Ryan Triathlon

Discovering Your Confidence

Confidence is one of those words, feelings and emotions that we all seem to be looking for more of. We are on this never ending quest for confidence. It’s also a massive buzz word if it’s never given any meaning. I mean think about it. How can you strive for something you do not even know what you’re chasing after?

I have sat down with tens of thousands of people across the country and asked them a simple question to rate their confidence on a scale of 1-10. The average answer is around 4. 

This word confidence, which I will give some meaning to shortly, is one of the greatest gifts that you can give yourself. It’s that ultimate x factor that gives you an advantage in all areas of life. Whether it’s athletics, school, life or relationships we love to feel confident.

It’s humorous too because whatever your current rating of your personal level of confidence is, it’s still one of the core principles we guide people towards everyday. I have had parents call me and some of the first words out of their mouth before even showing up are:

“We do not need any of that confidence stuff that’s all over your website and social media. I get that it’s a good marketing message but we need training”.

The interesting piece of these stories are always if I do end up having these individuals come to the gym, their kids are the ones that need confidence the most! But let’s also look at the flip side of the coin and say they are already pretty confident within their own skin…

There are many levels of confidence and it never fails that within a 45 minute conversation I can find holes in their confidence, self-esteem, how valuable they think about themselves or how deserving they believe they are.

You see confidence is not a quest in search of it and then it ends. Like so many questions I challenge people with each day, they are never ending questions. Otherwise it means you are not growing and evolving as a person. Questions like Who Am I? What makes me unique? Define my superpowers? Describe the life I want to live?

All these questions you do not spend weeks, months or years searching for an answer and then stop!

Confidence and where you are with it and what it means to you will continue to grow within your own life. Just like who you are today as a person is most likely much different than who you were a year or two years ago.

Building Confidence

This concept is what develops people into high performers. It’s a continuous reevaluation about who we are as individuals. High performers have the ability to know who they are but they never get stuck there.

That’s what kills so many people’s level of confidence. They start to have some success. Find their confidence or belief in themselves and think that’s the end of the road. Then whether it’s months or years people start to catch up and/or surpass them.

Then they become frustrated and begin questioning what they are doing wrong. Their thoughts are “well I am doing the same thing I did before to have success” and right there is their major issue…

They are doing what got them to a certain level of confidence and success and they never continued their growth patterns! Kinda like with anything else Mastery builds confidence. If you play a sport that requires a certain skill set the more you practice via repetitions the more confidence you become with that skill.

Confidence is the same way. As corny as it sounds, mastering confidence only builds more confidence. The problem is when many younger (college age and down) think of confidence it has to be some HUGE drastic moment…

The truth is beginning to master confidence can be something simple like raising your hand to ask a question in class. Staying after class to ask the teacher questions. Setting up a meeting with your coach to ask how to get more playing time. Writing a thank you note to your parents. Being honest about what you actually want to achieve this month versus what your parents or coaches think you should shoot for.

The list is endless but when you start focusing on stacking these things together, that feeling starts to creep up within you!

What The Hell Is It

So what the hell is confidence anyways. Confidence is the ability to turn your thoughts into actions. Confidence is energy! It’s about not obsessing over the outcome to produce a mind free of doubt. It’s about allowing things to happen and not dwelling over the outcomes. It’s how certain we are about the choices we have made or making.

The greatest struggle within everything that was mentioned above is that most people try to be perfect within all those aspects. And I hate to tell you my friends but…

Perfectionism is the greatest confidence killer!

Most have hardwired ourselves to believe that if we do not feel 100% each day then the day was not productive or unsuccessful. We obsess over all the outcomes we try to produce whether that be in sports, school or life.

People focus more on perfection rather than growth.

What if we were able to start shifting our thoughts towards seeing our progress each day? Allowed ourselves to actually celebrate our accomplishments along the way. What if we were able to notice the exciting parts of our day and the exciting things that are in front of us tomorrow.

You see we become so addicted to perfection that we really become addicted to stress, anxiety and self-doubt…

Which really means most of us are addicted to a life we do not even want to live!

Consider that thought for just a moment. Most people, especially college age and down, live in a world of fear and stress… Trying to be perfect for their coaches. Thinking about for hours what’s the perfect outfit to wear so they can impress others.

The majority of their thoughts are all about trying to fit in so no one will judge them. Most even settle for a degree that they do not even care about! It’s either been imposed upon them by parents and friends or they feel stuck because scared after 2 years in the program to speak up that they hate this shit!

Literally the definition of living a life you do not want!

Starting Today

What if we started today to begin making small decisions for ourselves. Again do not get too caught up in making massive changes immediately. You can if you want. But the idea is to start and build some progress.

Let’s all start today getting addicted to a life that we truly want to live. Starting today begin to create some certainty about the decisions we are making.

Celebrate your success. I challenge you with each goal or desire you have to put a celebration next to each one and as you accomplish them actually go live the celebration! Life is meant to be a celebration and fun not filled with stress and fear of being judged.

Start giving yourself credit at the end of each day. Spend two minutes writing down all the things that went well today. And by the way YES get a 94 on an exam went well even if you wanted a 100 on it. Get away from perfection.

Begin noticing the small changes and progress you are having within your sport. You are not going to get from point A to B in one practice. Remember the idea is about stacking growth and progress. Write down at least one area where you grew today.

Yes I do believe that some people naturally might have a little more confidence than others but this does not mean you can not have even more if you begin to focus on it! Confidence is not something that you’re either born with or not.

You actually deserve all the confidence in the world. Deserve to feel valuable and deserving of all your desires. It’s within you right this very moment! Now it’s time to start living it little by little each day!

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