June 26, 2011 – I didn’t try anything. I just was. Result: Biggest victory in the highest pressure situation of my career.

April 26, 2014 – I tried to become a standup fighter. Result: Most devastating defeat of my professional career.

Difference – Lack of TRYING.

Imagine walking ten feet on a 1 foot wide plank that is lying on the ground. Easy peazy.

Raise that plank 10 feet and do the exact same thing. A little bit tougher. Raise it even higher and it becomes more and more difficult with every foot.

The task is the same, but the mindset has changed. Instead of just walking, something we learn to do at 2 years old, we are now trying to walk across the plank. Instead of being, we are now trying. We are not authentic.

Last week, I made a post about cold-calling principals to tell them about my assembly program. I stuttered, misspoke and even said, “…figure out the best approach to handle this situation”…to which the secretary responded, “umm, what ‘situation’ are you referring to?”

HA! I simply want to send a positive message to middle and high school students, but instead of being myself, I was trying to be a witty, calm, cool, confident salesman…ewwwww!

Whether it’s on a first date, a job interview, a presentation or just walking out into the world, don’t try to be anything, just be it.

As a professional fighter, I had attributes that allowed me to push the pace for days, scramble like no other, mentally break my opponents, apply pressure 10x my weight and set up punches to takedowns like very few people in the sport. But then, after awhile, I started listening to what other people were saying…”he’s boring”, “he’s a blanket”, “boo!”, (and my favorite from a higher-up), “I’d rather scratch my eyeballs out than watch him fight again.”

I had two choices – 1. embrace who I was as a fighter and become a better version of it, or 2. listen to “them” and change who I was as a fighter.

I chose the latter and April 26, 2014, speaks for itself.

I suggest you choose option 1, and here’s how:

  • Assess your strengths and identify the top 5 – write them down and improve in those areas
  • Eliminate “them” – limit social media, distance yourself from downers, lessen the resistance
  • Win and lose more – it doesn’t necessarily get easier, but you get better at bouncing back

In the wise words of my great friend and former coach, Don Messing, “Make it a great day!”


PS I know of a great book to read on the beach this summer. It’s called Driven. I know the author; he’s a nice guy :) Get it here! If you enjoy(ed) it, please leave a review on Amazon. It’ll help more and more people be themselves. Leave a review here!