Hello everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend! So, based on a few conversations with clients this week, I have been toying with this post in my head for a few days. It’s not so much a revelation as it is just something to think about. Strength vs. Confidence. Specifically mental and physical strength, and it’s relationship to self-confidence.
So most people, in general, are very strong. And when I say strong, I mean to focus on mental strength. We take what life gives us, deal with it, move on, cope, etc. Whatever it takes to get through, we keep on plugging away, pushing through the pain until we get to our destination. We are designed to adapt, accept change, and move on. Most people do this fairly well, and even if they don’t do it well, they do it anyway. We have to…what’s the alternative? But is simply dealing, coping, pushing through life events and problems enough? Do we feel accomplished by “getting through”?
Now for confidence. Confidence is having the ability to put yourself out there for all to see, complete the task, and then be proud of the actions and problem-solving decisions that you made to get there. A confident person is mentally strong, but also feels empowered by their own actions and a sense of accomplishment when the destination is reached. It takes mental strength to be confident, but the added element is the courage it takes to put oneself in front of others. It makes you vulnerable, open to criticism and opinion, and that can be scary at times. But those who have confidence don’t care. They are are comfortable with their decisions, and their faults, and no one can tell them any differently.
The reason I was pondering these few thoughts in my head this week is because this does apply to exercise. In fact, confidence has huge implications in the success of the people I exercise. Since many people I work with are new to exercise or recovering from an injury or illness, these confidence levels are usually low to start. They may feel like they can’t rely on their body to do the things they used to do, or that their body is just a shell of their person and is causing more problems than not. These feelings are all okay and common. And so we begin to exercise.
We have come to learn that through building physical strength (which just simply takes mental strength) and using exercise to correct some of these bodily insecurities, we start to build back confidence by making accomplishments. Maybe it’s a day when a client with chronic neck pain finally reaches into an overhead cabinet without pain. Maybe it’s being able to get up off the floor safely and pain-free. Maybe it’s learning a complicated new exercise. Maybe it’s mastering an old one. Whatever it is, by building confidence physically, we build confidence mentally. And once you’ve got yourself confident in your personal abilities, you’ve relinquished the fear of failure and embraced success. With confidence and no fear of failure, there really are no physical limits. The only person possibly standing in your way is your (mental) self.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” So why let them? Because it’s up to you. Wouldn’t it be much more exciting to live life with confidence and the feeling of success in oneself, instead of just pushing through? Wouldn’t you be much happier and satisfied with yourself by succeeding, achieving, and striving for something more than fearing possibilities? I think so. So why not be confident? You only have to decide to be.