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Building Mental Toughness with Miesha Tate

Miesha Tate is an American mixed martial artist and submission grappler who competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and is a former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion. She has also won a silver medal in the FILA Grappling Championships.

Outside of MMA, Tate has modeled for numerous websites and publications, including ESPN The Magazineand Fitness Gurls. In 2015, Tate was announced as a cast member in the feature film Fight Valley. Her fighting style, which focused on wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, has earned praise from multiple peers and media outlets.

After retiring in 2016, Tate is returning to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) this year.

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How do you build mental toughness?

The world can often be a difficult place, and sometimes it can feel like it’s against you. Which is why it’s even more important to build cognitive resilience that allows you to stay focused on your goals.

Today, we’re talking with one of the most recognized female fighters in the world, UFC Champion Miesha Tate. She’s recently out of retirement and we’re so excited to have this conversation together.

Limitless isn’t about being perfect. It’s about constantly working to advance and progress. And a big part of that is mental toughness. Listen in, as we talk about the importance of mental preparation.

"Harness your mental strength by having the curiosity to get to know yourself, and the courage to be yourself."


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Build A Support System

  • A support system is a group of people who are there to genuinely lift you up and not tear you down.
  • This can be just one person, as long as they are there to support you.
  • It’s important to have someone cheering you on, telling you that you can accomplish your goals.
  • Outside of this support system, you may not feel very supported or understood. That’s what makes it so important.
  • You may end up being questioned a lot, but a solid support system will help you find the silver lining through any tough time.

The Positives In Failure

  • Often, failure is more than what it seems.
  • The one fight that really helped usher women’s fighting into UFC was the fight Miesha lost her World Title in.
  • Failure can bring hindsight.
  • Just because you hit a bump in the road, don’t assume you know what’s going to come from that.
  • It can be difficult to have foresight when it comes to mental toughness and it requires a bit of belief.
  • You have to believe that if you continue to put one foot in front of the other, even if you can’t see that far ahead or know exactly where you’re going, that you’re going to get there.
  • Mental toughness is staying on that path, wherever it may take you.
  • You don’t have to see the future, but you have to have the mindset.
  • If you have the fundamental tools to create yourself, you can do it every time you get knocked down.
  • Ask yourself: What’s the worst that can happen?
  • It often takes a little bit of crazy to be ambitious.
  • The other side of mental toughness is surrender.
  • Just as there’s power in strength, there’s power in surrender.
  • Have the grit and tenacity to reach your goals, but also embrace grace and harmony.

Get To Really Know Yourself

  • When you invest in your frame of mind, you get results.
  • One way to build that mentality is developing the ability to take your mindset and applying it to different areas to get what you need out of any and every situation.
  • Your mind is powerful, but can you harness your mindset to achieve different objectives?
  • This takes the curiosity to get to know yourself and the courage to be yourself.
  • Knowing yourself is one thing but acting on who you are goes beyond knowledge.
  • That’s when you overcome what others think of you.
  • There can be a lot of noise in the world and keeping your focus is hard.
  • You have to love and respect yourself first, otherwise no one else will.
  • A lot of how people respond to you, is the energy you’re bringing into the room.
  • Whenever you’re in doubt, put yourself in other people’s shoes.
  • Ask yourself: What are they looking to get out of this?
  • Most people don’t want you to fail.
  • Going back to a support system, be sure you have a plan to handle the negatives in your life.
  • Many of us have to use social media.
  • It’s easy to say ignore negative comments, or not let them bother you. But that’s easier said than done.
  • If you’re not in a place to deal with the negative aspects of reaching your goal, have someone who can help.
  • Try to stay away from the places you know you’re going to encounter negativity.

Find Motivation In The Unexpected

  • There’s a different between ignoring the negative and being aware of it.
  • Negativity can often fuel motivation or even inspiration.
  • Have a plan to help you experience negative moments, whether online or in person.
  • There’s always a way to mitigate the situation and circumstance around negative interactions or experiences.
  • If you’re not in a place where you feel like you can deal with it, don’t give it any energy.
  • Have a plan so you can focus on growth and momentum without getting lost in a whirlwind of negativity.
  • When you can, find a way to channel those comments or interactions into a positive.
  • This could be proving someone wrong or using their criticism as a way to get even better.
  • Find a way to turn it around.
  • The goal is to try and find a way to reject someone imposing their limitations on you.
  • One way to do this is by embracing gratitude.
  • No matter what, there are always going to be obstacles.
  • But there are also opportunities.
  • By embracing the opportunities and focusing on them, you can always move forward instead of being mired in doubt and letting obstacles win.
  • Remember that in order to be a role model, you have to do the work on yourself first.
  • You have to do the things necessary to ensure your success, and then you can raise others.
  • It’s about showing people what to do, not telling them.
  • The life you live is in the lessons you teach.
  • Finally, surround yourself with inspiration.
  • Post quotes on the wall and mirror, or hang up photos of people you aspire to be.
  • This can also be pictures of yourself because you are your own competition. Nobody else.
  • Wake up motivated by what you can do and how you can do it better.
  • Be sure to check out the unedited, extended episode on YouTube, here.

Share With Us

  • Take a screenshot of this episode, tag us on social media (@MieshaTate & @JimKwik), and share one insight you got from today’s episode.
  • I’ll repost and share some of my favorites.

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