Your competition is you. Your competition is procrastination, your ego, the unhealthy food you are consuming, knowledge you neglect, the negative behavior you’re developing and lack of creativity. That is what true competition looks like. When you compete against that then nothing else can stand your way. Compete against yourself, against your own insecurities and flaws.
What many people don’t understand is that there is enough space for each star in the sky just like there is enough success for everyone.
Each one of us has a unique path to live in this beautiful life. We just have to be supportive and happy for each other instead trying to bring each other down.
With so many clothing brands, sport teams, actors, singers, entrepreneurs, and leaders, we can still find uniqueness in each one of them. There is no one else like me and there is no one else like you. We are created to be different. There is one thing in life that is guaranteed not to be taken away from you: your identity. No one can speak like you, walk like you, think like you.
Find the courage to stay true to yourself and don’t let the daily hustle take you away from yourself. Don’t hate your competitors, respect them and learn from them. Think about it: having competitors is a good thing. They force you to get better, they force you to get stronger and they prevent you from being lazy. For instance, I like to follow and watch not only professional athletes that I probably won’t meet in my lifetime, but local athletes who I can interact with and learn from.
That makes me want to do more and, in some way, reminds me that if someone can do it, then I can do it too. I prefer to surround myself with individuals who are better at something than me or who achieved more than I did because I consistently learn from them.
“We might look in the same direction but see two different things.” – Tatiana Verega
On May 9, 2019, I attempted to break the world record for planking for 3 hours and 45 minutes.
Primarily, my goal was to test my capabilities and see how far I can go. I succeeded. I was beyond proud of myself. I had the greatest support from my family and friends. It was a mental battle that I’ve never experienced before, but I loved it.
The event took place at the 12th Annual Women’s Conference in Galveston, Texas. I had the honor of planking in front of hundreds of women who attended the conference to be inspired and learn something new about themselves. Seeing the wonder and excitement on everyone’s face was priceless. Do you ever think to yourself that you wish you could turn back time so you can go back to a specific moment in your life? Well, this was the moment I wish I could go back to. Seeing so many women from different backgrounds – stay-at-home moms and fitness athletes, powerful entrepreneurs and businesswomen – all cheering for me and believing that I would not fail. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
I am excited to share my plank story with you, to inspire you and remind myself what I am capable of. Hopefully it will inspire the world.
I planked for about four years, with breaks in between of course (LOL), when I traveled with my dance career. It wasn’t easy. I am a person who likes to multitask and accomplish as many things as possible in my life at a time. Wish I could invent human teleportation so I can switch my destination in a snap but then I realize that nothing will be the same anymore, the world will be transformed into a Marvel Movie. I began planking for fun, then later on I discovered that I can plank not only for one minute, but for three. In that specific moment I asked myself “what is going to happen with my body and brain if I can hold a 5- or 10-minute abdominal plank?” I thought to myself “I am going to transform into a plank-holding beast.” At the time, I didn’t even know that there was someone who held the world record for 3 hours and 31 minutes.
So, I came up with a 30-day plank challenge. I challenged all my fitness clients and my friends to do it with me. The rule was simple: every day add one minute. For example on day one, plank for one minute, day two, planks for two minutes, and so on and so forth until day 30. By day 30, I should be able to plank for 30 minutes. That was an insane proposal, but surprisingly there were a few individuals who said “yes” to the challenge. Day one passes, then day two, day three and by day four, people started dropping like flies. They said that it was impossible to increase your plank time in such a short period.
If you personally know me, I am a very stubborn and very competitive individual. I told myself that I was not allowed to quit from my own challenge. It is not who I am, and I was not letting a “plank” beat me. But to make it more significant, I decided to plank in front of everyone, every day, on Facebook Live so that I wouldn’t give up. It wasn’t fun, but it did make me take it seriously and complete my mission. When I got to minute 11, I asked myself, “what if I can jump straight up to fifteen minutes?”
This is when I turned everything into my own competition. I didn’t know anybody yet who was planking for that long and wonder wouldn’t leave my side. I was curious and excited like a child. I couldn’t sleep at night because I was impatiently waiting for the next day so I could plank again. It was a game and a mental battle.
I knew, physically, I was capable of so much more, but I needed my mind to be okay with all that. The excitement was growing and let me tell you something: when you are excited and determined, everything works so much easier. The adrenaline that flows through your veins and your heart is pumping more and more energy through your body to get you through.
This is not something that magically comes to you. You have to want it and create it yourself. You have to feed your brain with early morning and late night affirmations, creating a purpose.
With this kind of attitude, I was able to jump from 10 to 15 minute planks, from 15 to 20, and then 20 to 40 minute planks. The craziest thing is that even after planking for the world record, 40 minutes still feels terrifying. Every time I plank feels like my first time. Every day is different in our lives and just because something worked yesterday, doesn’t mean that is going to work tomorrow unless you have a plan and a system to follow. You must train and condition your mind and body just like professional athletes do. Daily discipline and daily repetitions helped me achieve things that once felt impossible. I had to be uncomfortable every day until it became comfortable.
