"Argue for your limitations and, sure enough, they’re yours.”
- Richard Bach
Her name is Beatrice Kasty. Beatrice is a life long fit fantasy in the eyes of many, and has been for the majority of her life. She is a runner, climber, swimmer, yoga and pilates connoisseur. An activity junkie at the highest level.
Beatrice is recently pregnant with her first child and due to major complications she has been restricted to limited activity and bed rest. This is devastating to her well being. She always dreamed of being pregnant and how she would tackle the journey of childbirth. Functioning through pregnancy with the same passion she marched through life with - driven yet with a look of ease upon her face.
The thought of bed rest devastated Beatrice - “I’ve never rested a day in my life!”. She couldn’t swim, climb, hike or even hang out with her friends. This was a physical and mental nightmare for her.
Immediately Beatrice’s confidence took a hit. She can’t do anything she wants to do and slowly starts to put on pound after pound of mental and physical weight. She begins to resent the situation. She is self-conscious. She believes her husband no longer thinks she is attractive. She can’t look him in the eye and doesn’t believe him when he says otherwise. It goes the same for her friends - “Do they think I am a lesser person? She doesn’t want to see anyone. Everyone including her husband is shut out now. Her complications become worse and Beatrice is restricted not only to bed rest - but seems to be stuck in a world of self doubt.
But here’s the thing - none of this is true. Her husband absolutely thinks she is more beautiful than ever. Her friends do as well. More beautiful because they have seen her in a new light of vulnerability within her. In their eyes she is and will always be the woman they looked up to, aspired to be and modeled after. So the question is how is the way she feels about herself so different to the reality that surrounds her?
The answer is that we always have a choice. We choose our own thought process. Have you ever found yourself starting to doubt everything, thinking “I can’t do this” “I’m not good enough for this.” and suddenly getting inside your own head with negative thoughts and self doubt? It’s usually fear that causes this. Fear of failure. Fear of looking stupid. Fear of being weak.
So how do we change this? We change our mindset. When you start to hear those thoughts sneak into your head. When you start to feel yourself doubting what you can do - flick that switch in your head to combat the fear, by changing the narrative. “I can do this.” “Just do this.” “Who cares if you fail, you need to at least give it a shot.” “Just start.”
Take another example of a man who has trouble curling 25lbs Dumbbells. He feels weak, out of shape and lack of confidence at home, with friends and on social media. His perception is that the world sees him as weak and full of fear. But none of this is true.
He makes a conscious decision that he is done letting the weight impact him and makes a decision to get stronger. He chooses a strict and also sustainable diet. He hires a trainer who puts him on a workout regiment he can keep up with consistently. He starts reading and meditating everyday. As time goes on and he begins to get stronger and stronger in mind, body and spirit. His brain starts firing on all cylinders and people are taking notice of his new found fitness and health. The confidence builds.
What we must take notice of is that the moment he decided to change is the moment his life changed. He was done listening to the voice inside telling him he wasn’t good enough and he was going to do something about it.
As for Beatrice. The instant she decided to stop letting her situation get her down things changed. She started googling ways to workout and train from a state of bed rest. She found breathing exercises, meditation techniques, inner confidence builders and calming techniques. She began to see the glow inside her again. That same glow which was always there. She only lost site of it for a brief moment in time. Her husband, family and friends were invited back in and began to see a different kind of wow in her. “She found a way to crush it from the bed!”, they thought. Doctors took notice as well, and without any sort of scientific explanation she began to recover from her complications. No one knew exactly why, but by the middle of her second trimester she could stand up and move how she’d like. “Take your time.” the doctors said, though now she knew barring any unavoidable situation, nothing could stop her now.
It was her first major speed bump and also the greatest lesson of her life. A blessing in disguise.
Self Confidence and a positive mindset is key to living a healthy life and self doubt is the main ingredient to stop you from doing so. There’s a favorite saying of mine “As you think so shall you be”. Ever said to yourself “I feel tired” - guess what, I bet you felt really tired when you thought that. On the other hand, have you ever thought you were a warrior? Told yourself you are invincible, flawless and argon - even if you didn’t exactly feel that way? And when you did that, did you feel stronger. Try it, it’s the truth.
Don’t be afraid to go to war with yourself. Strategically attack every enemy - fear, self doubt, negativity - from different angles. Conquer all that stands in your path with a powerful and positive mindset. Celebrate the small victories because they add up to greatness when you string enough together.
Work your life don’t let it work you. I say this about workouts in fitness. Work the set. Don’t let the set work you. Breathe through every rep. Take it one breath at a time. In the end it is only a workout and in Beatrice’s case a mental exercise.
Just breathe. The world will mentally beat you down if you let it, and let you fly if you allow it and put your mind to it.
“Confidence is the most beautiful thing you can possess.”
- Sabrina Carpenter