Blog 26 – Confidence is a Habit not a Trait.

Blog 26 – Confidence is a Habit not a Trait.

Getting closer, Strength Tribe. We are excited to see your smiling faces! (Masked, but smiling, and even if you won’t be smiling, we’ll just pretend.)

This blog will be a new attempt to write 500 word not directed at COVID-19 or racial justice (Yes, I recognize that I’ve already failed at both.), and more directed towards the alliterative strength science and fitness facts that I promised some weeks ago (For my benefit, let’s just pretend that “no blogs on pandemics” rule starts… … … … … … NOW!)

Kimmy and I were watching the new season of Queer Eye the other day. We noticed Karamo Brown, pop culture/life style icon (or whatever his title is), was wearing a shirt that resonated with us. “CONFIDENCE IS A HABIT NOT A TRAIT,” it read in big, block lettering. I hooted and wooo’d in approval. Kimmy said, “You should totally write a blog about that!” (I do realize that your personal perspective will determine if you read that as her yelling at me or exclaiming in support. I’ll let you re-read it both ways and determine which you find to be more enjoyable, for both are sometimes true and equally affective.)

I previously wrote a little blog about meditation and a term coined as “relaxed attention.” It championed finding more of opportunities within our hour together to focus on your self, relax your attention, and let your creativity flow. This all comes in the form of intentional use of your space. We will further that conversation by bringing in a few more concepts that deal a little bit more with deliberate actions for those of you who’ve scoffed at my world-class case for rest and meditation in the gym.

These concepts, also from the development world (Imagine that.), are generally called deliberate practice and a developmental mindset. The first, deliberate practice, is a mostly about process. It’s doing the same thing, at the same time every day. Artists, craftspeople, professional athletes, and all the like (generally) follow some sort of deliberate and routine practice. How does this relate to us? Well, most of us come to the gym at the same time on the same days every week. We also, most likely, do the same thing when we arrive, or work out in the same spot or with the same equipment, or we might even have the same internal conversations with ourselves. The deliberate practice being that we actively do the same thing regardless of the result – authors will often write just to write, knowing what they are just going to play wastebasketball when they are finished.

The other, a developmental mindset, is a psychological term that refers to the power of our own language to slowly, but surely, guide us to try again. It is this trying that will eventually lead us to success within the activity (Do you see where this is going?)… Dr. Carol Dweck implies this in her TedTalk, “The Power of Believing That You Can Improve,” by framing the conversations with yourself around the word “yet” (for example, “I don’t have a strict pull-up, yet.”).

Looping back to practiced mediation, it is often said that the only difference between opposite reactions is the breath between an action and your subsequent reaction. If we can deliberately practice a developmental mindset in this breath, then we can turn confidence into a habit. To put it into practice, create simple, and intentional, routines for communicating with yourself around the gym. For example, before you lift a heavy weight take a breath and say, “I’ve got this shit!” or something else that resonates with you OR if you fail the lift try, “Dang! I don’t quite have this weight (or skill), YET.”

– Coach Dylan

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