6 Rare Signs You Have A Champion Mentality

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confident looking woman

You want to be a champion.

You know it. I know it.

But what does a champion mentality exactly look like? In this article, I want to discuss six signs that someone has a champion mentality. See if you have any of these. If you don’t, maybe it’s time you develop them.

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Here are 6 rare signs you have a champion mentality:

1. You do your best work when you feel least like it

  • The average person doesn't do what they’re supposed to if they don’t feel like it.
  • A winner pushes through and shows up even when they don’t feel like it.
  • But a champion… he’s the one who does his best work when he least feels like it.

If you turn around ‘not feeling like it’ days into your best days of effort, it’s a sign that you have a champion mentality.

2. You realize that ‘now’ is all you have

I was working when one of my friends came to ask me if I wanted to go see a movie with a bunch of other guys. I said, “I’m sorry man, I can’t. I have some work that I decided I’ll finish today.”

He said, “Well, is there a deadline? If not, you can work on it tomorrow.”

“Nope, no deadline. But I still have to do this today. You guys have a great evening.”

He went away, and then I thought to myself, “It’s so normal for people to put off their ‘today’ work to tomorrow. And they don’t feel like it’s a big deal.” But it was a big deal for me.

Because lately, I’m starting to realize that ‘now’ is all I have. The old adage that makes you cringe “Tomorrow never comes” is so f*cking accurate. And while almost everyone has heard of it, only a rare few have the self-control to practice its implications.

If that’s you — if you realize that ‘now’ is all you have, it’s a sign of a champion mentality.

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3. You have the 'one more' mindset

I used to work out with this guy a few years ago. He was a real pain — at least that’s what I felt at the time. That’s because every now and then after having completed our sets, he’d ask, “Let’s do one more?” I complied at times, but even when I didn’t, he’d keep pushing me until I said yes.

It was hard enough for me to get my butt to the gym, but then to work out longer than I was supposed to really pushed my buttons.

However, I now realize the value of those words. I now realize that those are the words that come out of a champion's mouth.

But that’s only the case in the right situation. If you and your friend just finished eating an extra-large pizza with cheese loaded in the crust and he says “One more?” that’s definitely not what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about the “One more” mindset some people have when they’re already doing something outside their comfort zone. That’s a champion mentality. Do you have it?

4. You don't downgrade guilt over broken promises

Somewhere along the line, self-help has taken a deadly turn. It’s the “Go easy on yourself” turn. This philosophy claims that if you don’t do something you told yourself you would, don’t beat yourself up over it and instead, go easy on yourself.

However, I think this is not self-help. It’s self-abuse. This philosophy teaches you to be soft and tells you to be okay with the fact that you don’t respect your word.

But champions don’t believe in this philosophy. If they promised themselves that they’d do something and they don’t do it, they let themselves feel guilty. They don’t downgrade their guilt. They don’t go easy on themselves. Instead, they make sure they feel the pain and guilt so that they keep their word the next time.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m not completely against going easy on yourself. I’m simply suggesting a caveat.

On an overall basis — go hard on yourself. Do hard things. Push yourself. And only in very rare cases— as a way to protect your mental health — go easy on yourself.

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5. You occasionally sacrifice the 8-hour slumber

I’m a big fan of sleep. I try my best to get 8 hours of sleep every day. In fact, I might even get nine on most days. However, an interesting thing I’ve found common in champions is that from time to time, they end up sacrificing their sleep to keep their promises.

For instance, I’m sure that as a pro basketball player, Kobe Bryant got 8 or more hours of sleep every night. However, in one of his interviews, Kobe talks about how he goes out late at night with his teammates one day to bond with them. But the next day, he’s up at 6 AM waking everybody up for practice.

Or take David Goggins’s example. This one time, he finished his day at 2 AM at night, and he was supposed to be in the studio to record his audiobook the next day at 9 AM. However, David runs a few miles every morning. And so that day, he woke up at 6 AM, ran his miles, and then went to the studio.

Mind you, I’m not suggesting that sacrificing sleep is good. It’s not. Unequivocally. Chronically sleeping less than 8 hours is plain stupid.

However, I’m simply pointing out the fact in your journey there will be some days when you’re just not able to find the time to do what you told yourself you would. On those days, when it’s time to go to bed, you can either tell yourself that 8+ hours of sleep is important and fall asleep. Or, you can consider that day a rare exception where you sacrifice your sleep and do your work.

That’s what a champion does, anyway.

6. You realize that it’s (always) on you

There’s this important person I was trying to reach out to so that I could pitch an idea for a project to him. After scouring the web for a way to contact him, and several emails with his secretary, I was finally able to schedule a call with him.

I was super excited and prepared well for the pitch.

However, when I started talking about my idea, he seemed to have lost interest after a while, told me the problems with my idea, and asked me to reach out again (if) and when I had something better.

I felt dejected. I complained to my friend, “It pissed me off. I wish he would have paid a bit more attention, or given me the benefit of the doubt and actually realized the potential of my idea.”

To which my friend said, “Maybe it was his fault. But putting the blame on him isn’t going to get you better. I recommend that the next time you pitch him or someone else — assume full responsibility. Believe that it’s completely on you to actually make them buy what you’re selling.”

And it blew my mind away. It was an epiphany. You see, there are certain things outside of your control in life — how other people act and behave is definitely not in your control. So what’s the use of complaining about it? The only person whose actions and competency you can control is you. So you might as well believe that it’s always on you and focus on what you can do to tilt the favors in your direction.

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Akshad Singi, M.D. has been published in Better Humans, Mind Cafe, and more. 

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.