It isn’t enough to merely have the skills to do something well; but you also have to be superbly confident about going into the challenge – whatever kind of a challenge it may be. Be it in your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training or competition, at your job, in your relationship with the family… A lot of it comes down to your mindset.
But, how do you develop such confidence, how do you develop a powerful mindset? Firas Zahabi believes it all comes down to narratives.
Here’s how he approaches battling negative thoughts:
This is what I call a “bulletproof mindset”: I don’t let these [negative] thoughts get into my mind. I observe these thoughts that are weakening my confidence, that are killing my performance, and I don’t let them in the door.
How do you keep them out in the cold and not let them in the door? By allowing a more positive thought into your mind.
Now, this is a bit more complicated, but it comes down to narratives. I leave the bad ideas out, and I leave them out by giving them no room – because I’m occupied with a better idea.
He gives an example of what forming a positive narrative looks like:
So, let’s say, for instance… That I lost my job. And I come home, thinking in my mind: “We’re not going to get money next week, what’s going to happen three months from now, two months for now, whatever… I’m out of a job, money is not coming in, I’m going to lose my house, my wife is gonna leave me…”
You start thinking in this downward spiral, as opposed to changing the channel and just saying: “Look, this is an opportunity for something else. Something good is coming… If I stayed on this job, I would’ve been to busy for this next opportunity. Something is going to come about – and I’m going to look for it.”
Now your eyes are on the different channel. Instead of sitting on the couch, feeling sorry for yourself, having that ball of stress in your gut, you’re thinking: “Hey, there’s an opportunity out there.”
You’ve got to believe that there’s an opportunity out there. And you’ll find the next opportunity.
Zahabi explains that these narratives might not have any logical claim to them, but that they are key to developing a powerful mindset:
These are narratives… They’re only true if you believe them. They make no logical claim to the world around you, no scientific claim.
Outside of logic and science, your narrative is whatever you make of it. So, I always tell people: “Don’t go against logic. Don’t go against science. Everything else is fair game.”
Listen more to the importance of narratives from Firas Zahabi on the video below: