“Weaponize Belief” by Travis Elliott, B.S.

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“Weaponize Belief”

By Mash Mafia’s own Travis Elliott (Instagram: @travgoeslifting )

Come along with me on a short thought experiment. …

“Weaponize belief” is a phrase I recently heard on the Aubrey Marcus podcast (#104 w/ Jeremy Piven). Although the phrase is made up of two words commonly used, I had never thought about them in unity.

When approaching a statement such as “weaponize belief” I think it helps to visualize the traditional symbol of the yen and yang so classically displayed and easily recognizable from Japanese culture. The two opposing forces, dark and light, blended in complete balance. Let us take this thought experiment a bit further and assign roles to each force, darkness and light. Let’s assume that “belief” can most easily be associated with the light forces and that “weaponize” can be linked with the dark forces.

The light, the yang, the belief… is a foundational element in success. I’m approaching this model from the sport of weightlifting, but please do not limit yourself during this article or this thought experiment to only your physical pursuit. I’ve had the pleasure of talking to a handful of recognizably successful people. Without the labor of listing each individual and their accomplishments, the conclusion can still be made that success is not a matter of chance. More often than not an individual’s success, especially in the sport of weightlifting, is mapped along a period of trial and error. Mistakes, overcorrections, under estimation, and faulty assumptions tend to be the markers along the athlete’s road of progression. As the athlete moves through this space of improvement a tempering has begun. Every trial, every challenge is an opportunity to stretch and exercise the skill that is belief. Although typically not thought of as a skill, a tangible “have or have not”, but for the sake of this experiment, suspend reality and think of belief as a tool hanging from the weightlifters metaphorical weight belt. This skill is honed and hardened as time passes ultimately bringing the athlete closer to the final goal of success.

The dark, the yin, is the weaponized state of belief. Statistically there are more guns in American homes than there are citizens. This article is far from taking a stand on gun ownership, but the fact serves to highlight a point that many of us are harboring weapons of the material sense. Let’s move on to defining “weapon” (according to google dictionary): “a means of gaining an advantage or defending oneself in a conflict or contest”.

Let’s return to the firearm example above and let’s take a second to clarify for this argument a difference in two terms “gun” and “weapon”. Although synonymous with one another we will mark the differences in function and readiness. A gun being the physical shell of the weapon and once a round is chambered a metaphorical shift takes place and the gun has now became a weapon, it is actualized. It has transcended into the realm of action. In this example you can say that the gun itself has become weaponized since now it is transformed in the realm of action and intent.

Now that we have roles designated to each piece, approach the system has a whole instead of its fragmented parts. Thus, in theory, if success is highly dependent upon belief and the very definition of a weapon is, a means of gaining an advantage in contest, then the conclusion I hope to draw is that the weaponized practice of belief is a powerful indicator of success.

The point being this: I believe each athlete harbors a degree of belief in themselves; a belief in their coaches, their program, and their abilities. My invitation is to weaponize that belief. Make your belief or your faith in yourself in this sport of weightlifting dangerous. Just a sword sits in the sheath on the wall for display and as the handgun remains locked and stored away for safety- a change is necessary. While belief is powerful, weaponized belief is omnipotent. Take the necessary steps within yourself to believe whole-heartedly, with every fiber in your being, in your pursuit of success in this sport. Before you chalk your hands, before you plant your feet on the platform, before you set your hookgrig; you must believe in yourself. Believe in your talent. Believe in your coaches, your program, and your training. Weaponize your belief and destroy whatever stands in your path on the road to success.

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