Self perception is key. The way you see yourself is important. I know this because as a person who has been on both sides of the spectrum. It is essential to care about the way you look. To be perceived as the person you are striving to be. For example, I wanted to be a fighter as soon as I started training in Muay Thai. I found out what was needed to become a fighter and completely transformed myself into a fighter. I live it and breath it now. And to think 4 years ago I couldn't tell you the difference between a thai kick and a donkey kick.
I mean this when I say it... YOU ARE THE SHIT! And believe it. I don't mean 'be an asshole' but have confidence in yourself because you're the shit. Now that I've been working with clients. I am able to see a different side of combat sports. I see the development aspect of it. I am able to see the individuals mental and physical growth and it's amazing. What've I noticed in my clients is that some are self conscious about themselves. For example, I give the instruction to perform a technique, and they don't get it perfect on the first couple tries. They get frustrated and almost check out on me. I correct that behavior and tell them that we all start from somewhere, but it's the effort in trying that makes our journeys worth while.
Everyone reading this is a fighter. Be it in the ring or in life. WE ARE ALL FIGHTERS in some way or another. Life is one big fight and there is a lesson to be learned in each round. So I never go into a fight thinking less of myself and you shouldn't either. Stay CONFIDENT my friends!