One day, I decided to do some research and find out who held the longest plank in the world. Not because I wanted to compete with that person, but because I wondered what the human body was capable of. If someone else could hold a plank for 3 hours 31minutes that meant I must be able to do the same thing and, who knows, probably more if I invest my time and energy in it. I will never forget the day when I went online and registered as a Guinness Book World Record participant. Six months later, I was accepted.
“If you can dream it, you can do it.”
I promise, if you can abide by this life moral you will succeed. You will overcome anything that once felt impossible.
I discovered that the more I believed in myself, the more I accomplished. My mind opened and saw opportunities; the opportunities have always been there for me, but I didn’t always see them. When you doubt yourself, you allow fear to take over. The door of your mind is closed and opportunities pass by because there are so many people waiting for those opportunities. People are standing by, ready to take them, sometimes even fight for every opportunity. If you are not ready, someone else will take it.
I once promised myself that I will not miss an opportunity that comes my way. If I miss it, it is only because I decided to pass it up. I am the master of my life and I am the creator of my future. If you can commit to this type of mindset then you are automatically allowing yourself to see more than you saw before, do more than you did before, and become more than you were. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.
Back to the story.
I was accepted to break the official world record plank time. This gave me a lot of motivation. It gave me another reason to wake up in the morning excited for the day. I had something to work for and I wasn’t wasting my time. Time is precious and I couldn’t waste a minute. In the meantime, I was working in the community, building relationships and creating a team that I can trust, and most importantly a team that believes in me.
“Great things in business are never done by one person. They are done by a team of people.” – Steve Jobs.
I earned my trust and respect. I had the most amazing people from around the world believing in me and I am forever grateful for that.
While I was training, I had so many ups and downs. Very often, I felt like giving up because it was getting harder and more painful. Overtime, I learned that I had to fall in love with the pain that I was going through. This was my only way to finish what I started. The process became boring and painful, but I told myself “you will only succeed if you can do things not only when they are fresh and exciting, but when you step into the BORING and PAINFUL time and beyond that.”
Everyone can be motivated when things are new. Everyone is a superhero before the struggle creeps into that comfort zone. I couldn’t let that be a reason to quit. A couple of months before I planked for the world record, I found out that there was another woman planking and competing for the Guinness World Record. Her plank day would be ten days right after my plank day. I still felt pretty confident because she was not my prime competition. As I mentioned earlier, I planked not to compete with someone else, but to challenge my own willpower.
Unfortunately, people and media turned it into a competition, so everyone was asking me if I knew about the other lady and what I was going to do about it. Knowing myself and my purpose, I didn’t bother with creating a rivalry. In fact, knowing how much work it takes to achieve such thing, I was only happy for her and, in some way, proud of her. It made me excited that there was someone else as crazy as I was, doing an act that not everyone was willing to do.
Everyone is unique in their own way and each one of us has a unique path in life. Being happy for each other and supporting each other is what makes this world better. On May 9, 2019, I planked for 3 hours and 45 minutes. I broke the world record!
I ended up inspiring thousands of people that day, and also became a sponsored athlete by Del Papa Distributing Company. Del Papa is one of the best companies in the world that supports athleticism and acknowledges the hard work that is put in daily to become an extraordinary athlete.
I achieved one of the biggest goals I had since I was a little girl and at that point, I didn’t have time or space in my heart to be worried that someone else would break my record. I knew that if I had to come back and break it again, I would. But not because someone expected me to do so, but because I desired to do so.
While there are no shortcuts to meaningful change, these selected mantras can help remind you how to overcome adversity and pursue your dreams. To unlock all 30 of my shortcuts, pre-order “The Hustler Mindset” online!
I truly believe that your mindset is everything. As a dreamer and achiever, it is easy for me to stay positive, but I have my ups and downs too. I have good and bad days, but it always takes a little extra push to jump back into that positive mindset. Dreams, goals, accomplishments, growth and completion of small creative tasks keeps away bad vibes and excites the positive neurons.
What are the most common excuses that people find?
I wanted to quit so badly. I was losing my motivation. Someone tried to talk me out of things that I wanted to do. I was disappointed when things didn’t go my way.
Negative thoughts made me want to quit things that I dreamed about for so long, things that mattered to me the most.
Not quitting was the best thing that I have done in my life. There is no bigger accomplishment in my journey than not quitting on everything that I love and that matters to me the most.
I get it. We all go through rough times. We all have times in our lives when we feel like everything or everyone is against us. You are not the only one who experiences that.
Do you want to know what kept me going during the worst times in my life? It was the love I have for this life and the hunger that no one could take away from me. The moment I think about how blessed I am to wake up in the morning, to be able to walk, to be able to hear, see and smell, motivates me more. I start counting my blessings when I think of all opportunities this life has granted me.
