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Building Self-Confidence

confidence

The other day I had a great conversation with a few clients about self-confidence.

One of my clients made a comment that self-confidence comes from seeing or achieving success.

And my response was, “Yes, but you have to have self-confidence in order to succeed.”

She nodded her agreement.

But that then left us with the question of, “How do you become more self-confident to achieve success if success builds confidence and you aren’t yet confident?”

My answer, “You lie to yourself.”

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Monday Motivation and Fitspo – Focus on the positive

Today is Monday and #MondayMotivation and a bazillion Fitspo photos clog my social media.

For some reason we all just need that extra push on Monday.

POSITIVE! Promotes a great mindset and a great reminder to appreciate even the smallest success!

Be it that we fell off the wagon this past weekend or that we just need that little extra push to get going this week, many of us seem to seek out motivation on Monday.

And some of the motivational pictures, the fitspo that I see, I like. Others make me roll my eyes or simply don’t do anything for me.

I mean I think there is a ton of CRAP fitspo out there. A ton that does promote eating disorders and the belief that to be a bad-ass you need to push through the pain and risk injury….AKA BE STUPID.

negative fitspo

I do think there is a ton of CRAP and I wish I could sometimes give a swift punch to the face of the people who created it.

BUT I don’t think ranting against it is going to do anything no matter how stupid or pathetic or whatever I think the images are.

For one….Different things inspire and motivate change for each of us.. And while I may not agree with it, while I may think it promotes unhealthy habits, others may find it is the motivation they need to create healthy change. They just interpret it differently.

And two…I think the best thing I can do is create and promote what I consider to be healthy and positive fitspo. I believe we have to BE the change we want to see – we can’t just complain about things.

So when I choose fitspo or #MondayMotivation, I think of what motivates me. What encourages me to have positive self talk. What boosts me up and what helps me mentally overcome all the excuses.

For me it is often a VISUAL of the positive self-talk I want to use or a visual of my end goal or even the positive emotions I want to feel about myself.

For me it is about the POSITIVE RESULTS I want to create and the POSITIVE MINDSET I need to get there.

I believe the POSITIVE truly MOTIVATES. While those negative fitspos GUILT you into making changes.

And GUILT doesn’t last long, which means you probably aren’t going to stick with your new lifestyle for long. And guilt promotes changes being made in unhealthy ways to try to get results fast to change the way you feel about yourself.

Good fitspo should help boost you mentally to achieve your goals.

So stop focusing on all the crap fitspo that doesn’t help you. Stop complaining about all the stupid images out there.

Stop trying to GUILT yourself into achieving your goals.

And shoot…If there isn’t any fitspo out there that you like, MAKE YOUR OWN!

I know I did! 🙂

never give up

Building Confidence: Your Brain Is Really Pretty Stupid

This past week the Vanguard Volleyball team had a great victory over a tough team. But more exciting than the victory itself was the fact that they came back from one game down for the win.

That was a HUGE victory because it showed a mental toughness and a confidence in their abilities. They also didn’t get down on themselves and continued to believe even when they were behind.

And that mental toughness, that ability to believe and fight back will take them farther than talent or skill ever could.

The crazy part is that very little time is spent on developing that mental toughness and confidence in comparison to the time we spend on skill development.

So every week, I try to spend a little bit of time on their mental game.

Last night we worked on relaxation under pressure and positive self-talk. Both “drills” feel extremely cheesy and stupid.

I mean come on…who would think that cheering, “We’re awesome!” would actually make you more confident? Who would think  that simply slowing down your breathing could make you relax and refocus so that you could prevail even when you are super nervous?

The thing is…That stuff does work.

And that cheesy, stupid and sort of awkwardly funny stuff works because your brain is really pretty stupid and easy to fool.

Yup that’s right…Even if you are a genius, your brain can be easily fooled into being confident and tough.

Our minds hear everything we say to ourselves.

Who do you THINK you are?

They hear us say, “I can’t do another pull up.” They hear us say, “That person, that team, is better than us.”

They hear us say, “I’m not good enough.”

But they also hear us say, “I’m AWESOME!”

And whichever we choose to say more often is what our MIND IS GOING TO BELIEVE.

Same thing goes for breathing.

If your breathing is panicked, your mind will feel anxious. If your breathing is slow and relaxed, your body and mind will feel relaxed and at ease.

It sounds strange to say, but our brain really is stupid and we can easily make it believe whatever we want it to believe.

The question is..What are you going to tell it?

Will you repeat positive thoughts so that you become more confident? Or will you bring yourself down?

If you decide you want to be more confident, try these tips to develop positive self talk!

P.S. Here are some other great posts to help you develop self-confidence and become mentally tougher!

Success builds confidence – Track your progress because even the smallest of successes can build momentum which builds confidence!

