When building your mind from the ground up, you need to follow the same steps that you would when building a house. Start with the foundation. In my opinion, the foundation of the mind echoes the old reliable basketball term, “triple threat.” In basketball, the triple threat stance puts you in the best position to succeed, and also provides you with the most options. You can either shoot, pass or dribble.
RELATED: 10 Extreme Tests of Your Mental Toughness
One part of your foundation is belief in yourself.
Here’s a question: If you don’t believe in yourself, why would anyone else believe in you? Think about that for a moment. The answer is simple. People won’t believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself first.
Understand that your mind works like a magnet. Have you ever tried to connect the negative and positive sides of a magnet? What happens? The opposite sides attract each other. Once two magnets are connected, it’s easier for other magnets to be drawn to them. If you bring more positive sides toward the connected magnets, the pull becomes stronger, and once connected, the strength of the connection is increased. The more magnets that are connected, the stronger the connection.
RELATED: 3 Things That Can Destroy Your Mental Toughness
On the flip side, if you put the two positive sides or the 2 negative sides of the magnets near each other, they instantly repel, and no matter what you do, they will not connect.
Your mind works in a similar way. Whatever state of mind you are in (negative or positive), your brain works as the opposition to create an instant connection. When you are in a positive frame of mind, your brain acts as the negative side of the magnet. If you allow positive thoughts into your mind, it will attract more positive thoughts. On the contrary, if you are in a negative state of mind, your brain acts as the positive side of the magnet. If you allow negative thoughts into your mind, it will attract more negative thoughts.
Just as it’s impossible to attract two negative sides and two positive sides of a magnet, it’s also impossible to attract positive and negative thoughts into your mind at the same time. They will repel each other. Go ahead, try it. I’ll wait. Try it both with actual magnets and with your mind. Try and think of something negative and positive at the same time. It cannot happen. It is impossible to be positive and negative at the same time.
Because of the way your mind works, belief can be your greatest asset or your ultimate liability. The old computer-related phrase “garbage in, garbage out” applies perfectly to your belief system. Since your brain doesn’t know the difference between imagination and reality, you have an advantage in the way you use your mind. Any successful person will tell you that all their goals and dreams started in their mind. They went out and lived their lives based on what they believed about themselves. As Gandhi once said, “To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.” So believe in yourself and have the courage to follow through.
Hopefully you will understand that success in any form begins with a belief in yourself.
Stay tuned for more excerpts and articles about how to develop Iron-Clad Mental Toughness.
Note: This article is an excerpt from Anthony Drago’s forthcoming book, Go Prove Something! A Basketball Player’s Guide to Legally Using PEDs. PEDs does not refer to performance-enhancing drugs.