If you are going through a rough time in your life right now, think about this: how great would you feel when you accomplish all your life dreams and goals and not quit along the way? Will quitting make your life better? Will quitting set you up for success? Will quitting benefit you in any way? NO!
Put together all the things that you are grateful for in life. Recall every good thing that happened to you and focus on this. Don’t focus on bad things.
What helps me to keep going is the picture I create in my head. I am a big dreamer. I have this perfect picture in my head of what my life will be or look like when I accomplish everything that I have planned. I carry that picture in my head 24/7, no matter what.
Make yourself proud and keep going, even when you have doubts and you feel down. Remember that quitting will not speed up the process of achieving those dreams.
I believe that I’ve become the hero of my own dreams and story.
Every single day I look in the mirror, I see a warrior and a survivor who knows exactly why, when, where and how. I embrace my past, plan my future and identify who I am in this world. I know my purpose.
I made a plan based on this huge vision of mine that I OWN.
I see it and I do it. I don’t care about FEAR, I don’t tolerate EXCUSES, and I don’t believe in “I CAN’T.” This is my approach to life and the kind of attitude that I deserve because I want to be the best version of myself and discover every height that I can possibly reach.
I am not the fastest or the strongest in the world, but I am the fastest and the strongest for myself. I grow and progress in front of the person that I see in the mirror. Period.
I have natural skills, but having those skills is not enough. Sometimes I didn’t naturally have the:
My achievements are the result of developing these qualities and applying them to my everyday HUSTLE!
I believe that everyone has a story to tell. We are all unique in our own way. I decided to share my story because I always wanted to help and inspire people to make life-changing decisions.
Writing a book is, so far, the most challenging thing I’ve done in my career. I always thought that only professional writers could write a book. Currently, I am sitting in my office and thinking about writing my second book.
Never be afraid to try new things, learn and explore – otherwise life will pass you by. “The Hustler Mind” is a book based on life stories that taught me how to survive and succeed through struggle and hustle. I learned valuable lessons that I would like to share with you.
I used to think that life happens to me, not for me. I learned how to take risks and not be afraid of failure.
We become who we believe we are.
My book is about becoming brave enough to understand your weaknesses and fearlessly work on them. You will look into your future and believe that you can achieve anything.
My dreams never matched my beliefs because of the environment that I grew up in but I am still grateful for my life – everything that I went through made me the person that I am today.
There is one very important lesson that I learned. If you do not go after what you want, you will never have it. If you do not ask, the answer will always be “no.” If you do not step forward, you will always be in the same place.
After reading my book, you will discover that the impossible is possible and that the only person who can make a difference in your life is you. Writing this book is a way for me to express and explain why my skin is so thick, why I am never afraid, how I got to where I am and my message to the world.
Each one of us has a place for success just like every star in the sky has its own sparkle. I hope to inspire and bless you on your journey towards success, and I hope to meet you soon.
Reading was never my favorite activity, especially when I was a kid. All I wanted to do was play outside and be involved in as many sports as possible. When I was 19, a good friend gifted me a book; but it wasn’t just any book. It was a book about personal development by Dale Carnegie. The most amazing part about that book is that it was actually three books in one. It was very thick and, at first, I wasn’t even sure why my friend decided to gift me a book until I started reading.
That book changed my life. From that point on, reading allowed me to discover new ideas and goals. While I was reading the book, I felt like someone was speaking to me and telling me how I should behave if I want to succeed in life. I loved every word. Reading became not just my hobby, but my lifestyle.
When I had questions or doubts, I didn’t have to question people or talk to those who didn’t really care about my future. I was simply reading and finding my answers in books. Even today, I read every single day – books by my favorite authors and some of the world’s most influential writers like Jim Rohn, Napoleon Hill, Earl Shoaff, Tony Robbins, Rachel Hollis, Dale Carnegie etc…
Reading has helped me speak and write better, especially in English.
When I came to the U.S. in May of 2012, I didn’t know English at all. Later that year, I decided to take a trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to visit a good friend for a couple of days. On my way back we had a 12-hour layover in the airport. It was terrible. I bought a book that obviously was in English. I didn’t know a word, but I wanted to challenge myself. I was reading and translating every single word and I actually liked it. I turned it into a game and the more I did it, the more I wanted to find out what was the book saying.
This was the beginning of my “learning English journey.” For the last six years, I have read daily. It totally changed my life. I learn so much about myself and gain skills that I wish I had been taught as a child. Through reading, I found better ways to express myself and improve my communication skills with my clients, family and friends. I no longer get in trouble for saying things that I don’t mean to say, but it accidentally comes out the wrong way LOL.
MY TOP 3 FAVORITE BOOKS:
#1 “THINK AND GROW RICH” BY NAPOLEON HILL
#2 “H3 LEADERSHIP” BY BRAD LOMENICK
#3 “SUCCESS THROUGH A POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE”
BY NAPOLEON HILL & W. CLEMENT STONE
You can find these books on Amazon or in your local library. They are very easy to read and most importantly, you won’t waste your time. I promise!