Article written by Marshall White
I get messages on Facebook all the time and I love chatting with all the other LBEB'ers out there, but unfortunately more often than I'd like I get a message that goes something like this; "Hey I was wondering what tricep exercises can I do to help my bench? My bench sucks so bad and I'm weak but I want to get better." While I appreciate someone valuing my advice these kind of messages bum me out. Why call yourself weak? Why the degrading remarks?
I always answer these questions and try to throw a little encouraging remark in there as well but often times I get so confused as to why someone who is trying to better themselves and grow stronger would put down their own progress. Having confidence in your own strength is something that is absolutely necessary if you want to continue to grow stronger or get better in any sport. Confidence in your abilities is not something that comes naturally to most people and is something that you have to work on to improve just like you would work on improving any of your lifts. Keep in mind that often times confidence will be seen as cockiness to those people that aren't confident in their own abilities, and people that aren't confident will only try to bring you down to their level. So if you work on improving your own confidence their opinion won't matter and you will continue to rise to levels they can only wish they could reach.
If confidence in your abilities is not something that comes naturally, what are some things you can do in order to learn to be confident? Here are some things that helped me to become confident in my abilities as a strongman.
1: Get a program that works: if you are consistently seeing gains with your programming there should be no question that you are getting stronger. I realize that as athletes we can all be a little impatient at times and want the biggest gains as fast as we can get them. The fact is, strength does not come overnight, it takes time and so long as you are making consistent gains you are on the road to accomplishing your goals.
2: Appreciate your hard work: Strength does not come fast but more importantly it does not come easy, it is HARD as hell to get strong. So many factors come in to play that it can be overwhelming at times. Are you moving the weights you want to move right now? Maybe not but you know you're working hard and you should appreciate that your hard work will get you to where you want to be.
3: Look at general population and realize that you're a monster compared to them: Stop comparing yourself to world class athletes you see on YouTube. Understand that to the general population a 200lb deadlift is so far beyond their capabilities they don't even understand it. How many people do you know that are so weak they can't even lift a bag of dog food? Here you are lifting the equivalent of 10 bags of dog food and not even breaking a sweat! You're the one your friends call when they need help moving something, you're the person that gets introduced as "this is that guy/lady I was telling you about", weak people don't fit that bill.
4: Embrace your strength and openly tell people about it: If you're getting strong you should be proud of what you're accomplishing. Wear a sleeveless shirt to show off the guns, wear some shorter shorts to show off the glutes, etc etc. Show the world the results of your strength and let them know that you're the strongest person they know!
5:Surround yourself with like minded individuals: Don't allow negativity in to your life. No matter what a person is doing to better themselves there will always be people who downplay or mock those accomplishments in order to try and make themselves feel better for not bettering themselves. Stay away from that type of person, you might have to tolerate these people because of work or even if they are family but you don't have to listen to their personal opinions on what you are doing. Interact with them but the minute the negativity starts flowing walk away and tell yourself "the weak will always try to tear down the strong".
6: Give yourself credit for how far you have come already: The day AFTER I deadlifted 800lbs I said "now I want to deadlift 900". I'm sure you are the exact same way! You're never ending desire to continually make progress is really what makes you strong, not the numbers. Always strive to get better but never forget to acknowledge how much you've already accomplished. Again, you may not be exactly where you want to be yet but you have done a shit ton already so take some time to reflect and enjoy what you've already accomplished.
Becoming more confident will take time and lots of work but if you put in the effort you will find that overall you are a happier more successful athlete. As I stated before there will be people that call you "cocky" but as with a lot of things, look at the source. Usually it will come from someone who is not confident in their own abilities, so shake them off and keep doing you, after all you're a badass! Keep going strong and believe in yourself and remember we here at LBEB believe in you!