Drug-free bodybuilding in general gets very little exposure in the national magazines. There just are not many examples of outstanding drug-free physiques for the world to see. Because of these reasons, the level of development bodybuilders think can be achieved without taking drugs is not particularly awe-inspiring.

The purpose of this chapter is to challenge the opinions, beliefs, and convictions that make you think you are severely limited in what you can accomplish. I want you to get rid of any untrue perceptions about drug-free bodybuilding that may be preventing you from putting forth your best effort.

How badly do you want to take your physique to the next level? How willing are you to leave your nice, safe comfort zone and apply more pressure to yourself for honest-to-goodness, long-term satisfaction? How willing are you to consider viewpoints different from the ones you currently have?

Reconsidering your established beliefs will take courage. You may very well come to realize you have been asking far too little from yourself. Maybe you've assumed what is indeed possible to achieve was impossible. Maybe you will need to admit that you really haven't been doing everything you could be doing to earn the physique you really want.

Do you have the courage to re-evaluate your current belief structure? Make that decision now!

Reconsidering your established beliefs will take courage.

As I've discussed before, you will find what you look for in life. If you want to find discrepancies in my beliefs, I am certain you will find them. If that's your intention, there is no point in continuing to read this book. But if you are ready and willing to open your mind in order to take your physique to a new level, then read on, my friend!

What will it cost you to hold on to disempowering beliefs? Ultimately everything you have ever hoped to accomplish with your physique without resorting to drugs. Bodybuilders who grapple with a pessimistic outlook toward their training often quit due to frustration. That frustration soon turns into anger. Unfortunately, there are far too many frustrated and angry drug-free bodybuilders around today. Although these bodybuilders may never settle for using steroids or other physique-enhancing drugs, they often do lash out at anyone who has earned a physique better than they have. Whether or not those better bodybuilders do or do not use drugs, angry bodybuilders will usually be convinced they do.

This state of anger is a miserable place to be-and you don't have to go there! The way to prevent yourself from ever getting there is to actively seek promising information and examples. Look for references to outstanding drug-free development whenever and wherever possible.

If you are currently in a place of frustration or anger, I have empathy for you. I, too, have felt the same pain-and still do from time to time. I'm happy to say, however, this feeling does not last very long before I get myself back on the right track.

How am I able to do so? By the questions I ask myself. If you ask a better question, you will direct yourself to finding a better answer. Instead of asking myself disabling questions like "Why do the guys who use drugs get all the magazine publicity?" I'll ask myself a better question like "If I can become an awesome natural bodybuilder, how can I use that accomplishment to get more exposure?" or "If I can add value to a magazine by helping thousands of other bodybuilders, will they give me exposure despite the fact I am not as big or ripped as the other guys?"

If you are currently in a place of frustration or anger, I have empathy for you. I, too, at times felt the same pain-and still do from time to time.

Although I still face these same challenges, those questions will guide me in an entirely different direction. Instead of feeling frustrated and angry, I will feel empowered and in control of my own bodybuilding destiny.

In the previous chapter of this book, I listed a series of fears and concerns common among many drug-free bodybuilders. Now I would like to list a few of those concerns again.

This time, however, I will follow them with constructive, empowering, and bodybuilding destiny-defining questions designed to help me overcome the challenges that may stand in the way of accomplishing my goals-and designed to help you achieve yours as well.

Ask yourself: Do I . . .

· continually focus on how difficult it is to train without drugs?

Difficult compared to what? Being a quadriplegic? I don't think so! What knowledge could I get from those who have excelled to make the process easier? Isn't anything in life that is worth having difficult? If everyone had a great natural physique without it being difficult to achieve, would I really want it? What other things in my life that have been difficult have I succeeded at anyway?

· continually tell everyone who wil listen how difficult it is to train without drugs?

What good will it do to tell everyone how difficult it is to train naturally? Will telling people this over and over again make me settle for less than my very best? Am I telling them this just to "brace my fall" if I fail? Am I just using this as an excuse because I am a little frustrated right now? Don't they have their own problems? Are they thinking I should just be happy for what I have, do my best to become the best I can be, and stop complaining? Am I sounding like the winner I really am?

· have the belief that I can't make it in the sport without using drugs?

What if I were to become an outstanding natural bodybuilder, win a highly publicized show, and market myself well? Could I then make it? If I am more creative, can I find a way to make it in this sport without using drugs? How about if I add tremendous value to other bodybuilders, supplement companies, or magazines? What if I bring something new and unique to the bodybuilding "table"?

· emphasize to my friends and the general public that I am drug free but that most other bodybuilders use drugs to get big?

Am I just generalizing about others to make myself feel better about my current development? Is continually emphasizing this generalization making me settle for the same standards I have now? Can I raise my standards and expect more from myself? If I indeed believe what I am telling others, will this prevent me from raising my standards and becoming a better natural bodybuilder?

· continually feel that I don't have the time to become a better bodybuilder?

How much time do I really need to become a better bodybuilder? Is it that I don't have enough time, or am I not using my time efficiently enough? Is there a bodybuilder I respect who demonstrates time management skills that I can learn? What would I give up in order to have more time to become a better bodybuilder? What if I woke up one hour earlier in the morning to work out? What if I joined a gym that was open more hours during the day and evening? How would I feel about myself when I was older if I gave my bodybuilding more effort at this time in my life?

· refer to myself as a hardgainer?

Who am I comparing myself to when I call myself a hardgainer? Is this a fair comparison? Don't I grow more rapidly than some people I know? Are all my body parts slow to grow? Are just a few? Is it really only a couple of parts? For my body parts that have been growing slowly, have I really done everything to get them more muscular? Have I tried even a dozen different strategies yet? How hard will I actually train and how well will I eat if I continue to call myself a hardgainer?

· feel that genetic potential determines about 95 percent of how good I can become as a bodybuilder and that I, unfortunately, do not have great genetics?

Is this just another excuse that I am using to make myself feel better about my current development? Do I know of any examples of other bodybuilders who don't have great genetics either but still have excelled at this sport? Can I still enjoy bodybuilding and training even though I don't have the best genetics?

· feel that any bodybuilder who takes what I consider to be an "excessive" amount of legal supplements is really not drug free?

Is there really anything wrong with taking a lot of supplements as long as they are legal and do not harm me? What makes me feel the amount of supplements that I take is the "right" amount? Am I just saying this because either I don't want to spend the money on supplements or can't afford to spend much money on them? What if they really do work? How much will they help me build my physique? Are supplements a major reason why natural bodybuilders are getting so good these days? Am I missing out because of this belief about what I consider excessive supplementation?

· continually complain that the major muscle magazines don't offer enough information directed specifically at natural bodybuilders?

What are the major differences between a physique built with drugs and one without? Can I use at least some of this information to help me build my natural physique? Which philosophies can apply to both types of bodybuilders? As you can see, asking yourself better questions will help you discover better solutions to your challenges. You will feel powerful, confident, and in control of your bodybuilding potential. That feeling will undoubtedly make the whole training experience more enjoyable. When you enjoy what you are doing, you will have a better chance of becoming the best you can be at it.

Be sure to apply this winning strategy to the challenges that come up in your regular life as well!

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