“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” - Henry David Thoreau
I have been looking into shifting how I view confidence. What it looks like, feels like, sounds like.
Chasing confidence can feel similar to chasing success. It can seem conditional, result-based and often reliant on external or uncontrollable factors; "I will be successful when I achieve X,” or "I will be confident when I can do Y."
The downfall of this, is that it is out of our control. And because it is out of our control we have no power in being someone who is confident or being someone who is successful. We end up feeling like we are at the start of an unknown and never ending path as we continue to pile on more conditions and higher expectations.
When I experience irrational, situational fear I often try and muster whatever confidence I can to get myself through. What I haven’t been able to notice until recently is that this confidence comes from telling myself that I can achieve the outcome that I want - whether it be hitting a weight I want to in training, placing in a competition, or even coaching the most perfect CrossFit class (yes I actually think about this..).
That’s not to say that this type of confidence doesn’t have it’s place. Truly believing that you can achieve these things would give you a sense of confidence. However what happens when you don’t get the outcome that you want. What do you tell yourself then? We start to doubt our ability, it sets us up for feelings of “failure” not achieving what we wanted to - even though it was largely out of our control.
All we can control is how WE think, act, respond. We cannot control the outcome. We have no control over external factors. No control over what the athlete in the lane next to us is doing. No control over other people’s perceptions or actions.
“People think confidence in the belief that you have the ability to win, or at least to compete with the best. But that’s not what confidence is, or where it comes from. Confidence has nothing to do with the outcome. It can’t.” - Ben Bergeron ‘Chasing Excellence”
The greatest sense of confidence we can have is how we respond to ADVERSITY. How will we react when shit gets real. Can you stay focused, driven, motivated, positive and determined regardless of what life throws at you? Are you able to hold onto and execute these traits when it matters most? If so, we can be confident in knowing that we are controlling the things that we can control, and we can stop wasting time worrying about the things that we can’t.