When I received my acceptance to the University of Toronto's Master of Civil Engineering program, I thought it was a fluke. I failed 3 out of 4 courses in grade 12 and my physics teacher wrote “Perhaps Mike should reconsider his future in sciences and engineering” on my report card. He wrote this with good reason, I failed his class with a 30% along with Chemistry and Calculus. This note left a mark in me, so I thought to myself that I didn’t deserve to be there, a masters program at the best engineering school in Canada. I felt that people looked at me different, like I didn’t fit in, and there was always this awkwardness when speaking to my professors and even the support staff. I felt dumb and felt that people were really treating me like this, because I truly didn’t deserve to be there. I decided to experiment with a mental exercise that I used as a fighter and thus made some small adjustments. Almost overnight, things changed, people looked at me different, the faculty spoke to me as if they were my friends, I even began to mentor other students in my class as I was now seen as the “gifted” student. I am going to share with you how I did it….
The purpose of this article is to share with you 5 words that will help you direct your mindset and your self perception to control what you can or cannot achieve. If you apply the philosophy behind these five words into your daily life, it can complete change the orientation of your life as it did for me. The words are:
“You Deserve To Be Here”
“I came upon a clue which enabled me to help millions of people to find their earthly destiny, I want to describe my discovery in the simplest terms possible, what the mind can conceive it can achieve regardless of how many times you have failed in the past.” -Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich.
When you doubt yourself, or carry a negative mindset you may not realize that this state of mind will anchor you down. Your thoughts will manifest into reality and whatever you think, will come true. When you have a negative mindset, your mind will control your subconscious behaviour and affect your overall state of being to reflect this way of thinking. This will begin to alter your overall behaviour, from how you walk, how you talk, even how you sit. When your behaviour is affected, the people around you will start to respond to your negative behaviour, and when you see their response it will reinforced your original negative thought. Then you will have concrete evidence to support your thinking. This cycle of negativity can quickly spiral out of control and it all happened from one negative thought. All of this can happen and you may not even realize it! This cycle is so deadly because once you make an impression on someone, it can be hard to change that impression.
In combat sports, the most difficult time mentally, is the 30 minutes before your fight, when your warming up in your locker room. You feel so many emotions, fear, nervousness, self-doubt, you even ask yourself why am I doing this?. Despite all your emotions, the moment your name is announced and you walk to the ring with the fans screaming and cheering you on you must act like your 100% confident. Any sign of weakness as this point will fuel your opponent to become a hungry piranha in a feeding frenzy. This is the kind of mindset you must have when you are unsure of yourself. Tell yourself you deserve to be here, regardless of how you feel, and pretend like you do, until you start seeing how people react to you, which will reinforce that positive mindset.
You can use the cycle noted above to your advantage, by believing in yourself, and putting in a genuine effort along with a mindset of resourcefulness, where you see struggles as part of everyday life you will be absolutely astonish by what you can achieve. I told myself "You Deserve To Be Here!" over and over again. I started talking to people differently, I started walking around more confidently, and people started responding to me in a positive manner. These simple words completely changed my life.
You Deserve To Be Here
Michael Zhang is a key contributor at Driven Fighters. He is passionate about the fighters mentality and motivating other people. He has associated walking into the boxing gym as the day his life changed. His story shows that with hard work anything is possible. Having taken himself from being labeled by his high school teachers as a failure and almost dropping out to opening numerous businesses and graduating with his Master Degree in Engineering (University of Toronto). At just 18 years old, he was featured on CH News, and awarded the Young Entrepreneur Award. His passion and desire to help others made him a perfect example of what a driven fighter is. He has 20+ fights including a national amateur tournament belt.