In order to have confidence, your mind has to be strong. If you constantly think about what could go wrong, you have already lost.
In order to strengthen your mind, you have to go through struggle.
Here’s a story for you all.
One summer in between 5th grade and 6th grade, I gave up on something yet again. At that point, my dad was sick of me giving up on everything I tried.
I always got myself into new hobbies and I quit every single one of them because they were, “too hard.”
Dad had me walk with him to the local high school that conveniently had their track and field equipment out.
We walked to the high jump area and my dad set the bar to as low as the bar could be.
“I want you to jump over this. You’re tall enough to do so.”
Each time I tried, I failed. Each time I failed, I kept getting frustrated.
“Dad, I’m sick of this! I quit!”
He approached me with sternness in his eyes and said, “No, you’re going to accomplish something today. I’m sick of you quitting!”
We kept doing so for two hours until he gave me an ultimatum.
“If you don’t jump over that by the end of the night, you will be banned from video games the rest of the summer.”
I was on lockdown the previous summer for a massive screw up, I didn’t want to go through that again.
After he said that, something happened. I decided to think critically and figure out what wasn’t working. After realizing that, I noticed a slight improvement in my jumps.
Eventually, I managed to get it down. While he was proud I did so, he was disappointed he had to “threaten” me to get me to jump over it.
In reality, I needed that ultimatum.
Confidence can’t be built on effort alone. You have to have a reason to do what you want or need to do.
At that time, my reason for wanting to jump over that bar was so I could not lose the ability to do what I loved.
As I got older, I took that lesson my dad taught me and applied it to everything else. It didn’t come overnight but I did notice a change in how I approached things.
While things were great on that end, a lot of my other failures at that time were due to my surroundings.
My parents always pushed and encouraged me to do better. My other issue was the company I kept.
In elementary, I had teachers that always made excuses for me and would punish me for being me. Yeah, that completely makes sense.
When you’re surrounded by people that simply do not like you just for being you, your performance will suffer.
It’s one thing to have haters but when it’s people close to you, that can be a problem.
It can be dire when you have things you can’t do anything about. But if you have a great support group and have grit, you can ascend.
One such example comes from a former classmate.
He had a nasty speech impediment but I’ll be damned if he was the most confident person I knew!
He was tall and lanky but was athletic and could gather an audience like no other. He never showed fear in all that he did.
He never let rejection get him down. Even the most popular kids in school took notice of this!
I later found out his confidence came from two things: a strong support group and giving people a reason to like you.
I don’t know what his life was like prior to us meeting but since he was in athletics, he always had the drive to do and be better.
He sadly left town my sophomore year of high school but for as long as we’ve been friends, his examples of confidence more or less transferred over to me.
To this day, I haven’t lost my will to be strong for myself and others.
What I want you to do is look at a small task that you’ve had trouble with and accomplish it. It doesn’t have to be perfect but I do want you to complete it.
If you want to really feel good about it, do a physical activity. When you move your body, your mind operates differently.
Being in motion is better than being stationary.