What is your confidence muscle and how can you grow it? No one likes to step out of their comfort zone – the zone in which everything is known and new activities and thought processes are banished. We talked about the confidence journey in an earlier article and saw the best ways to make this journey successful. Today we’ll look at what to do while on this journey to build your confidence muscle.
In December last year, my youngest daughter had to have knee surgery. After the surgery, she was fitted with a leg brace for 6 weeks. The brace was made up of mostly metal, but had some vertical straps made of soft, spongy material which were strapped at intervals around her little leg.
She was warned never to take off the brace, as it kept her leg straight, something which was essential to the healing process. She was then given a pair of crutches and told not to put any weight on the leg whatsoever.
After 6 painful and uncomfortable weeks, the brace was removed from her leg. We were elated that at last she could wash without help, sit in the car without having to take up the entire back seat, wear school trousers to school, walk up stairs unaided, etc., etc. But the thing that astounded us to the point of actually gasping, was the size of her leg which was encased in the brace.
Because she hadn’t used that leg in 6 weeks, she’d lost all muscle tone in it. It took just six weeks! In just six weeks my daughter had one leg of an eleven year old girl, and one of a bed-ridden, elderly, infirm woman. It was emaciated, pale, long and thin with no muscle whatever. The knee was the widest part of her leg! It worried and shocked me to see my daughter’s leg like this, but I tried hard not to show it on my face.
The doctor assured us that with exercise, my daughter’s leg would look like it did before, so they set us some tasks to do at home.
There began our intense home-physiotherapy. We exercised her morning and night. We put frozen peas on the knee when it was swollen from activity and painstakingly took her through the exercise regime.
Two and a half months after the surgery, my daughter is running around (no crutches) on a leg that was once emaciated and wrinkled. The muscles have re-grown and apart from the surgery scars, her leg looks like the other one.
But you know why this is so? If she’d done no exercise whatsoever, my daughter would still be on crutches today because of the weakness in the operation leg. If we hadn’t insisted that she started going up and downstairs without the crutches, she’d still be on them, with on eldely-lady’s leg trailing behind her.
If we hadn’t allowed her to go on her bike for a ride, or made her go on a static bike after she gets home from school, she’s still be stuck with a thin, disfigured leg.
What’s my point and how does this relate to your confidence muscle?
- If you always use the crutch of familiar surroundings and thought patterns, you’ll never build the strength you need to step out of them.
- You have to exercise your confidence each day to build up your confidence muscle. Take a step and do something small each day to help you build it up.
- As soon as you give up ‘because it’s too difficult’ you’ll fall back into muscle disrepair. Remember that the hardest part of the climb is at the top of the hill. When it’s getting hard, stick with it. That’s right when it’ll get easier.
- Don’t get stuck in low-self confidence rut. It’s a trap you’ll never build the strength to climb out of. Read the article linked to see what I mean.
- Inflexibility is your worse enemy when it comes to building your confidence muscle. Your way is not the best way – it’s one way, but not necessarily the best. Use the tools available to you to build your confidence and work with different approaches to building up your strength.
- Don’t look at your situation of low self-confidence and despair about it. If I hadn’t done anything about my daughter’s leg she would still be struggling with it now. Take action if you want to make your way out of the rut!
- Finally, remember that if you keep hiding from the things you fear, your fear will be too big for you to handle. Nip it in the bud!
Have you had a particular experience with building your confidence muscle? Please share your struggle with us and tell us what you did to overcome the fear you felt while working at it. Please also help us spread the word by sharing this post on your social networking sites. Thank you.