Have you ever wondered why it is so hard to reach your goals? Why it seems impossible to become the healthier person you’ve always wanted to be? Confidence might be the key to finding that motivation you need to reach your fitness goals, and unfortunately this quality is generally low in women. I recently finished reading a very interesting book called “The Confidence Code” by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, in which these two journalists sought out highly professional women in order to determine what gives them the confidence that most other women are lacking. They interviewed women with leading roles in sports, politics, the military and arts; women who seem to have it all put together. Sure enough, they found that even these powerful, highly educated and determined women are lower in confidence than their male counterparts. Although this can come as a surprise, we realize that when it comes to success women are under the microscope. There is much more pressure to prove themselves worthy and there is a great deal of doubt surrounding their success.
This got me to thinking about the success of women when it comes to their fitness goals. Countless women struggle everyday with their weight, their bodies, their ability to stick to a consistent routine or a healthy eating regimen. We are often quick to blame this on laziness. “You just need to motivate yourself,” we will say, “just get up and do it!” There is no argument that motivation and determination play a significant, in fact crucial role in developing a healthy lifestyle. But what if there’s more to the story than that? What if confidence, this critical quality that many women lack, is the key to developing our success both in the work field and in our fitness life?
I truly believe that in order acquire the motivation and determination needed to reach fitness goals one must be able to see a finished product at the end of the road. I think the problem is that most women don’t actually believe they can obtain these goals and therefore aren’t able to imagine themselves the way they want to be. This absence of confidence creates barriers; if they don’t believe that they can achieve the goal they want, how can they constitute the motivation they need to go out and work hard for those goals. We can dream about the person we want to be, but if we don’t actually believe we can become her then we probably never will.
It sounds completely hopeless, I know, but I have some good news. In their journey to find out where confidence comes from, Katy Kay and Claire Shipman found that confidence is fickle. Although it is partly influenced by genetics, it can be built if it is lacking. It can be built by first making the choice to be confident. It can be built by choosing to please yourself instead of pleasing others. It can be built by stepping out of your comfort zone and taking risks. It can be built by accepting failure and learning from it.
If your struggling with getting to the gym or becoming the healthy person that you’ve always wanted to be, I encourage you to perform a self-check. What are the underlying reasons that you are not fighting for your goals? Are you afraid that you can’t accomplish what you want? You can truly do anything you set your mind to. Start working on building up that confidence. Set an image in your mind of the person you want to be and KNOW that you can get there. It’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of positive self-assurance but I promise you can get there. Every woman deserves to be healthy and happy!