confidence

My friends I have written plenty of articles about all kinds of topics.  But I have not talked that much about confidence.  I have seen many lifters of all different kinds of backgrounds and all walks of life fail miserably in their physical pursuits.  They all had excellent training programs, and had a pretty good genetic lottery.  But they lacked confidence.  They didn’t believe in themselves.  Their vision was not strong enough to make it through all the challenges and pitfalls.  As soon as they stopped “seeing” progress, they just gave up.  In this post we are going to address some helpful ways to get around this.

Believe In Yourself

I know that this sounds kind of obvious, but many people just don’t think that they are capable of greatness.  Everyone can claim that they believe in themselves, but most of the time that is during the “good” times.  What happens when there are “bad” times?  What happens then?  Your attitude will make all of the difference. 

There was a book written by Paulo Coelho called The Fifth Mountain.  In this book, the main character Elijah, is cast out of his homeland and forced to make the best of his circumstances in order to return to his homeland.  As Elijah soon discovers, this will not be a simple task and it is going to require a great test of his faith.  This test happens to people all over the world all the time. 

If you believe in yourself enough then you will soon realize that any task can be accomplished.  Without this faith behind you, the pressure will overwhelm you and you will give up.  When you believe in yourself you’re response will become that of resilience.  Defeat is not in you’re vocabulary and you will never surrender. 

You Need A Purpose

Purpose is absolutely vital for your confidence.  You need to know where you are going otherwise any road will take you there.  Think of how many people hate their jobs.  They graduated from school and had no idea of what they wanted to do with their life so any job would do the trick.  Well, that sounded good at the time but after a few years they are starting to seriously regret that decision. 

The same applies to the gym and people’s lack of confidence.  Most people just show up and are completely unaware of what they actually want.  As a trainer/coach I used to see this all of the time.  People would get suckered in all of the time from the first month results, but then after the first month was over the results would stop.  They would all of a sudden become angry and start to ask why the progress stopped.  I would tell them that all was well and going according to plan.  Now the clients who understood this and planned accordingly were fine with this news.  But the clients with no purpose didn’t like what they were hearing and so they quit. 

So here’s what you do, take out a piece of paper and write down what you want.  Don’t just write down what you want but write down why you want it.  Knowing why you want something will help greatly in motivating you to take action. 

Action = Confidence

Having faith and writing down a plan are not enough, the time will eventually come for you to take action.  This is where your purpose is going to come in handy.  You’re why is going to motivate you to break out of you’re shell and take action.  Actions pave the way to confidence. 

This is probably the hardest step to take.  After the first couple of days the motivation will wear off.  This is when the previous two steps will come in handy.  If you believe in yourself and you have a definitive purpose, then you will be fine.  If not then when the time comes to push yourself, you will give up. 

To combat this just do SOMETHING related to your goals every single day, whether you feel like it or not.  Just getting into the habit of doing this will help to boost your confidence in yourself and get you to believe in what you’re doing.  From there it is all just a game of momentum.  While the iron is hot try to get the momentum on you’re side.  Before you know it that once overwhelming task will not be as overwhelming and you will eventually get it done. 

Fear Destroys Confidence

Fear is the main opponent you will face on the road to your success.  Often times this fear all stems from the unknown.  If you don’t know what is coming, how can you prepare?  Well, you really can’t.  Let that sink in for a moment.  What’s going to happen is going to happen whether you like it or not.  There are far too many variables for us to control. 

When we are in school, we are sheltered from the true workings of the world.  All our decisions are made for us.  Even our plan of study is made up for us.  All we have to do is to show up and do the work.  When we graduate we are all of a sudden thrown into a world with a huge number of variables that we never even heard of before.  Suddenly, our life goes from simple addition and subtraction to solving complex derivatives.  No wonder why most people who start out on a grand challenge fail.  They are being set up to fail. 

The only way to boost confidence is to fight fear.  The only way to fight fear is to face it head on.  Otherwise it will just be like a shadow that follows you around, ready to pounce on you when you least expect it.  Start with smaller fears and then work on bigger fears. 

A Positive Attitude Will Go A Long Way

When problems come your way, and believe me they will, the best way to deal with these problems is to have a positive attitude.  A positive attitude alone will not make you successful, but it will make the process much more enjoyable. 

Last year I had the privilege to run the Spartan Beast in Killington, VT.  The race takes about 8 hours for most people to finish.  During the race the people who started the race with a negative attitude usually ended up towards the back.  The people with positive attitudes tended to drift towards the front of the group.  Both the positive and negative people had to do the exact same obstacles and the exact same race.  The difference in their attitude was what made all the difference. 

So here is the bottom line, no matter what if you want to get extraordinary results, you are going to have to do work.  You can’t escape it, believe me I have tried.  Instead embrace it and be grateful for the process because it is trying to weed out those who are not worthy.  With that in mind use that statement to realize that the real confidence booster is the attitude you take.     


Tony G
Tony G

Anthony is a fan of all things gym related. Growing up very overweight and out of shape, Anthony whipped himself into shape and stunned his entire community becoming a "fitness guru". Tony then set his sights on strength sports (Weightlifting/Powerlifting/Strongman) and learned all about body mechanics, mobility work and injury prevention. Tony found his true love in the strength sports, particularly Olympic Weightlifting. He earned a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree from Fitchburg State University in Exercise and Sports Science. He is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the NSCA.

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