The other day, I was watching Dr Ivan Joseph’s Ted talk on “The Skill of Self-Confidence”. He’s a soccer coach at Ryerson University. The most important quality he looks for in his recruits is self confidence, even before athletic skill, although he also views self-confidence as a skill in that it is something that can be developed both by others and by oneself. He talked about a study where teams were shown videos of everything they were doing right in a game compared to teams being shown what they are doing wrong. Which teams progressed the most? The ones where the focus was on what they were doing right. This is how you do it, rather than this how you shouldn’t do it.
As a weight loss coach, my thoughts went towards my clients and the role self-confidence plays in their weight loss goals. Focusing with my client on what they’re doing right helps, but I only see them 1 hour every two weeks at most. It’s what they say to themselves the other 195 hours in between sessions that makes the difference in their self-confidence and between successfully reaching their weight loss goals or abandoning them. This is especially true during challenging moments when they ‘deviate’ from the Chronoasian Method.
I know very few people whose self-confidence is impervious to constant criticism and downright meanness. Yet many of us who struggle with our weight say meaner things to ourselves than our worst enemy ever would the moment we deviate from a weight loss eating plan. I’m not saying you should pretend to yourself that you didn’t have that chocolate cookie from the packet in the kitchen, but telling yourself that you are weak and have no willpower (being your own bully), often makes you feel so bad that your desire to take another and another to soothe yourself (yes sugar and high fat foods soothes us short term). Then you tell yourself that you’ve ruined the day (or the week), your self-confidence is shot and you abandon your eating plan.
You could follow this scenario or you could be a friend to yourself. You could say to yourself, “Ok, I had a cookie (some chips etc..), but I haven’t ruined everything. Just because I haven’t followed my eating plan perfectly today doesn’t mean that I can’t lose weight this week. I can do this. I’m back on track as of now.” These thoughts are more likely to bolster your confidence and strength to keep moving forward, towards your weight loss goal.
What you say to yourself in your head during challenging moments of ‘weakness’ have a just as powerful, if not more powerful, effect on your self-confidence and ability to reach your objective than what someone else (boss, friend, loved one) says!