of the game in either your profession, martial art or hobby that you are passionate about. Learn about how they fought through struggles what motivated them to excel and see how you can apply any of their lessons to your life.

Imagine yourself as that person and how it would feel to overcome adversity and complete the goals you set out for yourself. What is one thing you can change right now that is similar to what you imagined about that person?


  • Limit Your TV – Screen Time.

Don’t be a vegetable. Social media and TV are a waste of time. I just read that the average person spends 2 hours a day on social media. Imagine what you could do with an extra 730 hours per year. Use this time to do something positive to improve your life (Meditate, Martial Arts, Play Music, Read, Listen to an Audio Book, etc…).


  • Learn to Meditate.

Do this at least one time per day. There is a great saying “Everyone should Meditate at least 20 minutes per day. If you don’t have 20 minutes then you should meditate for one hour”. This is an invaluable skill that will off many benefits down the road. Check out this link to learn about how to practice the Quicky meditation.


  • Write A Personal Resume.

List all of your assets as an Athlete, Work Trade, Personality etc… Then set a plan to continue to build on your strengths and improve on the areas that need polish.


Let us know if any of these ideas work for you. Next week I will talk about positive self-direction and give some ideas on how you can apply some new strategies to your training and daily rituals.