Motivation is one thing, consistency is another.
You’ve probably heard it 1,000 times before, but there’s no denying that inspiration – though powerful – is often fleeting. When it comes to ticking your long-term goals and reaching your full potential, steady behaviours over time always win.
The question is: how do you become more consistent, especially when times get tough (or, let’s face it, mundane)?
For experienced martial artist, published author and keynote speaker, Nadine Champion, consistency comes down to simple mindset shifts. Change the way you think, and you’ll change your focus, happiness and willingness to do what needs to be done, to get you to your goal.
‘Consistency, for me, has been a lot around discipline, respect and becoming the best version of yourself,’ says Champion.
‘It’s the little things that we all do in our lives that signal to other people what we are made of, more than any trophy ever could.’
In a recent episode of the WarriorU podcast, Champion shared three lessons in consistency she mastered from her own mentor, the great Sensei Benny Urquidez:
1. Make peace with your fear
A common roadblock to consistency is fear, according to Champion. How many times have you let anxiety about an outcome get in the way of completing a task – be it a training session in the gym, providing feedback to a colleague, or putting your hand up for a promotion?
‘For me, the hardest part was standing at the door of the dressing room just before a fight; to be full of adrenaline and preparing to face the unequivocal truth of what you are made of,’ says Champion.
‘It’s those ten seconds before you start walking that is the ten seconds of courage. Am I going to stay in my comfort zone or am I going to, when my moment comes, walk out the door and face my fear?’
The secret, says Champion, is making peace with your fear. It’s about acknowledging your emotions and executing tasks and skills consistently despite your anxiety. So that when it comes to crunch time – be it in the boardroom or in an MMA ring – you can control those emotions, be completely present in the moment, and execute without a second thought.
‘Sensei Benny was all about make peace with your fear and understanding your fear – don’t pretend you don’t have it, because then it becomes a hinderance,’ says Champion.
‘If you can get experience with those feelings, then when you are having that moment at the dressing room, you can back yourself better. Because it’s not your first rodeo ¬– you’ve done it before.’
2. Create positive habits (the little things count)
Think about your day-to-day habits. The little tasks that you perform regularly, seemingly subconsciously – like brushing your teeth, putting the dishwasher on in the morning or taking a shower. While many of these small behaviours may feel like a necessity, Champion frames them as a way of demonstrating respect – not just to those around you, but to yourself and what you do.
It’s why Champion asks her students to make their bed every morning and iron their uniform crisply before they step into the ring. It’s not just about starting your day well, it’s about respect. And with respect for self, says Champion, comes gratitude and the motivation to perform positive behaviours more consistently.
‘When you are lucky enough to have something that you love, to have something you do well, and to be surrounded by good people in that effort with you – and when you can consistently teach yourself to be respectful of what you are doing, of yourself and of them – I think you can win at pretty much anything in life,’ she says.
Creating small habits that matter and make you feel good, sets you up to get the significant things right when the time comes.
3. Reflect, reflect, reflect
‘Just trust the process’ is a phrase that’s easy to say but often tough to do. For Champion, the key to honing that trust is through reflection. Think journaling (about what you learnt and also how you applied those lessons) and finding a teacher you respect and who can keep you accountable to your own progress. For Champion, reflection has also come in the form of teaching others.
‘When a student is going through something, I often need to reach for something that I may not have thought of in a while, to share in the hope that it will help them,’ says Champion.
But the most important part of trusting the process and consistency, according to Champion? Never give up.
‘Nothing is a straight line. Over time, logically, of course you’ll get better. But if you stop, it’s fixed,’ says Champion.
‘You have to trust whenever there is that downswing – as long as you don’t give up – there’s an upswing.’
Are you ready for your team to unlock the power of consistency? The WarriorU’s parent company, Hindsight Leadership, delivers tailored leadership and resiliency solutions to achieve just that. Enquire today.