I always feel like confidence is one of the aspects that people talk about. But I have a very fluffy or vague understanding of how to improve confidence. When I hear someone say, “just be confident,” it reminds me of when I heard someone ask about how to lose weight, and the other person responded with, “just eat less.” Wow… If only I had tried that sooner!
So I am going to provide simple research to more clearly define what confidence is and how it can be improved!
When we think of fitness confidence, we often think about walking into the gym or a meeting with our head up, chest forward, and feeling very comfortable. That feeling is derived from the certainty that something or many things will go in our favor.
Confidence is simply our certainty an outcome will be in our favor. The two keywords here are “certainty” and “outcome.” A lack of confidence comes from our uncertainty about an outcome or certainty the outcome won’t be in our favor.
Another aspect of confidence is that our feelings of self-confidence are very subconsciously incredibly important to us. Meaning a lot of anxiety and stress arises when we face any risks to our feelings of confidence.
To put this into fitness confidence. Many lack confidence when going to the gym. The reason many lack gym confidence is that they will do something incorrectly or do something embarrassing because they have less gym knowledge. In addition, they are afraid of losing the little confidence they currently have in the gym.
If that sounds like your current confidence level with fitness or any aspect of life, here are the four main methods of increasing self-confidence.
This is an obvious one. Very simply, if you succeed, your confidence goes up. By setting challenging yet small goals as stepping stones, your confidence should increase quickly!
This relates more to watching the people around us, learning from role models, and learning more from others. Increasing your knowledge on a subject will increase your confidence. Always be willing to ask questions to learn more and ask for tips, advice, or suggestions!
Verbal persuasion refers to affirmations or compliments in regard to your progress, work ethic, or drive to achieve a goal. This is an aspect of confidence you have less control over, as you can’t force compliments toward your progress, but it is nice to receive them!
Emotional and Physiological States
The last component of confidence relates to how you feel. If you have had an amazing day, work went well, social situations went very well, and you will just feel a little more confident. If you feel depressed or tired, you will likely not feel as confident.
To wrap up, the most important aspects of increasing confidence are Mastery Experiences. The more you can achieve small successes, the more certain you can be about achieving desired outcomes.
Maybe your goal at first is just to show up to the gym four days a week, and that is it. Maybe the next goal is to chest press 20lb dumbbells. Seeing the small amounts of progress and success will improve confidence.
Just be sure not to expect massive changes in confidence in a day or a week. It takes a lot of time to develop. But if you keep pushing and making efforts to improve and see small successes, it will improve!
Dylan Confar PT