I’d be a better athlete if I had more time.
I’d be leaner if I had better genetics.
I’d be stronger if I had the quads of Jimmy or Annie’s abs.
You do it. Everyone does, to various degrees. The comparison game runs rampant in most gyms, and it’s killing your progress.
You’ve heard it before: you are your own unique athlete. But the comparison game isn’t just costing you potential weight lifted or skills accomplished: it’s surrendering the mental edge, the strongest influencer you possess to tap into your true potential.
In the book “The Champion’s Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train and Thrive” the very first chapter leads with the quote: “Don’t envy the champion. Be the champion.” Why? Because the comparison game is an epidemic at every level of sport.
The comparing game is everywhere and it needs to stop.
That person at the gym or on Instagram you admire? They’re probably comparing themselves to someone else, too.
Admiration and envy is nice, but neither get you anywhere.
Putting athletes you deem “better” than you at any part of your training regimen on a pedestal, implies you can’t get there. But what people fail to realize is fundamentally most athletes are the same.
Not in talent or strength, of course. But our mental capacity to learn and grow is virtually the same.
“If you can spot greatness in someone else, then you probably have some of that greatness within you because only a person with similar traits can recognize those traits in others.”
Yes, that’s also in the very beginning of that same book.
Why ? Because it’s that important for everyone to recognize that you can develop the same mindset of the people you admire. Strength takes a lifetime to accumulate. You can maximize your athletic potential by working on championing yourself right now.
Your mindset is everything.
Stop and read that sentence again: your mindset is everything.
Get out of your head on days 80 percent feels like 110 and the person across from you is PR’ing.
Approach each training day with the mindset that this is all you have, each rep is part of an opportunity to train your body and, more importantly, your mind.
How does it look, then, to people that have you on that pedestal when you throw a fit for all your misses? Toss your weight belt across the gym after a bad workout? You look like someone who can be easily defeated.
Why is it that so many of us thrive in competition? Because the sea of people looking on, whether they are screaming for you or not, is telling us that we can. That we are stronger and more capable than we believe. If only we would listen. We would be better if —and only if- we had the mindset of a champion.