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Faisal Abdalla: You Are Your Own Competition

Once you can recognize yourself as your prime competitor, you are poised to move to new levels.

For better or for worse, you are your own competition. That’s true in the gym, at the dining table and in your head.

The good news here is that you can be in total control. By maintaining a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA), you can get a leg up on the competition (that’s you, remember?). When you’re having one of those days when you’re feeling like you’re not good enough, PMA can help you get your edge back.

Know your strengths. If you are your own competition, start by sizing yourself up. Be realistic about the training work you are capable of and where you can improve. Get to know your weaknesses and work to make them your strengths.

Set a goal. Having goals is incredibly important. Post your goals somewhere you can see them. You can only achieve them if you can believe in them. Your goals should be tailored just to you— even if you don’t hit them exactly, you’ll be closer than if you never tried.

Start strong. Don’t waste your life waiting for tomorrow. Whatever that first step is, don’t wait for tomorrow to take it. You are the only one who truly knows if you’re giving it your all, so be bold—even if that just means reading this and then going for a walk. The new you starts right now.

Write it down. One of the best ways to know yourself is to track how you feel from the inside out in a journal. Track information like workouts, meals, and how you felt after each and use this record as a tool for looking back and seeing how far you’ve come.

Celebrate the wins. Whenever you hit a milestone or reach a target, find a way to acknowledge it. For me, I like to strike a pose that symbolizes PMA to me, where I flex one bicep and reach the other arm straight out and up. I’ve had clients from across the globe send me photos where they’re doing the PMA pose. But celebration is not just for when you hit a new personal best on the track or get through a really tough training session. Stop to acknowledge moments when you feel grateful or find yourself in an amazing place.

Recruit cheerleaders. Your first recruit should be you—that’s what PMA is all about! But it’s also important to have a group of supporters and buddies. It’s important to have folks who you can text with, train with, or whip up a healthy meal with, especially on days when you need that extra nudge to keep going.

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