6 Ways I Developed Confidence and Turned My Life Around

Have you now (or ever) felt angry, frustrated, limited, discouraged, ashamed, disappointed or anxious? The feelings that drain confidence. If so, I can relate.

In my case, I experienced those feelings for one reason: because I was living a life of illusion. The bubble gum psychology phrase for this phenomenon is inauthenticity. But that word is too trendy and a bit weak for what I’m getting at here. More on that in a minute.

Most personal trainers would have a hard time admitting to this. They are either aware and they don’t care or they are, in fact, aware, but their “masculinity” is getting in the way of their willingness to do anything about it.

Impossible to drain the swamp if you keep convincing yourself it’s Venice Beach.

Fast forward. Thankfully, on the other side of it now. Sure, those dark feelings swamp up from time to time. Maybe even at the same rate. But the difference now is that I stand differently. Because I stand differently, I am not controlled or limited by those feelings.

I stand as a Fit Man. It’s a stance. Where fitness is in the body and the mind. Hard muscle doesn’t mean emotional hardness. This isn’t 1950.

A Fit Man can instantly muster up more positive feelings. Yes, positive feelings. Cosmo and Deepak don’t have patents on those. Words like proactive, empowered, and committed. How about compassion and self-love?

If you are not sure where you stand, see how these questions sit.

Has life handed you some unexpected challenges and you’re not completely sure how you’ll ever recover?

Despite being a personal trainer, are you becoming less and less motivated to train and keep yourself in shape?

Do you feel that you’re stuck in those four walls of a personal training studio/gym, with less than ideal pay and no “me” time just for you?

Has anything terrible (or traumatic) happened in your life that’s made you pessimistic about designing the life and relationships you really want?

Have you settled for ‘survival’ mode and been there for so long that you don’t even think about the dreams and aspirations you had as a younger man?

Such dreams may now seem like a fairytale. But hear this. That “fairytale” is more real than the illusion you may have created inside those four walls and – to press the point even further – inside your own body. Both can be prisons.

Dreams change. Why? Life happened. It isn’t what we hoped to experience when we were younger. Our bodies stole the show (“muscle deep”). We settled for a career far beneath our expectations. We suffered financial setbacks. Heck, maybe throw in a bad upbringing, stir in a touch of bullying, an absent father figure, and a few bad relationships and it’s enough to break the wild horse.

It’s not necessarily what happens in your life that makes it good or bad—it’s how effectively you deal with what happens to you. You’ll never get rid of your challenges. When you become a Fit Man, you’ll lessen the effect that those challenges have on the quality of your life.

What do you do when life isn’t turning out the way you wanted? Do you start settling to avoid more anticipated pain? Or do you create a new plan and move forward with certainty and confidence?

If you’ll indulge me. This process began for me when I was on another night out on the town with… myself. Yes, myself. The “friends” who I thought I was meant to be out with, didn’t end up going out.

After the taste of one pint, there was no stopping me. Typical. I spiraled out of control, drank up the whole bar, and became bulletproof. I was the man. Sporting about, flashing cash, slinging drinks for nameless girls, touring the strip clubs, all while my girlfriend was at home.

The most bizarre thing was I thought this was normal. I convinced myself that this how successful, confident men behave. No need to worry about finding friends once my actual friends went home, because everyone knew me for who I was: the local celebrity personal trainer.

I drove home drunk. Killed my £35,000 car. Nearly killed myself. And felt like death the next day. Enough was enough.

I had to reassess my life. I remember sitting in the living room of the rented house I lived in with my ex-girlfriend. She was upstairs, innocent. I was downstairs, broken. I needed to get honest with myself.

I began by facing the facts. Or better yet, letting the facts face me. A Fit Man sees facts as they are, for what they are. No bullshit. No illusion. Accepting full responsibility for where you are in life and admitting that you may need a hand.

To figure out who you really are, what’s been holding you back and then identifying what it is that you’ll need to do in order to design the life you’ve always dreamed of. If your dream is to live the life I described earlier, with the booze, flashy cash and strippers, you’re in the wrong place and reading the wrong blog. Go press that weight somewhere else.

But, if you want to get real, and to have more confidence in the direction you have chosen, even when times are challenging, welcome home brother.

I’m one of those people who believe that the best things in life can be drawn to you like a magnet. This is not woo-woo “the secret” stuff. Just what can happen in a man’s life when you drop the illusions, lose the BS, and carry yourself with more confidence.

