Resources April 5, 2021

The Confidence Trap


Many high-performers are under the impression that they have to feel like “the best one out there” in order to win, excel, and thrive. Is that you? 

Thinking that you need to be fully confident before you perform is a trap. Experience and growth is what will give you confidence. Doing the work, practicing and gaining appreciation for yourself is how you’ll gain confidence. If you continue to wait, or continue to listen to doubt, you’ll never gain the confidence you’re seeking.

Confidence is about your belief in yourself to do what you’re capable of, regardless of the task, event, environment, competition, or stakes. It doesn’t mean that you won’t have worry or doubt. It means that you trust that you can continue, push through, and perform your best in spite of your doubts.

If you’re going after BIG things in training, sport, or life — you will wonder if it’s possible. You won’t know for sure if you can. The future and your potential are uncertain. So, don’t allow your fears or concerns to impact your confidence. Keep going forward. Set yourself up for success and do all that is in your control to be proud of how you go about it (whatever it is).

To get more confidence, you must practice doing hard things. It’s important to persevere and be the athlete you want to be even when you’re struggling in front of others, practicing weaknesses, getting back up after a mistake or failure, showing up nervous, facing your fears, asking for help, putting yourself out there again and again, competing before you “feel” ready.

As you do this, and refine your mentality, you’ll become more and more confident in yourself. You’ll have the experience to rely on and the wisdom from these lessons under your belt. You’ll trust that you can overcome and prevail no matter what’s going on. You’ll believe that you’re capable and you’ll be able to rely on your skillset (physically and mentally) to take you where you want to go. But, you have to do the work.

So, dive in, try, fail, mess up, surprise yourself, build your strategies, lose, stumble, gain experience and KEEP GOING. Train your mindset as you practice. Don’t wait to have confidence before you move forward. Go forward now. Learn all that you possibly can in the process and continue to practice being the person who you want to be.

Here are some pre-performance thoughts that may be helpful going into a workout, event, game or competition. 

“I get to do this.”

“I’m grateful to be able to … (whatever you’re working on).”

“I’ve prepared myself to the best of my ability.”

“I can’t wait to be pushed to my limits.”

“It’ll be a blast.”

“Stay focused on my purpose and plan.”

“I choose this because I love to see what I’m capable of.”

“Adapt, adapt, adapt.”

“Struggle is growth.”

“Respond to adversity in a way you’ll be proud of.”

“Be who you say you want to be.”

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Author Bio:

I’m Dawn Fletcher, owner of and creator of The Mindset Training Program on SugarWOD. I’ve had nearly every job in the fitness industry over the last 15+ years and I’ve coached more than 20 CrossFit Games athletes, Olympic and national level competitors, Marines, entrepreneurs, doctors, coaches, and thousands of others to championships and MAJOR life achievements.

As far as I know, I’m the only coach in the world who has a Master’s in Kinesiology with a focus in Sport and Exercise Psychology, and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a CrossFit Level 3 Trainer.