Is your lack of confidence stopping you?
When we talk about confidence most of us probably immediately think of that 1 person we know who's full of self confidence, lights up the room & is the life & centre of the party. But 90% of us realistically don't feel like this. Research by the The WealthiHer Network showed that 79% of women struggle with self-esteem & low confidence issues. That is insane!
Have you ever got to that point where you've not stepped foot into that new gym or class as your confidence stopped you? Been at the point you were about to enter your first event but then stopped as you felt not good enough? If this is you then first of all I want you to realise you are NOT alone!
I think that statistic proves that but in my experience as a coach & also being a woman I know self-confidence is something that stops & holds back many of us from really pursuing what we want to in life.
We can be suffering from a lack of confidence for a number of reasons. Maybe fear of judgement & what others may think, maybe a previous bad experience has written a narrative in your head & you now believe that, maybe some idiot told you you couldn't do something. But remember there is no proof or evidence to support these claims. This is how you feel, which is totally understandable & most likely justified but the good news is this is only a feeling & can be changed!
When we're talking about how confidence is holding you back from your fitness goals this is a huge reason why so many riders don't achieve the results they want. 9/10 times the feeling of low confidence comes from a lack of knowledge & not knowing the right things to be doing particularly when it comes to exercising or hitting the gym. You don't know & have never learnt what the "right things" are to be doing so just follow a programme you found online or maybe some PT gave you once & have followed that but you aren't really sure whether you're doing it right & equally if this is actually going to have any benefit on your performance long term & lead to any changes. But it's worth remembering here, you don't know what you don't know! There's a reason you feel like a lemon in your exercise life & that's only because you don't know! Relate it back to your horse....would you expect him to nail a flying change first time with great confidence if you'd never mastered half pass?
Think back to the 1st time you sat on a horse (if you can remember that!) or maybe the first time you ever rode a bike, ask yourself honestly did you feel confident right away?
Of course not, remember getting on that bike feeling wobbly as heck, not knowing which way to turn the handle bars or whether you're meant to be pedalling both legs or hitting the brakes! Until you actually learnt how to ride a bike correctly & practiced over time you didn't feel confident & had that feeling of knowing what you're doing. You probably fell off a few times & you most likely figured out you were doing something not quite right & learnt from it. That is exactly the same process you need to go down with your fitness.
Knowledge & education is power & if you don't genuinely know the WHY or HOW behind what you're doing to anything in life you're not going to have confidence or self belief in yourself. So how do you end up feeling more confident?
1-By Gaining Knowledge. The key is to understand the processes you need to take & follow to lead you to your desired outcome. Once you know the HOW, you'll understand what got you there & that will enable you to have the knowledge to do it for yourself & keep moving forwards
2-Learn From Someone Else. 1 of the best ways to learn is to learn through someone else. When I first got started training & then got into my coaching I knew I needed to work with someone myself to expand my knowledge & skillset & this is something I stand by to this day. The best way to learn is through someone who has the knowledge, can share it with you & is prepared to help you.
3-Repetition & time! I know it sounds corny AF but it's true, the more you do something the more confidence you gain. As you start to get familiar with how something should feel & knowing that you are doing the right things you're going to have more self assurance. You're not just magically going to feel confident the 1st time you do something & building confidence takes time so be prepared to put the reps in & play the long game!
4-Record Your Progress. Whether that's the weight you're lifting in sessions, your run times, how many reps you're doing or your physical form on an exercise record what you're doing & reflect back to assess your progress. This is 1 of my clients I am currently working with & she hadn't realised or felt the improvement in her squat & exercise knowledge over the past few months but this picture says it all! If you're not assessing what you're doing how do you know if you're moving forwards?
5-Pick An Environment That Makes You Feel Supported. This is so important! If you find the gym or the people in that class intimidating or not supportive then you're never going to feel comfortable in that space so find an environment that makes you feel good. Being surrounded by others is a great way to learn but if that's not for you right away then maybe going into a 121 setting would be a better approach to allow you to progress & learn & then when you feel ready you can step out alone into that gym environment.
6-Finally Have A Plan. If you're going into your training or exercise sessions with no plan or structure & just doing things willy nilly you are not going to have faith in what you're doing. You won't see progress as you must be following a periodised plan to see progression with your fitness & strength & this will demotivate you but worse of all with no plan or programme I can promise you you'll spend your hour of training wandering around looking lost, hopping from machine to machine, doing a bit & leaving feeling totally unsatisfied & a bit silly. A programme & a plan is your blueprint & it goes a long way.
It's easy to look at someone online or in the gym & think god it's so easy for them, they look so confident, they must never have felt like I do. But trust me, we all do! I was certainly there & it took a hell of a long time to build that confidence up but it does come with patience, time & persistence! My biggest advice would be to get a coach, learn as much as you can from them, absorb knowledge, read books & articles, exercise in a place you feel comfortable, practice what your coach/inspirations preach & repeat & repeat & you will see progression not just in yourself physically but in how you feel & your self-confidence. Don't let a lack of confidence hold you back, life's too short!