Updated: Apr 3
After receiving so much praise for episode one, there were a few amazing common denominators that came about, two of the biggest being that so many people are in the same boat without realizing it yet often feel so alone. So there was definitely solace found with that very brief episode on starting again and the little touch on my own experiences. The other common denominator was confidence; people wishing they had more confidence to put themselves out there more. So I thought there was no better way to progress than to touch on confidence for episode two.
I feel like confidence is often misconstrued. Yes, someone who believes that whatever they are doing will happen however they expect it to is definitely confident. But how often does that actually happen? Even the most confident people have "lapses" or times when they don't fully believe or have doubts in what they are doing. Movie stars, artists, athletes, etc., all the stars who seem larger than life and super confident 100% have moments of doubt: will this movie or song flop? Will we lose? Even deeper, self-confidence issues in their own images, especially among all the pressure of being in the public eye, etc. What I'm getting at is that even the people perceived as most confident have doubts.
Including myself, often described as confident and outgoing, even before the weight loss, I'd often find myself adjusting a T-shirt, hoping no one was looking, or avoiding attention because of what if people were making fun of how big I was? Small stuff like that. Yes, things did change when I lost weight. I don't touch my top nearly as much, nor do I shy away or even lessen myself to avoid attention. See, I don't mind having a laugh, dancing around singing, making people smile. I still did it when I was heavier, just differently. But, yeah, I am admitting my confidence did change, though my doubt shifted: what if something doesn't work? What if I drown surfing? Haha, break my leg snowboarding? What if people judge me for wanting to start again? all the things I love even more with my newfound fitness and more, were being attacked by doubt or lack of confidence.
So how do the most confident deal with these doubts? In my opinion, it's not so much that they try not to focus on the doubts but accept them. Be okay with things going either way. Obviously, hope for the best and prepare for the worst. That way, even if you're not completely confident in something, you won't hold yourself back.
Let's take making friends as an example. Being social and putting yourself out there can be hard when lack of confidence and doubt kick in. You might start thinking, "What if people don't like me?" or "What if they're mean?" A lot of us just avoid it, but I'm not exactly shy, and I use a technique I'm about to share. So how do you attack this? For me, it's being okay with any outcome.
First, ask yourself why you're thinking like this. Why wouldn't they like you? You're amazing! Why do you have doubts and fears? Now, consider the worst and best case scenarios. The worst case is that you don't make friends for whatever reason. Maybe they're mean, or perhaps you don't like them. We don't have to like everyone – with 7 billion people on the planet, there are bound to be a few personalities that don't gel. The best case scenario is that everyone's great, and you do make friends – some you'll have for a few weeks, a few years, or life! It's never too late to make new friends in life. Another common belief I disagree with is that you're too old. So many people use this as an excuse for endless challenges, but we'll talk about that another day.
Now, accept all these scenarios. If you don't make a friend, are you really in a worse situation than before? If they're mean, honestly, the saying "no one above you is talking down on you" is so true. Maybe they have their own demons to sort out, or whatever. It's not a reflection on you, but do you really want a friend like that? Most of the time, there's really no loss – how often will putting yourself out there put you in a worse situation? You might actually find that so many people around you are looking for the same thing, and you'll connect on that basis alone and go from there.
Let's talk about going to the gym. I see it so often – people lacking confidence and feeling intimidated by the gym. The intimidating nature of the fitness industry is another major topic for another day. People don't go to the gym because they fear what the "gym junkie" will say. Let's use the same accepting technique. If someone judges you and talks negatively about you, how will it impact you poorly? If someone is so self-righteous or up themselves that they think they have the right to judge anyone trying to better their life, that is not a reflection of you. You don't know them, and their energy can't really impact you at all. It's just pathetic.
So if you're someone intimidated by the "meathead," as they're often described, remember that either the person judging you is honestly super insecure or jealous and really has no power over you, or the people you think are talking about you are often just checking themselves out in the mirror, which is more often than not the case. We, and I say "we" because I've been put in that bag a lot, really just care about ourselves and our own session. What sets me apart is that I often do so with a smile and a little boogie in-between sets, which I hope helps people feel like I'm more approachable. I'm just having fun. Then, best case, you get in, smash a session out, and go home feeling amazing. That's it.
Confidence is not a fixed trait that some people have and others don't. It's a skill that can be developed and improved with practice. The more you practice confident behaviors, the more natural they become, and the easier it becomes to overcome doubts and fears.
One way to build confidence is to set small, achievable goals for yourself and celebrate your successes along the way. This could be as simple as introducing yourself to someone new or trying a new activity. As you achieve these small goals, your confidence will grow, and you'll feel more comfortable taking on bigger challenges.
Another way to build confidence is to focus on your strengths and accomplishments. It's easy to get caught up in negative self-talk and self-doubt, but taking time to reflect on your successes and strengths can help you feel more confident in your abilities. Make a list of your accomplishments, both big and small, and refer to it whenever you need a confidence boost.
Finally, it's important to remember that everyone experiences doubt and fear, even the most confident-seeming people. The difference is that confident people have learned how to accept and manage these feelings, rather than letting them hold them back. By practicing these skills, you can learn to do the same and become a more confident version of yourself.
In conclusion, confidence is a skill that can be learned and developed with practice. By accepting and managing doubts and fears, setting small goals, focusing on your strengths and accomplishments, and celebrating your successes along the way, you can become a more confident person in all aspects of your life. I hope these tips help you build more confidence in your life. Remember, it's okay to have doubts and fears, but don't let them hold you back. Embrace all outcomes and keep moving forward. And if you ever need support or guidance, don't hesitate to reach out to me.