Confidence. It’s kind of a loaded word and a loaded concept - you want to appear confident, but not cocky, humble, but not lacking any confidence about yourself. As someone who is fairly confident in herself in most settings (I’m educated, pretty smart, don’t mind public speaking, etc.), I have found that this DOES NOT translate other to my life as a competitive athlete. My last competition, I let this ruin me. There were a lot of other factors at play as to why I performed far below my capacity but complete lack of confidence was a big one. So why do I rarely feel confident when I should? Well, that’s a bit of a long explanation.
Since I don't feel like writing a novel (and you don't want to read a novel!) the short version is: I’m not confident because I’m not great at it. I’m used to being quite good at most things I intend to be competitive at (which is usually why I try to be competitive in those areas). I’m not a great athlete, hell, I’m not even really a good athlete - I’m not the strongest or fastest person in my training group and I’m certainly not the fastest or strongest gal out of the girls I’ve competed against. That’s something I don’t necessarily mind since I like having people to chase - I am a highly competitive person, after all. BUT I won’t lie and say it’s not frustrating to work really hard for, at this moment, not massive gains (and I don’t expect massive gains at this point) while it seems like everyone else is PR’ing the heck out of everything. I usually just keep my head down and try to avoid the whole comparison trap but, like everyone else, I do it from time to time. I’m not one for a lot of positive reinforcement either - I don’t require a lot of “good jobs”, etc. so I don’t seek them out. I’m highly analytical and like to be told what I did right, what I did wrong, how I can fix it, etc. But apparently, some part of me maybe DOES need some positive reinforcement every once and awhile. I also hold myself to very high standards because old perfectionist habits die hard. But I’m working on it. Especially when it comes to competition day.
I’ve also been working on trying to be confident in training. I try to walk up to the bar and KNOW I’m going to make the lift. If I don’t make it, I try to make sure that I don’t let it get to me. I take the feedback, note what I did wrong, what I need to work on, and then move on and go to the next thing. I’ve also been trying to remember that I have accomplished quite a few of my goals already. I’ve only been seriously lifting for a little over 1 year (and was doing Crossfit for only 6 months before that) - I’ve back squatted 200# for 5, I deadlift 270# from the floor, 325# from the blocks, I can yoke over 400#, I’ve loaded an above bodyweight atlas stone several times. For all intensive purposes, I’m doing alright.
I also decided to make some new goals because I’m need of some extra motivation to get my head right. So here they are:
1. Win! Or place in a competition. 2. 2x bodyweight deadlift from the floor (330# - 60# away from this). 3. 400# 18inch deadlift. (current: 325#) 4. 1.5x bodyweight back squat for reps (225# for reps - current: 200# x 5) 5. 1.5x bodyweight atlas stone (225# stone - almost loaded the 200# this week but not yet) 6. 3x bodyweight yoke (485# - current is 415#) 7. GET BETTER AT PRESSING. All of it.
To accomplish these, I obviously need to get more confident - both in a competitive setting and in just a regular training setting. Best way to do that? Practice. And lots of it.