One of the greatest tools you can use in bodybuilding is visualization. Visualization involves using your imagination to see yourself the way you want to be. By flooding your subconscious mind with a positive vision of where you see you yourself, you are creating a self fulfiling prophecy. Since your subconscious mind cannot distinguish between reality and fantasy, you are creating your own future through the power of your imagination.
Visualization takes practice in order to become good at it. I recommend that you set aside a certain time each day to "daydream" and use visualization for your benefit. Find a quiet place and see yourself the way you want your physique to look. If you find it hard to see your body looking big and ripped, one method of getting to that level is to pick a bodybuilder who has a bodytype similar to yours and imagine yourself looking like that.
In order to stay consistent with your training and nutrition program, you need to stay motivated. Motivation is your reason for putting in the time and effort into a bodybuilding program. Your motives for continuing to train and diet hard and consistently are often personal but they are absolutely essential in order to maintain a regular schedule in the gym.
In my case, bodybuilding competition was always my motivation. I began training at age 14 and started competing at 16 years old. That's over 20 years of competition under my belt! Getting ready to compete in a contest was always great motivation to train hard and diet consistently. Once I know that I will be getting onstage in a few months, my training intensity immediately goes up and the question of cheating on my diet never even enters my mind.
Without a doubt, being consistent is one of the keys to being successful in reaching your goals. You could be using the perfect training program, applying the most intensity to your workouts, eating the ideal nutrition plan, taking the best supplements in the world, using the most positive visual images to fuel your workouts, have the best training partner in the world, train in the best gym in the world, etc, etc, etc., but if you don't use all these things on a consistent basis, you are wasting your time.
Consistency is very important for bodybuilders who are just getting started. How many times have you heard someone comment that they like working out but they just can't seem to stick with it? If the beginners to this sport can just stay with it until it becomes a habit, they will most likely continue training for the rest of their life.
I'm sure you've read countless articles about how important it is to set goals for yourself in order to be successful. This not only applies to bodybuilding but to any area of life. Goals help to motivate you by putting your desires into concrete form. It helps to write your goals down and put it somewhere where you will be reminded of it constantly. Talking about your goals and focusing on them will make you more aware of what you need to be doing to make your goal into a reality.
However, as important as goals are, many people don't know how to properly use goals in their life. One common mistake that many people make is to set a goal so big that it is out of touch with reality to the person setting it. It's good to dream big but you must believe that the goal is obtainable or you may psyche yourself out before you even begin.
If you've read enough bodybuilding magazines, I'm sure you've heard the phrase "Breaking the Pain Barrier". This phrase involves going past the pain normally experienced by heavy, intense training. According to the magazines, it is absolutely necessary to go past this (mental) barrier in order to really train hard enough to develop the size necessary to get really big.
Although I've never read any scientific studies on the subject, it is my belief that the mind is designed to protect the body from harm. One of the methods it does this is to send out signals to stop doing an exercise when the pain gets too severe. It is just like putting your hand over a flame. After a couple seconds of this insane practice, the mind will be screaming for the muscles in your hand to get the hell out of there.