Updated: Apr 17, 2019
When I ask a client to try and visualise what they will feel and look like when they have achieved the health they want, most find it difficult to do so.
Let’s try it. Think what health you would like to have on this date next year? Do you want to be lighter? Have less body fat? Be less stressed? Feel fitter and stronger?
Whatever good health means to you, will you have achieved it in a year from now? If you think yes, then ask the question “why didn’t I achieve this a year ago?”. If you answered no, then ask yourself “why don’t I think I will achieve it?”.
The common thing that both answers have, is confidence.
What is confidence? It is the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something.
So can you rely on achieving the health you want in a years time?
According to the psychologist, Albert Bandura, confidence is defined as someone’s belief regarding their capacity 1) to succeed and 2) to attain a given level of performance.
For a long time it was believed that confidence was reflected in someone’s future performance, but now it is seen a reflection in someone’s past performance.
To understand it better;
Your confidence is based on what you have doneWhat you have done, in addition to the situation your prior performance has created, shapes your belief about your future
In other words, if you have or have not succeeded in achieving what you want in the past, then it will impact on your belief that you can achieve it in the future.
So confidence comes down to your belief that you can succeed on what you have set out to achieve.
You can fake confidence for a short period of time (this is know as motivation and willpower), but deep down you won’t truly believe that you will win this time. As any bump in the road or any discomfort that comes a long on your journey to achieving your health goal, will reinforce your deep belief that you are going to fail again.
It is only when you truly belief that you can succeed will you grow in confidence. How you see your future and past is what creates your beliefs.
Goals & Confidence
A goal is what you imagine your future will be like, because goals are always future focused. The more confident you are in achieving a goal, the more realistic your projected future will become. You will be able to transform yourself into your imagined future goal.
- Confidence is determined by performances in your past
- Recent performances play a bigger role in confidence than ones further back in time
- Understanding who you were isn’t who you are
- Your belief, what you can imagine and faith in your future are all based on your confidence
- The bigger your confidence, the bigger your future can be
- More confidence, the better you become at learning new skills
- Increase in confidence increases your willingness to change what you are currently doing
- And lastly, but most importantly, confidence helps you identify less with who you were and more with who you want to become
An example of the above would be someone wanting to lose weight, change their body and become a healthier and more well rounded person.
If they have tried and failed in the past to achieve this (which most people have encountered) then their confidence will be low and they end up reinforcing their belief that the type of person they want to become is just an imagined person that is always out of reach some time in the future.
To change their belief and increase their confidence, they first must accept that past performances shouldn’t shape who they are today, but learn from those past performances on what didn’t work and what needs to change this time for it to produce a different result.
They must always look forward and see what they can do today, and not look into the past for what they did wrong.
Take Action Now
It all starts from taking action today. Looking in the past doesn’t focus the mind on what actions can be taken today which will ultimately determine future results.
Start removing from your life things that didn’t work for your past self. First change the environment that you are in.
Does your current environment allow you to easily make the changes needed for your imagined future self?
Does your environment match the environment that you imagine is needed to create your future self?
If you imagine your future self to be lighter and slimmer, what type of environment does a lighter and slimmer you live in?
Is it an environment that has processed food in it, or makes it easy to take the easy option?
Is it an environment that encourages growth and not one that holds you back?
This alone can increase your confidence and decrease your need for willpower and motivation.
Making the world around you easier, will greatly increase your ability to implement the changes needed and lessen the discomfort that comes with change.
The more organised your life is the more your confidence will increase, as your habits and behaviours (actions) will start matching the one’s needed to achieve your healthier future self.
This in turn will start to produce results that will move you forward towards what you desire.
Results increase faith in what you are doing works and faith increases confidence.
Increased confidence increases more action and action produces results. And the cycle continues.
Choose To Act Or Not
At the end of the day, if we want to change who we are, perform the right actions, and increase our faith in what we are doing is right, then we first must accept that it all comes down to choice.
What we chose to do will determine the outcome we end up with.
So if we are confronted with a choice to either eat processed food over natural whole food, we need to understand what outcome we will ultimately achieve due to the choice we made.
Does your future imagined self, arrive at who they are if you choose the processed or natural food?
The answer to that will decide your choice. The outcome you end up with is down to you and the choices that you make. If you are happy with the outcome you have arrived at today, then carry on making the same choices. If not, take the action to change your choices.