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.


my daughter

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. 

51 Responses to “Your Confidence Muscle”

  1. Hiten says:

    Hi Anne,

    Firstly I just wanted to say I’m glad to hear your daughter has recovered. She’s very brave and you all did a great job to help her recover.

    You are so right about the confidence muscle. As someone who grew up with a stammering problem, I know just what it is like to build the confidence muscle. The more I put myself into speaking situations, the more my confidence grew. However, if I found I stopped talking as much then my confidence went down. The trick for me personally, is to keep talking.

    Thank you.
    Hiten recently posted..How Provocative Coaching Can Help You Achieve Success in Your LifeMy Profile

  2. Anne says:

    Thank you for sharing your particular confidence muscle training, Hiten. I have an uncle who has a very bad stuttering problem. He never puts himself in situations where he has to speak, and to this day (he’s in his 60s), he’s still nervous to speak to people.

    Good on you for working to overcome your difficulty. I admire that.
    Anne recently posted..Curtain Trends For SpringMy Profile

  3. crocus says:

    Nice to read the post about the confidence muscle… It really provides some good knowledge. Thanks a lot…

  4. Hi Anne,

    Blessings to your daughter. Good to know that she is fine! But hey, you are her mom, so what else can we expect? lol

    I like the way you integrated this post to illustrate the importance of our confidence “muscle” because we have to work on it.

    I do believe it is a never ending workout because our lives are an ever changing process. As we change and grow through the years, new opportunities or problems come to us. We need our confidence level growing with this.

    If we are not working out our “confidence” muscle, it will turn flabby just like our bodies. It won’t hold us up.

    Thanks so much for your awareness,
    Donna Merrill recently posted..Strengths and WeaknessesMy Profile

    • Anne says:

      Thank you, Donna.

      It’s true that life presents us with different struggles at different points in our lives. As soon as we think we’ve ‘arrived’ confidence-wise, life has a way of throwing a curve ball at us.

      How we play is entirely up to how far we’re willing to go to build up our confidence muscle. It’s a constant work-out, isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by, Donna.
      Anne recently posted..Make Your Home Beautiful With PaintMy Profile

  5. Cynthia says:

    This is an amazing post. Most of us think that we are just born with confident and with success we continue to build up our confidence. And that is not necessarily true. I have never thought about working on my confidence muscle. Of course we think about it for our children because we know the importance of shaping and help them grow into confidence adults but you never think about it with yourself.
    Cynthia recently posted..Alex, May I Buy a Clue for $200 Please?My Profile

    • Anne says:

      HI Cynthia,

      Thanks for your input.

      Yes, we forget sometimes that as adults, we have to keep working on building our confidence. There’s no one-time fill-up. Our confidence is always knocked about by various struggles.

      We always have to keep working in keeping it topped up. Different struggles will require different methods of work-out, but it’s doable.

  6. I love the way you illustrated the importance of confidence in children. As a boy of 19 years, I am beginning to get used to speaking in front of people, but during my childhood days, I was one of the most shy person you could ever meet.
    Utkarsh Bhatt recently posted..Top 5 Terrible Annoyances of Human LifeMy Profile

    • Anne says:

      Thanks for sharing your story, Utkarsh. I’m so glad you were able to overcome your shyness. It can stop people from doing great things because they don’t want to put themselves in a position to be looked at or admired.
      Anne recently posted..Uses For Salt In HousekeepingMy Profile

  7. Vietnam tours says:

    I wish your daughter always being well. I have a son and I understand how parent feeling when son is not well.

  8. varun says:

    Hey ,
    really nice article about confidence buildup,i myself suffered from low confidence but oh well it was past now i hve gr8 confidence level ,but so nice u made an article, 🙂
    gr8 job

  9. Anil Bhogia says:

    This is an amazing post. Most of us think that we are just born with confident and with success we continue to build up our confidence. And that is not necessarily true. I have never thought about working on my confidence muscle.
    Anil Bhogia recently posted..Insurance SoftwareMy Profile

  10. Abdul Cholik says:

    Confidence is not born but being build. continuesly
    Thanks for the nice article
    Abdul Cholik recently posted..Improving Your Child’s Intelligence Should Start at ChildbirthMy Profile

  11. John Brooks says:

    This information really helps me alot!