Here’s 6 ways I developed real confidence:

  1.   Self confidence starts with awareness. You can’t make better decisions until you understand why you’re making your current ones. Then, come up with a better set of strategies and habits to create the life you want. It’s a fairy tale to keep doing things you’ve always done and expect a better outcome. Dreams are where action and discipline meet.
  2. Let go of any feelings like anger, frustration, anxiety and stress as well as many other problems (even physical pain). If we don’t learn to let go of unwanted emotions, we’ll just do our best and try to escape them through other means. Like watching TV. Gorging on food. Napping when you don’t need to. Using prescriptive and illegal drugs. Over-exercising. Safe and not-so-safe sex. Cheating. Strippers. Playing slalom with your car and street posts. And a whole host of other activities designed to take our attention off what is real: our emotional pain and hangups. I talk about these extreme forms of compensation in my podcast interview with Sedona Method guru Tim McCavitt.
  3. Invest in a coach to help you identify exactly what you want in life (relationships, money, freedom). It’s hard to think big and ambitious when you’re lacking confidence and things have gone south. It’s cliché, but true: No matter what has happened in the past, you gotta force yourself to keep going. And to get what you really want in life, you have to really keep going. A coach will help you set clear goals and help you adopt winning strategies to achieve them. It’d be a waste if you were motivated, were moving, but didn’t have the map. A coach will take you off that treadmill, and will lovingly force you to control your thoughts, your emotions, and take consistent action.
  4. Body language, appearance and communication. Your body language can instantly demonstrate self assurance. Walk as if you already have control of your life. People in control are more influential. Dress the part. Look better, feel better. Even when you’re at the gym, choose clothing and accessories that fit you well, that suit you, your lifestyle, and make you look great. Speak assertively (but not like an ass). Finally, listen. Listening is an essential tool to build stronger relationships. I can’t tell you the amount of times I left a business meeting, had a conversation with girlfriend, or sat at dinner with friends, and left a good impression just because I’ve listened and genuinely found a way to be interested. The results can be astonishing.
  5. Mental ‘Strength’ Conditioning. As I was going through my transformation, I had to battle with my tolerance level for uncertainty, fear, pressure and discomfort. Even now, I have to have daily outlines to condition my mental strength for such things. During the intense years where I worked on myself, I decided to try the London Marathon. I knew this would challenge me on completely different level to what I had become used to. Yet, the benefit of setting yourself challenges like this always bleeds across to the other areas of your life. You learn to tolerate all kinds of discomfort which only helps you to move forward even more in life. What seemed like insanity before is now the norm. I’ve completed numerous 5K and 10K runs and half marathons. Next is the Bali Triathlon. Because why not. And who knows what will be next after that. And after that.
  6. Set high standards of yourself. Coaches help, but it’s critical to set high standards you arrive at yourself. Such responsibility forces personal growth. You end up ruthlessly striving to live up to your own expectations. You make quicker gains. I’ve found that when I’m under pressure (from myself) to act or live up to a certain standard, it’s much easier to accomplish goals – even the bold ones.

 

How do confidence and goals go hand in hand? Well, you must reconsider, change or adjust your current rules, values and beliefs. This requires self awareness, then setting high standards, and then respecting yourself enough to never fall below your new plateau.

So, this is where the work is required. When we are still holding on to old beliefs, old patterns, old rules, old standards and old values, hoping that confidence and new life will magically appear. This was a big blind spot for me. It doesn’t have to be for you.

If you could set one higher standard in your life right now, what would it be? Let us know in the comment section. Not sure yet? Peruse what other Fit Men say below and see what resonates with you.

Stone cold ambitious? Have a personal discovery call with Joe. Just like thousands of his previous clients, get farther in 90 minutes than what’s possible in a year on your own.

 

1 reply
  1. Joe
    Joe says:

    Hey Everyone!

    I forgot to mention… learn to be a better personal trainer, business owner by becoming a better man, every week. Subscribe to The Fit Man Times Newsletter. Delivered to your inbox each Sunday.

    You’ll receive weekly stories that’ll inspire and motivate you on your path to the additional gains which really matter.

    If you have any questions about how I can help you become a better personal trainer by becoming a better man, a fit man, then contact me and I’ll personally help you.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *