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Much has been written about confidence: where to find it, how to build it, and how to keep it going.

Confident People

It seems we’re all born with it, but over time we let fear and self-doubt creep into our thoughts and psyche and gradually, our confidence begins to erode. Between the pressures and expectations of work and life, we get beaten down and lose our sense of confidence.

Jen Sincero, author of You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, explains it this way: “Being confident means peeling away the doubt, fear, and worry, and getting back to our core. Confident people have learned to get back to their pure selves.”

Confidence doesn’t come easy. It takes effort and practice, as well as changes in the way you think.

According to Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, coauthors of the book The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance – What Women Should Know, “Confidence is life’s enabler – it is the quality that turns thoughts into action.” Although written for women, this book breaks the confidence code for men too.

The following is inspired by the article Six Habits Of Confident People, with my own fitness spin added.

Confident People

1. THEY PUSH THEMSELVES IN THEIR WORKOUTS

Nothing builds confidence like taking action, facing obstacles, and working through fear, especially inside the gym.

Asking your body to dig deeper, push harder, or face its worst fear, is the key to improvement.

Confident people don’t bash themselves; they don’t let negative thinking and self-loathing screw up a good workout or undermine their progress.

2. THEY VIEW FAILURE AS A CHALLENGE

Confident people experience failure just like everyone else - it’s how they deal with it that sets them apart.

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Failure doesn’t stop confident people – it spurs them on. Clients who view failure as a challenge are better equipped to achieve their fitness goals.

3. THEY KEEP THEIR NEGATIVE THOUGHTS IN CHECK

Confident people don’t bash themselves; they don’t let negative thinking and self-loathing screw up a good workout or undermine their progress.

Kay and Shipman call this kind of thinking: NATS (negative automatic thoughts). “Women are particularly prone to NATS. We think we make one tiny mistake and we dwell on it for hours and hours. It kills our confidence.”

To get rid of NATS, the coauthors have a solution: for every negative thought you have, remind yourself of three good things you did. Soon, the self-loathing will change into self-acceptance, and ultimately, confidence.

4. THEY POWER THROUGH THEIR CIRCUMSTANCES

Instead of feeling like a victim of their circumstances, confident people take ownership of their situation and reclaim their power.

Whether it’s losing weight, getting fit, or dropping a bad habit, confident people don’t make excuses. They get it done. They don’t blame their genetics, work schedule, or let other things get in the way - they just show up and do the work.

5. THEY SEEK OUT ADVICE AND INFORMATION

Confident people are unafraid to further their knowledge and broaden their horizons – whether it’s through continuing education, or through the guidance and advice of others. Confident people are always hungry to learn more, know more, and better themselves.

As Sincero says: “Insecure people stay where they are because they’re afraid of admitting their weakness.”

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6. THEY WALK THE WALK

You know a person is confident by the way they walk, by the way they comport themselves, and by the way they use body language to express their healthy self-esteem.

Walking tall, having good posture, holding your shoulders back, keeping your abs in, and chin up, all send subconscious signals that you’re strong and have your shit together.

As a personal trainer, I’ve often observed that what makes a client confident and successful in the gym, is what makes them confident and successful in life. It might take practice, but at least you can always fake it till you make it.

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Treva Brandon Scharf