  12. Roger says:

    Amazing post it’s definately about the small things done each day that make the difference. Pp find it hard to move away from what they’ve always done though.

  13. Mike says:

    Nice to read the post about the confidence muscle… It really provides some good knowledge. Thanks a lot…

  14. Wow! Thanks for sharing this very inspiring blog. I am very happy to know about your daughter;s recovery. I personally know someone who also undergo a knee surgery. He was actually 7 years old and happen to be my neighbor. He was hit by a car last month I guess. He was on the same situation like your daughter. I don’t know exactly how did he recover but I am happy to see him now finally can do things on his own. Maybe his mother also did the same way like what you’ve done – exercising the confidence muscles. Great post! I appreciate this much. Thanks

    • Anne says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Margaux. It’s really sad when kids have to go through so much pain. The positive thing is that because they’re kids they heal so much faster than we adults do.

  15. Hyptia from private says:

    When you will have self confidence inside you then i don’t think so any other thing will be hurt you in your life. So you just need to do increase your confidence and which is possible only then when you will meet with other people who have a lot of talent in themselves.
    Hyptia recently posted..Private Investigator in Austria | Vienna Investigation AgencyMy Profile

  16. Bryan Thompson says:

    Hi Anne,

    I have found this to be true as well. For years I have struggled with self-confidence. To the point I was undergoing hypnosis for it. I think most of that just refueled the belief that I wasn’t a confident person. I would question my decisions almost constantly. What I have found is that by just beating that down and making a decision – even if I feel it is the wrong one – it strengthens my confidence. And something interesting happens. I find I’m able to go from there even if it IS a bad decision. The confidence muscle is a great analogy!
    Bryan Thompson recently posted..Your Story is not your Legacy. And Legacies are a BEAST!My Profile

    • Anne says:

      Thanks for sharing your story with us, Bryan. Every person who shares here helps the entire community because we’re made stronger by knowing that other people can overcome low self-confidence.

      Hope you can stop by again.

  17. Eva says:

    Eva @ Virus Removal

    HI Anne,

    God will do for us what we could never do for ourselves.

    He is our strenght and guide. I pray and wish the very best for your family in all the struggles and tribulations and joy and happiness. Its a beautiful gift of life, one day at a time.

  18. Andy Winchester says:

    You are a brave Mother and a good writer , you have a great confidence and responsibility.
    I like you post about the Muscle , Nice one

  19. maria says:

    Such brave daughter you have . !

  20. sally brown says:

    Hi Anne,

    I am so glad you shared this story, and glad your daughter is doing so well. I’m also happy that you we able to see something beyond the physical in order to share with us about self-confidence.

    Self-confidence is something that I have had to work at very hard for a long time and still do. I love your analogy of the ‘muscle’, being a healthcare provider, this really made an impact. I was just over to another blogger’s site and read about using a mentor, and I am thinking about finding one that I can truly count on to assist me in my journey to becoming a writer.

    Thanks again. Sally
    sally brown recently posted..Kindness – Give It Up!My Profile

    • Anne says:

      Hi Sally, thanks for the visit and for sharing your views. I appreciate it. I do hope you find a suitable mentor. I think I may need one too 🙂

  21. Alan Seidel says:

    Glad your daughter is doing better!! It can be very scary for any child to go through surgery. My daughter went through 3 sets of “Tubes” for her ears and and to wear a plug when she bathed. Talk about confidence issues. She felt ashamed to wear her ear piece when she went to the pool. But after some time..her confidence built up and a few years later..her ear completely healed.

    Thanks for sharing…..Alan

  22. Priya says:

    Very useful share. Hats off to a great mother. I’m glad that your daughter has recovered. God Bless. Keeping such posts coming in

  23. Thank “Anne” for good confidence build idea,,

    Confidence is most pert mind and heart made strong, I follow your guideline for my son.

  24. Ramdas says:

    Nice post! I agree with every word said! Best wishes to you and your family 🙂
    Ramdas recently posted..Laugh of your life – 13th March 2013My Profile

  25. Muneeb Ahsan says:

    A great mother with exceptional writing skill, thats what makes the real difference in now a days. although nice sharing , gain some knowledge. thanks for sharing , keep sharing

  26. Chris says:

    Yes, I agree… flexibility is a MUST when working to improve yourself. (but be flexible about that too lol)

  27. Sabi says:

    I wish your daughter always being well. I have a son and I understand how parent feeling when son is not well.

