Ramblings on Confidence + New Goals

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Comments: 14

  1. Laura May 1, 2014 at 10:48 am Reply

    I had a MASSIVE crisis of confidence before the GBPF British Classic & had 3 sessions with a sports psych to get my head in the game. SO worth it.

    • gabbysgfree May 1, 2014 at 5:05 pm Reply

      I bet! I’ve never seen a sports psych. but I can only imagine it would be ah-mazing.

  2. Chris May 1, 2014 at 11:11 am Reply

    Gabby! You got this! You’re awesome, just look at all those accomplishments you’ve already done! I’d say you’re doing much more than “alright”.

    However, I totally understand what you mean. Most days I approach a WOD looking to survive it, not thrive in it. I approach the bar hoping I can lift it, not knowing I can confidently move it.

    Just know that you are an inspiration to a lot of people, and it is only human to look around and compare to others. Hell I look at you and think geez you’re way stronger than me!

    Stay positive and keep doing what you do. You got it.

    • gabbysgfree May 1, 2014 at 5:05 pm Reply

      Thank you so much Chris! I loved that line “survive it, not thrive it” – I think we are all guilty of that thinking at some point. Thrive on!

  3. Mollie K. May 1, 2014 at 11:17 am Reply

    you are incredible! I can relate to you so much with not being confident about lifting at times because it doesnt come easily to me and i have to work hard at it and it pushes me out of my comfort zone. I too and working on walking up to that bar and knowing I am going to make the lift. Mental toughness and strength is so much of what made me fall in love with lifting heavy and doing my first powerlifting competition. You are such an inspiration to me-keep it up! You will achieve your goals girl!

    • gabbysgfree May 1, 2014 at 5:06 pm Reply

      Thank you so much Mollie and GOOD LUCK on your first competition!! That is so awesome!

  4. Scotch May 1, 2014 at 11:19 am Reply

    I don’t know strongman, but confidence is key under the bar–especially squatting and anything overhead. Your stats are great–much better than simply “alright.” You lift more than most men at my box. Given what you’ve accomplished, with your dedication, those goals are definitely achievable. You can do this. Go crush it!

  5. Jacki May 1, 2014 at 2:41 pm Reply

    This is how I am with Crossfit. I’m good at almost anything I try to do, but that’s one area where I’m just okay. I watch others (admittedly 10 years younger) who were in the same place as me 6 months ago, blow past me and I lose all confidence in myself as an athlete. Remembering that I am not doing this thing to be a regional athlete, but to be better than yesterday, is the mindset I know I need in those moments of frustration,

    • gabbysgfree May 1, 2014 at 5:06 pm Reply

      That is a great mindset to have Jacki, thanks!

  6. Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table May 1, 2014 at 10:25 pm Reply

    I totally understand where you’re coming from. I’m a confident person and very analytical – I don’t seek out a ton of pats on the back, but am surprised how much they mean to me when they come. One of the best pieces of advice my trainer gave me was to approach the bar with confidence. So much of lifting is mental!

    You’ll conquer those goals! You’ve been a big inspiration to me. I’m impressed with your progress!

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  8. Tracy Gabrelcik May 2, 2014 at 7:41 am Reply

    Thank you SO much for writing this! This has been on my mind too as I am training again.
    I also have the understanding that I will not beat everyone at my gym or at competitions BUT if I can’t beat myself, even by 2 lbs, that’s when I love my mind a little.
    There is definitely a new level of confidence in sports involving weights, its a tough one to grasp but I have confidence we can both do it!
    You are a huge motivator to me Gabby, you just keep on being awesome and everything will fall in line :)

    • gabbysgfree May 4, 2014 at 8:38 am Reply

      Thank YOU for being so awesome Tracy!

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