I didn't have much in the depths of my anorexia, but am proud to say that today, my confidence in my self and my own abilities is probably the highest it's ever been!
A lot of times people ask me how I made this change and I find it a hard question to answer because I don't know! I think it just came with recovery and learning to like myself again.
It's amazing what can happen when we simply like ourselves instead of hating on everything we are all the time. When we can never see anything good in ourselves, it's hard to be confident.
Confidence, according to Dictionary.com is defined as the belief in oneself and one's powers or abilities so it makes perfect sense that we must first have love for ourselves before we have confidence.
For me, confidence came with weight training because it gave me something to feel good about. When I made progress in the gym I felt proud of myself and thus confident in what I could achieve. Obviously not everyday in the gym was a day for progression but it didn't matter because even if I had a bad day, because I believed in myself and had confidence in my abilities, I was able to say "oh well, it's a bad day but that's okay!"
I think that's one of the keys for both recovery and gaining confidence. Learning to be okay with bad days. Because we all know they happen and there's no way to avoid them really, although ignorance is bliss sometimes!
Having a bad day here or there is all part of the journey and allows us to continue to make progress. What would happen if everyday was a great day? We would never learn anything new, we would never push ourselves further and become better.
It is in those bad days and moments that we see what we really need to focus on and learn from. Some of the worst days in the gym, have been the best learning experiences. They either help me realize that I need a break or a rest, or they allow me to change up my program so I can continue to move forward.
The same goes for recovery. Bad days help us progress, and even though it often feels as though we are moving backwards, moving backwards only means we are on the horizon of moving forwards!
Anyways, back to the topic of confidence (it has appeared I've lost my way). I think there are a couple things that are key when trying to increase your confidence and I would like to share them with you. However, these have worked well for me, but might not be good for you. Don't feel as though you have to do these things or need to be this way or that...these are just suggestions! Do what works for you.
1. Look for something to be proud of. For me, being able to be proud of myself for something allowed me to see my worth and thus increase my confidence. And being proud of yourself can range from tiny accomplishments to huge endeavors. I found that, at the end of each week, when I wrote down everything that I felt proud of myself for, I was able to see a lot more things than I thought!
2. Stop comparing. I know everyone says this and I know it's hard not to look to someone else and compare your differences. But really, you are unique to you and the person next to you has their own strengths and weaknesses of their own. You only see what they choose to show the world, just as you do, so focus on your own skills and feel proud of what YOU can do!
3. Hold your head up. This was a serious problem for me because I would always hang my head and look at the ground everywhere I went. It was as though I was afraid to look the world in the eyes, but it's amazing what just a little looking up can do. Being able to hold your head up high and walk with your shoulders back allows you to feel as though you are important and you matter in this world. You are not something that should be hiding, show yourself to the world!
4. Own yourself. You are you and you are amazing. Stop trying to make up for what you think you lack and stop apologizing for just being yourself. Own who you are and be proud. Confidence comes when you are sturdy and comfortable in your own skin.
What has your experience been with confidence? Have you found that these tips worked for you? If not, what has helped you become for confident in yourself?