  28. Amina says:

    Nice to read the post about the confidence muscle… It really provides some good knowledge.
    Amina recently posted..00My Profile

  29. Great post! It’s very fitting that you refer to it as a muscle. Awesome analogy! Happy to hear your daughter is doing much better! Thanks for sharing this.

    JoLynn Braley
    The F.A.T. Release Coach

  30. chaits says:

    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!

    So rightly said. Its like a weed in the garden if not cut off at the sight of it, its difficult to control its growth. The persons confidence just fall down and its difficult to stand back on ones feet straight and strong.

    My best wishes to your daughter.

  31. Without confidence it is hard to achieve anything in life. Building it regularly is very important.

  32. jose says:

    I’m glad that your daughter has recovered. God Bless. Keeping such posts coming in, Very beautiful share.
    jose recently posted..EXPOCAR 2013My Profile

  33. sher yar says:

    i always thought confidence come with practice… but this is helpful
    sher yar recently posted..Important thing to know while designing a websiteMy Profile

  34. I am so glad she is better though, and having a caring and knowledgeable parents helped too.
    Beyond Wandering recently posted..Light On Pink AzaleaMy Profile

  35. Debbie says:

    Thanks Anne for sharing this story. It does show that sometimes to build that muscle we do need help from others. Yes, your daughter regained hers, but you were all there to help her.

    When i was a kid my mother always tried to teach me how to do something, because to her I was not doing it right. I got to the point where I figure I could never do anything right. (bless her heart she didn’t realize that her way of teaching doesn’t work)
    Anyway I had to rebuild my muscle. And i did. You are right if you have a fear you have to face that fear before it becomes unmanagable.
    Thanks again for sharing your daughter story.
    Debbie recently posted..How To Take Charge Of Your ‘Know It All’ ‘Obnoxious’ and Snotty KidsMy Profile

    • Anne says:

      That’s so true, Debbie. Sometimes we do need people to help us build our confidence muscle. This is why I’m feel so blessed having the people I do have in my life. They’e the ones that help me stay strong because I know they love me unconditionally.

      My grand mother also shoved hard to get me to do things exactly the way she did them. Nothing else would work, as in her mind, they were all wrong.
      I’ve made an effort to tell my kids (when I’m teaching them something) that my way is only one of the ways to get it done. That they were free to use any other means to do that particular thing.
      Anne recently posted..Cheat Sheet For Office RemodelsMy Profile

  36. Dear Anne –

    Another inspiring post.

    The way to get confidence is to keep counting your successes.

    We so often whell on what we have faliled at doing. And everyone fails sometimes.

    We have to keep saying to ourselves, “Yes – but” when we get discouraged and then make a list of everything you have done right.

    Maybe even say them out loud so we hear them.

    We have found the enemy when we don’t remind ourselves – and it is US.
    Corinne Edwards recently posted..Change – Is It Time? from Sales,Lies and Naked Truths – on AmazonMy Profile

    • Anne says:

      Thank you, Corinne, and what you said is very true. Lately I’ve been quite ill and have been feeling very low. When the low feeling hits it seems like everything else takes a dive.

      I’ve had to constantly remind myself of the things I’ve done right. Sometimes I have to write them down to make them more real.

  37. You’re right, muscle is muscle – whether it’s physical or spiritual. To develop it needs exercise. Confidence, honesty and action-orientation grow stronger through regular exercise – as do worry, lying and making excuses, of course. It’s not an easy concept to get across, but sure helps with muscle building.

    • Anne says:

      Good point, Beat. Worry, lying and other negative personality traits can all be developed by doing them often. This is sound advice and it would do good for us to remember it.

  38. Anne

    Confidence is the muscle that holds of back…normally due to fear.

    As you say, we do have to use it each day and step outside our comfort zone.

    Andrew Rondeau recently posted..How Etiquette Has Changed For Online InteractionsMy Profile

  39. Joel says:

    A great story Anne and an example to us and a reminder to us and what can happen. The body and mind work in a lot of the same ways, they need exercise.
    I’m trying to step more out of my comfort zone, but it is nice and comfortable here….
    Joel recently posted..Client Spotlight: Pressure BallMy Profile

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