Athletes experience moments of doubt and fear, and so do newly educated healthy eaters. Athletes worry about the outcome of a game or competition, equally those engaging in healthy eating plans worry if they will accomplish the goals they set. Both often doubt their training and wonder if they have done it well enough.
Our confidence is built by our past experiences which defines how we perceive ourselves against our ideas of success. This is very individual, as an example I may think I've not competed or eaten particularly well based upon my previous experiences, yet another individual may be perfectly happy with my results. Equally another individual may be disappointed in my efforts. We set our own goals and are defined by our own experiences and expectations.
In the nutrition world I come across a lot of negative perceptions, people seems to focus on the fact that they "can't eat well", or that they "still haven't lost weight." I've lost count of the times I've educated someone about food, only to have someone focus on the negatives such as "its too expensive to eat well", "the results are too slow," or they may even blame everyone else or everything surrounding them. This is also common in the world of sport, from athletes claiming success costs too much money, or their progress is too slow. I've seen people at my sport blaming their bike and literally abusing it.
- Its too expensive ~
- From a nutrition point of view, it takes no more cash to select healthy foods than it does to select bad foods. I've seen people with very little actual food on their shopping bill, prioritizing computer games, DVD's, crisps, sweets, new clothes, Coca Cola and various other non essential items, above the food that they need to be healthy and vital. Do you drive your £30,000 BMW through the McDonalds drive through, yet complain about not being able to afford good food? Do you buy new clothes to cheer yourself up rather than buying the food that would get you the health that would keep you happy? When people actually make proper food choices and buy from a farmer or butcher, not only do they escape the temptations of the supermarket but they also realise its cheaper.
- Yes sport is expensive and its often the case that to reach the top, you need money and lots of it. You have to sit back and analize why your doing sport in the first place. To reach the absolute top you often do need financial support, but for most of us sport is about fun (or it should be). Take a look at this little video of Guy Martin talking about his passion for his sport. Guy is someone who is truly focused on doing what he loves.
- The results are too slow ~
- From a sport perspective, results take time and effort to achieve. To reach your goals you have to become dedicated to the cause. You don't get there by simply buying the equipment and entering the event.
- Similarly from a nutrition perspective we need to engage in achieving results. I've lost count of the people that have wanted instant results despite spending years eating and living badly. People often expect to be given a diet sheet and not have to work at it. For the past 8 years I've used Metabolic Typing clinically to help clients learn about themselves, lately I've advanced upon the Metabolic Typing method using more advanced techniques to make it easier for clients to understand how to assist themselves. The one failing of diets (even metabolic typing) is the dependancy of clients to interact and engage with it.
- Using excuses ~
- Confident people have a "can do" attitude and focus on the positives. Both with sport and health, they look for something positive, even when there does not seem to be anything. A confident person will admit when they make mistakes and will learn from them. If your failing in competition sit back and look honestly at what is going wrong.
- Equally if your suffering from being overweight, diabetic, or a whole host of other problems, do not sit blaming others or claiming to be unlucky. Sure, your suffering but its probably needless and if you engage yourself in tackling the problem you'll be surprised at the results.
When people lack confidence they tend to focus on the negatives, and struggle to acknowledge when things do go well. I've often seen this in clients who despite making many improvements in their health will dwell on the negatives. They may point their finger at everything and everyone else for their perceived idea of poor results. Others often dismiss the idea of even trying to improve when offered a solution. Why would they do this? Why would someone dismiss a chance to regain their health because its too hard or too expensive? Its confidence, they lack the confidence to even try and are frightened to risk possible failure in the quest for success.
So, how do we become confident?
The only way to start is by beginning to focus on the positives. If its in sport, drop back a level and focus playing for fun rather than being so competitive. I know that when I ride at national level I can loose focus on the positives, so from time to time I make sure I drop back to club level and ride somewhere I know I'll probably win. I call it a confidence boosting event. With your diet focus on the things you did well and that went right, even when the end result wasn't what you wanted. Drop back a level and don't set the goal so high. Take small confident steps towards success.