Building Your Confidence With Power Thoughts
By Brittney russell
Confidence is a skill
Did you know that confidence is a skill? Yes, it may appear that some people are naturally more confident than others; however, you can learn how to develop and build confidence. Learn how to develop Power Thoughts.
First, let’s define it for conversation’s sake. According to the Oxford Dictionary confidence is defined as; a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities. To simplify, confidence is one’s internal belief about their skill level to execute a specific task.
Our confidence is created and controlled primarily by two things: our physical training and preparation (skill building behaviors) and by our thoughts about our abilities. The more we develop confidence the more we eliminate doubt.
I’m not here to coach you on how physically train and prepare for your sport. I’m here to coach you on how to train and prepare your mind for your sport. And if you are serious about your lifting goals, you must be as serious about training your mental as you are about training your physical.
One way to develop confidence is to improve your self-talk. What you say to yourself matters, and your self-talk can make or break the outcome of training and competition. When you are working to develop self-confidence, you must be deliberate and intentional in what you think and how you speak to yourself.
As you’re reading this, you may think this is trivial and common sense…but have you ever stopped to examine your thought process during a great training session versus a poor training session? During your next training session, I challenge you to reflect on the thoughts that you had prior to and during the workout. Through reflection, you’ll come to realize, thoughts matter. And if they continue, they materialize into the outcome. Thoughts drive our emotions and our reactions; therefore, your thoughts are mostly responsible for your performance outcome.
If you’re thinking, “okay, I will start to think more positively during my sessions. That will fix it!”, I recommend that you consider creating a Power Thought. A Power Thought is a pre-planned, productive thought you insert into your thinking prior to or during your training or competition that helps you attack the performance with confidence.
By developing a Power Thought, you enter training and/or competition by thinking a thought that you’ve created that will instantly generate the emotions and physical state you want to have as you step on the platform and place your hands on the barbell.
Having support and encouragement from your coaches and teammates is wonderful. But on the platform, you are all alone. The barbell isn’t concerned about the crowd and the external noise pumping you up, nor should you be. You must be your own hype (wo)man and develop self-talk that will help you zero-in and focus on personal strengths and characteristics that will induce confidence you can attack the barbell!
When developing a Power Thought ask yourself these 3 questions:
- What emotions and physical state help me to perform at my best?
- What skills, abilities, and strengths do I have that I want to bring to the performance?
- Where have I succeeded in the past, and how can I leverage that to build more success?
Once you answer these questions, take some time to create a Power Thought that can induce and illicit genuine confidence in you as you approach training and competition. The challenge is for you to create a Power Thought that is meaningful, motivates you to take action, and mobilizes your belief in your potential!
An example of a Power Thought would be:
- I am a master lifter!
- I am built to lift heavy weights!
Power Thoughts can also be quotes or musical lyrics. They can be revised if necessary. The point is that you create a pre-planned thought that you not only believe but think CONSTANTLY to help you tap into the performance that you want to achieve.
Once you have created a Personal Power Thought, practice thinking it and even saying it aloud 5-10 times before each lifting session. While you’re practicing thinking your Power Thought, match the thought to the body language of a champion! Ask yourself how a champion would act, and mimic that. Practice that for up to 2 minutes prior to a lifting session…pay attention to how you feel when that 2 minute is up. I bet you feel confident!
If you want to increase your physical strength and capacity, you must train your body through practice and repetition. Training the mind is no different. Developing mental strength requires practice and repetition. Just like the barbell isn’t going to lift itself without practice; you cannot lift your confidence without the same amount of practice.