Deontay Wilder
reclaim everything back
Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and wondered what happened to the person you used to be? That person who had big dreams, energy for days, and unlimited potential? That person who was fit, healthy, and happy? That person who was confident, ambitious, and destined to be successful?
If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. So many people today are facing personal crises of identity, fulfillment, or even purpose. Some feel stuck in a rut, maybe even trapped by their own circumstances, and feel powerless to change it. They have lost their passion, drive, and what hurts me the most to say, their self-respect. They’ve turned into the “he had so much potential” guy.

It doesn’t have to be this way…at all. It is possible to reclaim everything back: your health, your wealth, and your self-respect and image. What that looks like is different for every person. There is no one-size-fits-all fix that comes in a convenient little pill (even though the industry has been trying that for decades). It’s about finding the source of what’s wrong.
Once you get to the root cause of what has been holding you back, you can become the person you were meant to be. But when I refer to something that has been holding you back, I do not mean some mythical thing to blame, it’s whatever is inside of you that needs to be addressed – that’s what I’m talking about.
Let’s start at the beginning. 
victim mentality
We’re talking about the victim mentality today. It is a topic that has been studied at length in the medical community, and what psychologists actually call it is a tendency for interpersonal victimhood.
Recently, I was reading an article in Scientific American that included a short survey that can be used to determine your level of victim mentality. Take a look at these 4 statements, and be really damn honest with yourself on how you feel about them. No BS. You can’t get to the source of the problem if you can’t be honest with yourself. If you read these and find yourself saying “That’s me!” then I’m proud of you for being honest with the person that deserves it the most: yourself. 
think about these carefully
  • It is important to me that people who hurt me acknowledge that an injustice has been done to me.
  • I think I am much more thoughtful in how I relate to people compared to how I am treated.
  • When people close to me feel hurt by my actions, it is important for me to clarify that justice is on my side.
  • It is very hard for me to stop thinking about the injustice others have done to me.
If you agree with these statements, then you may be one of those individuals who have a tendency for interpersonal victimhood. It doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you. But if thoughts like these consume you and affect your performance at work, the gym, or at home, then it’s time to acknowledge that perhaps a change is necessary.
But why should you change? Isn’t the problem everyone else?
defense mechanisms
First, no, the problem isn’t everyone else. It might be how you interpret everyone else though. Think about it. Life is full of ambiguity. Sometimes you smile at someone on the street and don’t get an acknowledgement back. Sometimes a date doesn’t text back at the same rate of speed you do. Either way, if you look back on those four statements, they all evolve around one topic: me. What’s been done to me, what is important to me, and other finger pointing.
In the world of combat sports, I’ve seen the victim mentality all too often. Fighters that blame their coaches or the ref for a loss, blame their trainers for a bad camp, or anything else they can pin the loss on. If you need a real-world example of what that looks like, take a look at any fight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. lost or even Deontay Wilder who tried to blame his walkout costume, spiked water, and a biased referee on his loss to Tyson Fury.
These are really defense mechanisms created to avoid having to face an ugly truth that they were not successful. These defense mechanisms then lead to even worse things like depression. 
“yet” makes all the difference
One key to avoiding this situation is being able to be proud of what you’re good at and owning what you are not. This is where the seeds of self-confidence are planted.
There is also a powerful little word that when added to the end of a sentence, can make a world of difference: yet.
“I rolled for a little bit with so-and-so, and I tapped in less than two minutes. I guess I’m not on his level…. yet” See? The addition of one little word takes this statement from negative reinforcement to a motivational one with a hopeful and positive outlook.
So, let’s go back to that mental image of you standing in front of the mirror wondering what happened and why you’re having those feelings of, “What did I do to end up here?”
Is someone out of shape looking back at you in the mirror? Then own it. It starts with one little phrase: I’m not in shape…yet. In one short sentence, you are owning your own problem, but promising yourself you’ll change it. Or, how about this: I’m almost 50 and I don’t have enough for retirement…yet or I don’t have people’s respect at work/home/the gym…yet. Whatever the case, the word “yet” changes the intent of the statement completely. 
accept then change
But then comes the part where you have to put in the work. It’s great to be able to identify what is holding you back from a better body, financial security, or better at life relationships, but once you’ve found the cause of your feelings and turned your negative affirmations into forward looking positive statements, you actually have to do what is necessary.
That requires a little healthy anxiety. We’ve talked about healthy anxiety before. It’s that little voice that tells you to work faster because a deadline is approaching, or keeps you mentally prepared for anything in an unfamiliar place. This is especially true when it comes to MMA. I think Nick Diaz summed it up perfect in an interview once, “If you don’t have anxiety, you probably shouldn’t be fighting. You probably haven’t made it that far. This sport is 24-hour anxiety.”
Obviously, he’s not talking about the kind of anxiety that cripples you into lying in bed and not moving, but the healthy anxiety that can be harnessed to keep you working hard and preparing in the gym so that you know you’re ready when the time comes. If a fear of losing is what it takes, then that is what it takes.
That’s basically the whole path: Accept and own your flaws, decide what you need to change, understand that the world will not bend to your will and see everything your way, and accepting that is a great place to start.
Then you put in the work. Motivation isn’t something that can be turned off and on like a light switch, so creating healthy anxiety can help. Set deadlines or some other challenge for yourself and actually hold yourself accountable. Remember, those with the victim mentality avoid accountability. 

Lastly, remember that you are not a victim of your circumstances. You control how you react and feel about what happens to you. The only individual that can stop you from becoming the best version of yourself is you.
So, what are you waiting for? 
I'll see you in the next one,
-Steven Williams

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