I've seen some of the most naturally gifted fighters be the weakest mentally just as I've seen some of the worst fighters, who couldn't fight their way out of a paper bag yet they had so much belief in themselves, almost to the point of denial, to where it allowed them to get in there and perform...well to a point at least. I think belief in yourself is one of the most important aspects when it comes to fighting or anything in this world you hope to accomplish.
"Whether you think can, or think you can't-- you are right!"-Henry Ford
I think in the beginning it's a lot easier in the sense that you really don't know what it is you can or cannot do. Well I should say that it's easier in the sense that it's a lot broader of a subject but the more you do this the more you find out what you are and aren't capable, not to say those things can't change. You learn just what can happen to you in there, how you deal with pain, fatigue, doubt. How you react when things don't go your way.
When it comes to myself one of the things I have struggled with was being humble, I know it doesn't sound like a bad thing but I do it to the point of not giving myself enough credit for the talent that I have. I saw fighters when I was coming up that were so arrogant and full themselves that it just sent me in the complete opposite direction. Now this is where I'm at naturally anyway but I was so off put by watching them that it made me go to an extreme. There's a difference between being arrogant and in believing in yourself, and it can be a very fine line between the two.
As in most things in life, it's all about balance. As a fighter you need to believe in yourself and what it is you can do, your natural ability, or inability, can only take you so far. Without belief we are nothing.
One of the biggest hurdles when it comes to fighting, or anything for that matter, is when your beliefs are shattered. The person that's gone undefeated their whole career, is untouchable and on top of the world, suddenly gets knocked out and has their world turned upside down. Often times when this happens that person starts second guessing everything that they do. Where they once knew their strengths now they just have doubts. They start thinking about all the things in their game that they need to change, which isn't always a bad thing but most times we overdo it. They start listening to way too many people about what they need to do, should have done, and what they need to change.
In my case, and most others, what should have been a slight adjustment we completely over analyze and end up trying to be something we are not, and then when that doesn't work out we are completely lost and just don't even know who we are anymore.
Having a dream is wonderful, but it is only one small step in the process of actually achieving it. Believing in that dream is just as important in having it and believing that you can accomplish it. But not just that, you need to believe in it not just when things are good. When everything is falling apart around you, when everyone and their mother is doubting you and you are even doubting yourself. The most important person that can ever believe in you, is you!
There will always be times when we need to take a look at where we are, what we need to change to become better, and how to move forward. What we often do though, as I did, is take our analysis way too far to where we lose sight of who we are and it usually all starts with doubt. But doubt, just like fear, can be an asset as long as it's used correctly. You might have a very good reason for that doubt, but you need to take it for what it is. Make the changes and adjustments you need to but never lose sight if who you are and what got you to where you are at today.