Act as if – Build self-confidence by FAKING IT!

Stop being your own worst enemy! – Believe in yourself!

Self-Confidence: Don’t Let Others Bring You Down

Coaches, friends, family can all sometimes bring us down.

Generally they are trying to help and well-intentioned, but that doesn’t mean that sometimes their criticisms can’t hurt.

It doesn’t mean that sometimes their critiques can’t make us feel more insecure.

However, we need to learn to take criticism…It is the only way we truly get stronger.

So how do you learn how to take criticism even when it isn’t said necessarily in the best way?

You learn to be CONFIDENT in your own abilities!

Easier said than done, right?

Yes…and…No

No you can’t wake up tomorrow and say, “Now I’m confident!”

But yes, you can change your level of confidence without doing more than changing the way you TALK TO YOURSELF.

You don’t have to hit some new goal to develop confidence.

You just have to decide to believe in yourself!

I think self talk is one of the most often ignored and neglected parts of our dealings with ourselves.

We get ourselves haircuts, doctors appointments…we schedule workouts and even plan out meals.

We think about how we are taking care of ourselves and all the things we need to do for ourselves to feel good and stay healthy – except about how we talk to ourselves.

We consider our words when we communicate with others. We compliment and encourage. We focus on the good things that other people do (or at least most people generally try to).

Yet we never really think about how we are TALKING TO OURSELVES. We never try to compliment and encourage. We never focus on the good things.

And positive self-talk is one of the most important things when it comes to developing self-confidence.

Developing a positive inner monologue doesn’t mean you have to wake up every morning and look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I am wonderful. I am beautiful.” Heck, it doesn’t even mean learning to love your flaws.

It simply means learning to accept yourself and realize that, yes…you do have flaws. WE ALL DO.

It just means making little changes in how you talk to yourself and in giving yourself credit for all of the good things you do. It is like talking to a friend or loved one – you want to motivate them and have them focus on all of the wonderful things you see in them!

Here is what I’ve found has helped me and many of my clients develop a more positive inner monologue and quiet those doubts raised by outside criticism.

Tips to Develop Positive Self-Talk:

1. Before you go to compete, to do a presentation at work, or to do anything challenge, take a deep breath and say, “I can do this.” Think about all of the great things you’ve done and the hard work you’ve put in. DON’T think about the other things you COULD have done.

2. Give yourself credit for small victories. Too often we ignore small victories because we aren’t there at our long-term goal yet. But if you maintain your weight or lift 5 more pounds, even if you aren’t at your goal yet, celebrate that victory! Set short-term goals and track your progress to them. Take time to celebrate even the smallest victories. It will motivate you and build your confidence in yourself.

3. Take a deep breath and think when someone gives you criticism. Often criticism is meant to help us. You can’t let criticism bring you down. If it is constructive, take a second and figure out how to use it to help you become stronger. Criticism doesn’t mean you aren’t still wonderful! We all have flaws and sometimes it is good to discover them so we can make them stronger! Realize that someone is criticizing you because they probably already think you are wonderful and just want to help! Don’t instantly make criticism a negative! Think about how it will make you even better! Don’t focus on the fact that it is potentially a current flaw!

4. “A tiger doesn’t lose sleep over the opinion of sheep.” Sometimes criticism is given to try to bring you down. The other person is probably insecure and therefore lashing out. You can’t let every criticism bring you down. We have to recognize that criticism is just other people’s opinions and that they aren’t always right. There are some times where you have to just brush it off. And while brushing it off can be hard for some, if you want to be the tiger you have to. Maybe that means reminding yourself of all your great points or just recognizing where their criticisms are coming from!

5. Build on your strengths. Don’t be afraid to evaluate yourself. Take a second today and think about yourself. If your self-talk is pretty negative, you will find you start to list all the things that need improvement. And then you may even start working on them. But what about the positives? What do you like about yourself? What are your strengths? Haven’t considered those near as much, huh? We always focus on getting rid of our flaws to make ourselves better, but what about developing our strengths? While I do think it is important to spend time making our weakness stronger, I think there is also something to making our strengths even better. Spend some time developing your strengths! It will definitely lead to a little more confidence in yourself and you will spend some time speaking positively to yourself!

Developing positive self-talk is about changing your instant reaction of saying “I can’t” when a new challenge arises to “I can.” Even if maybe you fail, the point is you CAN try. You CAN put yourself out there. You CAN risk “failing.”

Success and self-confidence isn’t developed by WINNING. It is developed by putting yourself out there and risking failure and pushing yourself to work hard to take on new challenges.

I’ve failed more times than I can count. But I have pride in myself because I was willing to risk failure to try something new.

Confidence comes not from being the best or being perfect. It comes from the acceptance that failure, that flaws, are a part of us.

All we can do is our best and that is what matters!

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