I have always wanted to get on stage to compete and now with the new NPC Figure category, I'd like to enter one of the competitions but the girls look a lot more muscular than me. Everyone tells me I should compete. Is this still a good idea? What if I don't want to get too muscular? Should I even bother?
Note: Carmen has an extensive fan base from around the world created from modeling in national publications and websites. Her personal website has a brand new look. Check it out! Make sure to check out her section here on Bodybuilding.com, click here!
Yes! If you want to compete, you should! I encourage participation in competition when the desire is there. Here is some help to getting your thoughts clear.
For the practical part of the journey into a competitive look, you are going to need some help from experienced professionals. I asked questions and made decisions to bring these people into my team: choreographer (for Fitness routines), posing coach, trainer, gymnastics coach, nutritionist, costume designer and hair/make up experts. It does take a team to build a champion.
The mental part of your journey can make or break you. Pay attention. It is of great self-benefit to sit with yourself and decide on what your competition goals are. The answers to these questions become the foundation you build on for success. Avoid these common oversights I have seen or experienced in all levels of competition and use these tips to create your dream experience of a lifetime.
1. Create self-goals in both the mental as well as physical.
Physical goals are more visible so they are easier to keep track of. The tricky goals are the mental ones. Being able to control your state of mind is key to any consistent success. This is much easier said than done in the face of extreme physical challenge. There are athletes that can make dreams come true with a positive attitude. You recognize the ones that have this quality right away after you have met or seen them in action. There is an energy of light around them.
They are selfless in their devotion to remaining in this state of mind. Some people are perhaps born with this naturally. I only know, I had to focus to work mine into the shape I was happy with. I also know I continue to work and build this to my own standards each and every day. There were many lessons learned in my years of competition and now here in Hollywood, I am using these same tools for what I want to portray as an actor, model and producer. Remember, the one thing you get to control is the way you react and act in every situation. Accept the facts as they are, not as you want them or think they should be. "Grace under pressure" is surely a goal worth attaining.
2. Go into training with solid goals.
Vague goals like: "win at all costs" will not help much. We have experienced goals in ourselves or others coated in a layer of something else more positively acceptable as in "I want to motivate others" or "This is just for my own best of self," if these statements are not true desires, trying to manifest them will be a difficult time. I know good people who murmur these statements who claim to want self-gain for the good of others. What does this really mean to you? Can you identify it? You will need to dig deeper and pinpoint just what this means to you. This is not to say this positive thought process is lacking. It is just misdirected or not followed through.
3. Find out where winning falls on your personal list and why.
After all, this is competition. What if the fact you must win IS one of your true desires? This is a perfect time for you to look into why and what that represents. You may find out something about yourself you were not consciously aware of. Trust yourself. It's worth knowing everything you can about the mental "knee jerk" reactions your brain automatically sends out. It is possible to work on channeling your thoughts and reactions in a more helpful way to yourself if you know what you are dealing with fundamentally. Remember, we all arrange our houses differently so put winning where you want it in your own house of order and know the reasons why.
4. There is nothing wrong with getting better.
You will learn along the way. Even if you win. Even if you don't win. You will learn and you will be better next time. Nobody starts where they will end up. For some reason, we slip into expecting this of ourselves. I hear potential athletes and competitors tell me they want to wait until they are ready. Ready or perfect? When are you perfect? How will you learn? There is no getting over your first time. You cannot skip or go around this part. Repeat to yourself over and over: there is nothing wrong with getting better. So start already.
5. You are right to question anything new you will add to your world.
This will affect you and the way you represent and present yourself to the outer world. Pick the top ten things you wish to accomplish. Write them down on a piece of paper. Remember to choose from both the mental as well as the physical. They may or may not have anything to do with each other but it is important to isolate them in your own mind so you can meet challenges with insight and mental preparation. Go through them one by one and ask yourself why you want that particular goal. Meaning, what will reaching that goal bring into your life in a positive way?
You could just wing it and deal with the challenges as they present themselves. If this is your way, how is that working out for you? Are you able to get yourself motivated? Are you happy with your results or do you wish you had a more polished program? Why not be prepared? Try it.
6. Write down the answers to these questions and date it.
Goals have a funny way of changing along the way if not only in order of importance. For your information: this is not only normal it is a good thing!
7. Follow your hearts desire.
This is the path to your future. It starts in your mind and enters into your world. It is very difficult and sometimes impossible to do this in reverse order by starting outside, finding something and forcing it into our minds if our minds are not prepared. So you see, we really must follow our hearts desires for attaining our dreams and goals.
Take care of yourself. It's worth it.