Michael Chandler - Mindwork
At the beginning of May 2018, Michael Chandler was a guest at the well-known Joe Rogan Experience. He is a former two-time lightweight champion in Bellator MMA. Pretty soon in the podcast, Chandler stated how important it was to have the right mindset to be a top athlete and be a champion.
"We underestimate just how important the mental aspect in life is and not just in athletics… “ , “a healthy self-image is the most important component to be successful in life”.
He acknowledges that he had a great upbringing by his parents, however, he was never been taught that he could be great and do great things. Later Chandler realized that untill recently he didn’t believe he could do great things and be a dominant champion. Before his mma career, Chandler was a college wrestler. About this period he tells Joe Rogan :
“When I went into college wrestling, I might have told the coaches I’m going to be a national champion, I might have told the reporters I’m going to be a national champion, but in my heart, I didn’t truly believe it” “if you don’t truly believe it, you can’t actually achieve it, or you will get to the point of success and mess up”
In 2013/2014 he lost three consecutive mma fights in Bellator which eroded his confidence. Chandler realized that he wasn’t ‘taking ownership’ of his mental state. Something he changed after the first loss in 2014 against Will Brooks. He would start actively building his mindset to aspire to get top results. From now on his mindset would be his responsibility and not the result of circumstances.
When Podcast host Joe Rogan asks him how he was able to turn around his mindset and what specific steps he had undertaken, Chandler talks about one book which was detrimental in this process.: Mindgym : An Athlete’s guide to inner excellence by Gary Mack and David Casstevens.
The book talks about building mental highlight reels and remembering them repeatedly to boost your confidence and get a winner's mindset. This mental highlight reel consists of past accomplishments where you excelled in your sport and performed extraordinarily. More specifically remembering those times when you were performing in your flow state. Chandler explains:
“It happens step by step, brick by brick, you make these little accomplishments. And as long you continue to remember them, you can continue to increase this confident capacity.
All this mindwork has now paid off, states Chandler:
“It has taken me to when I was almost 30 years old to really truly believe that I was put on this earth to do some amazing things and that there are no limits on myself and that there are no limits to my capabilities.”