3 Powerful Tips From A Champion On Breaking The Chains Of Self-Doubt

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Has someone ever paid you a compliment, but secretly you think they’ve got it all wrong? You appreciate their praise, but just can’t see yourself the way they do? Believe it or not, wrestler and MMA champion Iron Michael Chandler knows the feeling all too well.

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Credit: Facebook / Michael Chandler

Even with many accomplishments under his belt, he struggles with insecurity. But his personal relationship with our Lord and Savior has taught him that God doesn’t wish for us to live with a spirit of fear, but rather of power and love! And now, Iron Michael Chandler is using the success the Lord has blessed him with to not only help those who are less fortunate, but also to inspire others to break free from those chains of self-doubt!

The Early Years

Michael came from humble beginnings in St. Louis. His parents — a union carpenter and a secretary — instilled the importance of working hard and helping others. Those values, combined with his God-given passion and talent for athletics, led to Michael’s success — first as a wrestler while studying at the University of Missouri, and then in his career as a professional fighter known as Iron Michael in the field of Mixed Martial Arts.

Michael is now very accomplished. He’s a husband, fighter, public speaker, All-American wrestler and more.

But he was a fighter long before all of his achievements. And his biggest fight is one we all face — the battle of self-doubt.

Becoming Iron Michael Chandler

The world of a professional athlete is highly competitive and often very ego driven. Success is defined as being the best, but no one starts at the top. Michael recognizes that his strength to endure the sacrifice, pain and frustration he’s encountered on the road to becoming a champion comes from God above. His Christian faith and the values instilled by his blue-collar parents fuel his desire to use God’s blessings in his life to help and inspire others.

"It's that conviction of knowing that I've been given so much that drives me to succeed and give back every single day," says Iron Michael Chandler of his success.

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Credit: Blessed Threads

"It's that conviction of knowing that I've been given so much that drives me to succeed and give back every single day," says Iron Michael Chandler of his success.

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Knowing he wanted to find a way to give back, Michael started a T-shirt business called Blessed Threads. Inspired by a personal friend who has a child battling cancer, Michael teamed up with an organization operating out of his hometown of St. Louis — Friends of Kids with Cancer.

Helping Others

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Credit: Blessed Threads

With each purchase of a T-shirt sporting the tagline “Blessed,” a portion of the proceeds are donated to this charity, which is dedicated to supporting the little warriors facing cancer with the "recreational, educational, and emotional support" they need to remain "happy, positive, and motivated." Likewise, wearing a T-shirt that says "Blessed" is a bold proclamation that, no matter what these kids are going through, they are blessed – and there are blessings on the way.

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Credit: Blessed Threads

In addition to his charitable efforts, Iron Michael also uses his blog to motivate and inspire others. On it, he opens up about his own battles with self-doubt in his journey as a professional fighter. He recounts the frustration and disappointment that follows a bad practice or a lost fight, comparing the feeling to “life's punches that leave you wobbly and unstable.” And it’s how you respond that matters.

Michael suggests that when we enter the valleys of life, instead of replaying all of the negative thoughts we choose to use these trials to grow.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

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And below is an exercise he uses regularly as a way to remind himself that “it’s OK to see myself as great, successful, awesome, talented and praise worthy.”

How Iron Michael Chandler Fights Self-Doubt

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Credit: michaelchandler.com

Iron Michael Chandler’s Tip 1: Write a letter to yourself from God from His point of view

Imagine you just told God all your doubts, fears and insecurities. How would He react? What would He say? Include how you think He sees you. How would He react if you told Him you don't truly believe in yourself? Be specific what these fears, doubts and insecurities are. What advice would the Heavenly Father give you to get closer to your goals? What compliments would He give you? What constructive criticism could He give you that you can take with a smile and work on? Remember — this only for you to see, so don’t hold back!

Iron Michael Chandler’s Tip 2: Now, write a letter back to God

Tell Him what you think about what He told you. Tell Him the steps you are going to take moving forward. Tell Him how hard you are going to work to make a positive change. This will feel like you are telling Him things you already know, which is a good thing because it is going to reinforce your brain to continue to strive to start seeing yourself in a different light. It’s all about breaking out of your comfort zone with your self image. Sometimes we look at ourselves and all we see are our setbacks and our limitations and our shortcomings. There is absolutely nothing wrong with loving yourself and being proud of who you are. Focus on the positive.

Iron Michael Chandler’s Tip 3: Poll your friends

Another exercise I do is say (to myself) that if I polled 100 friends, family, fans etc, over 95% of them would say that I deserved to be great, that I am very talented, that I am fun to watch and that I am one of their favorite fighters – so why the heck would I ever doubt myself? What is holding me back from seeing myself the way God sees me and the way others think of me? If they see me this way, surely I should start seeing myself this way, right? There is absolutely nothing wrong with me seeing myself as great!!

You can do this with yourself, in your life. It doesn't have to be 100 people, but truly ask yourself:

How do the positive people in my life see me?

It’s important to consciously choose to focus on the positive people in your life. We all know some people are too hard to please, and there is no use dwelling on their negativity. But remember what they think about you only matters if it’s positive because you have chosen to meditate on what is good, inspiring, uplifting and good.

Two things can come of this self evaluation: 1) You need to see yourself in a more positive light because so many others do, so why shouldn't you? OR 2) You really do need to improve your work ethic, competence, skills, character, integrity and attitude to gain a better reputation. Let’s be honest, you can't expect people to have a high view of you if you aren't striving for greatness. Both scenarios will cause growth so both are constructive.

What an incredible testament to what God can do through us! Please be sure to share this story with all you know who could use some encouragement to keep on fighting!

"More than half of success is just believing that you deserve to be successful . . . and we ALL do." — Michael Chandler

Hear Iron Michael Chandler talk about how to live inspired in the video below:

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“For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7

h/t: Iron Michael Chandler

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