Over the holidays, Ryan and I were in the Big Ol’ Apple aka New York.
We stayed at this little hotel on 32nd street between Madison and Park.
I got up early one morning to grab a coffee and I noticed that next to our hotel was a CrossFit studio called Solace New York.
As I walked passed the front window, I could see a group of people working out inside and I decided in that moment I was going to register to take a class the next day.
So when I got back up to my room, I flipped open my laptop, paid the fee, picked my class and I was all set.
Or so I thought.
You see, I had no idea when I registered that I picked the wrong class. Instead of choosing the class I saw going on in the window when I walked by – I signed myself up for a real deal, balls to the wall CrossFit class.
If you’re not familiar, CrossFit is an intense, and I’d add, technical kind of workout that demands a high level of strength, focus and endurance. People who do CrossFit do things like pistol squats, thrusters, muscle-ups and other movements with weird names like – cleans, jerks and snatches.
Yea. You basically need to learn another language to do it and as I laid out my workout clothes for the next day I had no idea what I signed myself up for.
And even after I showed up for class the next morning, I was still clueless.
But when all was said and done and class was over, I walked away with 3 insights about self-esteem and confidence. And that’s what today’s post is all about.
So if you’re an ACOA or someone in recovery and you’re looking for some pointers on how to improve your self-esteem and confidence this post is the one for you.
After you’re done reading, meet me in the comment section and share any tips, tricks or insights you have on building self-esteem and confidence.
Or if this is an area that you’re really struggling in, how can I help?
Let it all out in the comment section!
Remember your voice, experiences and insights are vital to this community. And what you have to share is not only unique but it may be exactly what someone else needs to read. And that someone could be you.
Thanks for reading, commenting and sharing. Having you here means everything!
Until Next Tuesday,
#1 Self-Esteem And Confidence Can Be Earned
For years I couldn’t let go of the idea that if my parents would’ve just taught me confidence that I wouldn’t struggle with the self-esteem issues I have today.
So instead of focusing on everything within my power to build up my self-esteem, I remained focused on all of the ways I felt my parents robbed me of confidence.
Now don’t get me wrong. My parents, being the abusive alcoholics they were, did a lot of damage. But the good news, and what I realized recently, is that there’s more than one way to build self-esteem and confidence.
Yes, it’s totally something you can learn from your parents and draw from your environment but it’s also something that you can earn through the actions you take.
For example, once I realized that I signed up for the wrong class, my immediate reaction was to leave. But because I stayed, I can honestly say that I walked out of the class, when it was over, more confident then when I walked in.
Why? Because I proved to myself, even though I was the least experienced in the class, that showing up exactly as I am is okay. And I realized that if I kept going back to that class, it would only be a matter of time before I’d be just as confident and comfortable as the rest of the students who went every week.
The bottom line is this – confidence can be earned. You don’t have to wait for someone else, especially your parents to give it to you. You can earn confidence by building it one step, one moment and one brave action at at time.
#2 Hear Your Negative Nonsense But Don’t Listen To It
One of the first questions the instructor asked the class was,
“How many of you think Pistol Squats are easy?”
3/4 the class raised their hand.
And all I could think as we stood there huddled around the instructor was, “What the f*ck is a Pistol Squat?”
Clearly I was way out of my comfort zone and instead of approaching the instructor and asking him to help me, I stood there, clueless and let my thoughts take over.
I thought about how stupid everyone else must’ve thought I was.
I thought about how ridiculous I must of looked not knowing what a Pistol Squat was.
I thought about leaving a million times and I was convinced that the instructor hated me because I was so new and had absolutely no clue what was going on.
But then for some reason, I suddenly heard all of the negative nonsense tumbling around in my head and I realized that the only drama happening in that moment was courtesy of me.
The only person keeping me small and scared was yours truly.
The only person talking me out of trying something new, was me.
So what did I do? I pulled myself together, gave myself an imaginary kick in the ass and decided that I was going to learn about the Pistol Squat.
And wouldn’t you know, as soon as I shifted my focus away from the negative, I forgot all about the other students in the class and what they were doing and possibly thinking.
The instructor even made his way over to me and once I told him that I was new to this CrossFit thing, he took the time to explain the movement.
Had I let myself become consumed with my negative nonsense, I would’ve left. But thankfully, I didn’t let it stop me or sway me.
And this is something important to remember as you’re working to build your confidence. The moment you step outside your comfort zone, every fear and negative thought you have programmed in your head will become amplified.
Although this is completely normal, know that if you give in to it or let it overwhelm you, it can become a road block that keeps you off your confidence building path.
The trick here isn’t to focus on getting rid of the negative but instead allowing yourself to hear the nonsense but refusing to listen to it.
#3 Perfect Is Not Part Of The Equation
The last chunk of class was devoted to circuit work. So basically we were given 5 different exercises to work on a minute at a time, on repeat, until class ended.
And as you can probably guess, I was clueless about nearly all of them.
So I picked a spot all the way in the back figuring that the more hidden I was, the less embarrassed I would be.
Remembering that I was new, the instructor switched out the barbell I dragged over with a hollow plastic tube.
From there, very slowly, he taught me the techniques I needed to understand the basic movements of CrossFit.
And for 15 minutes that’s all I practiced. Which brings me to the final point I want to make about building self-esteem and confidence.
Perfect does not have to be part of your confidence building equation.
In fact, putting that pressure on yourself to be perfect, while you’re building your self-esteem can not only squash the effort you’re making but it can also stop you from trying something new and unfamiliar in the the future. Which means you could be robbing yourself of some fantastic self-esteem and confidence building opportunities.
When the final buzzer sounded and class was officially over, the instructor came over to me and said,
“You did great for your first time. You’re a really fast learner and I hope you’ll come back soon.”
I’m not going to lie to you I was flattered and even more so when the random guy who I was hiding behind, the entire class, gave me a thumbs up and said,
“You did a really great job for someone who’s totally new to this.”
Sure, all of that made me feel great about myself. But as I walked back to the locker room, I was more in awe of the fact that I didn’t give up. That I didn’t give into my own negativity or the pressure to be perfect – which is something that’s very easy for me to do.
Like many ACOAs, I have my share of self-esteem and confidence issues.
I often have difficulty believing that I’m worthy, that I can learn new things and that I can achieve my wildest dreams. And this is something I’m always working on.
My hope is that today’s post has opened your eyes to the possibility that no matter what your home environment lacked growing up, a healthy self-esteem and confidence is still within your reach.
I hope you see that with consistent effort and an unshakeable willingness to try over and over again you can give yourself that gift.