4 Easy Ways to Increase Your Confidence Levels

Long sleeve shirt, sweatpants, and maybe even a sweatshirt.

Nope. I’m actually not talking about my Mid-December sledding attire.

I’m talking about the clothes that I wear to the gym, 9 times out of 10. I get asked quite frequently, “Why do you always wear long sleeves in the gym? Aren’t you hot??”

  • Thank you for noticing my outfits every day
  • Yes, I am hot. *Wipes sweat off forehead with sleeve*

Unfortunately, I don’t wear long sleeves all the time because I enjoy dripping like frosty the snowman in the desert. My inclination to cover up at the gym has grown on me, however, as I do feel most confident in that type of clothing now.

Anyway, I’ve been doing it for years – since I started working out at an actual gym in 2011. I was well aware of what my body looked like, that’s why I went to the gym – I desperately wanted to change it. Not to mention, gym mirrors are ruthless… You can’t escape those things at public gyms; they follow you, stare at you, taunt you, and just make you feel bad about yourself. Being able to see my body from every possible angle for the entirety of my gym stay made me feel vulnerable and normally just ruined my workout. I was, among several other things, extremely skinny and overly self-conscious.

Ok, enough about me.

We all have insecurities that bother us – you will always be your biggest critic. We fret, pout, and let our minor imperfections overrun our brains and inhibit our actions.

As a Psychology major, I’m well aware of the impact that your thoughts can have on your mood and behavior. I conducted a study in 2015 regarding the relationship between an individual’s mood/behavior and how frequently they exercised. My study supported the notion that exercise increases an individual’s mood and positively affects their behaviors. So, with that being said, I created a list of my 4 best ways to help you feel more confident in the gym, so your mood and behaviors are positively influenced outside of the gym.

Now, I know this is easier said than done.   At the end of the day, my words are just words, but if I can help one person feel more self-assured, then this is a success.

Here are my 4 best ways to help you feel more confident in and outside of a gym:

  • Wear something that makes YOU feel confident, regardless of what it is. You don’t have to wear a sweatshirt, sweatpants, a onesie, or a trash bag to the gym in order to cover up your body, BUT if that’s what makes you feel most confident, then by all means, do it! The better and more empowered you feel while working out, the better workout you will have. Fact.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others. This is a tough one! Its human nature, right? You see someone and immediately start observing and comparing them to yourself. This will only do 1 of 2 things, both of which have a negative influence on who you are as a person:
    1. Allow you to feel bad about yourself (you shouldn’t)
    2. Allow you to feel better than someone else (you aren’t)
  • Appreciate the amount of progress you’ve already made. Regardless, if you’ve been working out for 20 years or 5 days, acknowledge the time you’ve spent trying to become better, and find self-gratification in that. Be proud of your hard work, and continue striving to become a better version of yourself. “You may not be there yet, but you are closer than you were yesterday.”
  • Don’t worry about things that you cannot control. In the grand scheme of things, we can only change a few features about our bodies. We cannot change our bone structure, muscular insertions, bone length or width. Unfortunately, these unchangeable characteristics often times cause self-doubt and insecurities. Worrying about these unalterable qualities will only lead you down a path of negativity, sadness, and the disapproval of your own figure.

This is life. No one is perfect. We have to look at the bigger picture. Be thankful that you can drive your car to the gym, walk inside, and exercise. If you can do that, I assure you – everything will be ok.

Remember,

  • Wear something you feel confident in
  • Stop comparing yourself to others
  • Appreciate the amount of progress you’ve already made
  • Don’t worry about things that you cannot control

Do these 4 things, and your confidence levels will increase. If your confidence levels increase, your workouts will get better. If your workouts get better, your body will reap the benefits.

Confidence is KEY!

You got it.

I believe in you. Now, you just have to start believing in yourself.

Thanks for reading,

Patrick Burns

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