What will surprise you most about getting into great shape is not so much your outward transformation but the changes that happen to you on the inside. As a trainer I can’t tell you how powerful it is to hear so many stories of people overcoming crippling insecurity through fitness. The confidence they build brings so much more to their lives than any six-pack every could. Here are the 15 top reasons why exercise will make you more confident.
#1 A Daily Sense of Accomplishment
The hardest part about working out is being consistent. Not sleeping in or getting up off that couch day after day isn’t easy, but it is worth it. Looking back over a few months or even a year and knowing you didn’t miss a workout gives you an incredible sense of achievement. With each following workout you feel proud that you are keeping to your word and making it happen.
#2 Mental Strength
You ever see those really fit people and think to yourself that they must have just an incredible amount of willpower? Well they weren’t born with it. They built it. The mind is like a muscle. Making small decisions throughout each day to eat right instead of eating junk takes strength. Making your workouts each and every time takes fortitude. Making these small decisions day after day builds your mental strength.
No one can get you fit. You must walk the journey yourself. Knowing you did it makes you believe more and more in yourself.
#3 Getting Noticed
People can’t help but notice when you start to lean down and build muscle and they will let you know it. Such simple recognition is a huge reward for all the effort you put in to becoming fit. If you are one of those people who are rarely noticed these kind of unprompted compliments do wonders for your self-esteem. Knowing you earned the compliment through your own sweat and toil makes them so much more empowering.
#4 Being Treated Differently
People will treat you differently when you transform yourself and deservedly so. We all can’t help but notice and appreciate when people make an effort, whether it is dressing well, excelling at work, taking care of the family, or going the extra mile in any way, shape, or form. The same holds true for physical transformation. We all know it is a challenging thing to do. People from every facet of your life will recognize and respect your accomplishments.
#5 Ignoring The Naysayers
The naysayers will tell you that working out to get fit is a narcissistic waste of time. The haters will tell you that those that want to get really fit are just too self-absorbed. What they are both missing is the incredible inward change that comes with committing to fitness.
This kind of criticism is just others rationalizing their laziness away. Getting fit doesn’t require hours and hours at the gym or starving yourself, anything but. But it does take effort. Being able to not get caught up in these opinions and using them as an excuse yourself to quit takes a different kind of person.
It takes guts stay the course when this kind of push back stops so many. It builds confidence to keep at it when so many are telling you to stop.
#6 A “Feel-Good” High
Right after a workout you feel so good. You feel alive albeit slightly exhausted. There is release of feel good compounds in the body that lift your mood. You smile a little easier and walk a little lighter. You even have a little swagger. All from something as simple as a short workout.
#7 All The Small Decisions You Make
Talk to anyone who is trying to change bad eating habits and they will tell you that it is a challenge at first. Then challenge becomes a habit. And all of a sudden people are accusing you of having tremendous willpower.
But this habit to eat right 90% of the time (you should indulge a little and often) doesn’t mean you don’t get tempted like we all do. Deciding to get the side salad with your burger instead of the french fries may become an easier decision to make, but you still know those fries taste frick’n great.
Having the guts to keep your cheat foods to a minimum will make you proud of yourself, of that there is no doubt.
#8 Getting Ready In The Morning
Start to think of those times when you do feel particularly insecure. Often times looking in your closet frustrated that nothing looks good on you is one of those less than confident moments in your day. What if you didn’t care what you wear because in just a t-shirt and jeans you looked amazing?
How much is that feeling worth?
#9 Getting Stronger
There are no two ways about it, being physically stronger instills a deep confidence in your own personal power. It can be little things like not needing to ask for help with household chores or getting an extra step in your weekly softball, ultimate, or hockey game.
It may sound foolish but just being physically stronger will no doubt impress itself on your own outlook of who you are.
#10 Shopping Is Fun Again
Just as #8, when you are fit everything looks good on you. You don’t think about buying clothes that hide this weak spot or that embarrassing extra weight. Instead you keep drawing the line between dressing in good taste and not showing too much skin.
Now all you need is the room on your credit card!
#11 The Spillover Effect
You start applying the same fitness formula that has worked for your body to other aspects of your life. Setting a goal, having a plan, being accountable, getting support, and setting a deadline is your method of attack for anything you desire. Regular re-evaluation of your progress and adjustment of that plan as you go is just par for the course on your path to success after success.
Things in all areas of your life begin to improve. You know how to achieve tough goals and you keep doing it over and over and over again.
#12 Forgetting To Be Insecure
You won’t see this one coming but when it does your confidence will be all but bulletproof. Out of the blue it will occur to you that you actually forgot to be insecure during situation where you used to be particularly too self-aware and overly judgmental of yourself.
The very realization of this fact will give you a deeper sense of how much you have changed inside. You will likely feel a deep sense of gratitude wondering where you found the inner strength to transform your life.
#13 Looking Better and Better and Better
It often starts will a small goal. You want to just lose 10lbs or build just a little muscle here or there. As you meet each goal you keep pushing your limits and with it you go from looking okay, to good, to wow! People will pay you with compliments that humble you while at the same time fuel your assurance in who you are.
#14 Completely Comfortable Naked
This is a big one. To feel completely comfortable in your own skin whether in a bathing suit on the beach or alone with that special someone is a priceless feeling. Being able to get out of your own head and simply enjoy being with that person is pure joy.
#15 Helping Someone Else Start Their Fitness Journey
Paying it forward is huge. When you realize what fitness has done for your own self-confidence you want to share that gift with the world. It’s no coincidence so many fitness professionals were famously out of shape in their past or painfully scrawny teenagers (just like yours truly).
Reaching out whether as a workout buddy or a personal trainer is wildly rewarding. Knowing that you helped someone help themselves on such a deep level does wonders for your own self-worth.
The Bottom Line
Being fit isn’t easy but it is worth it on so many levels. Your quality of life, especially in later years is so much more improved. What’s the saying? You don’t appreciate your health until it’s gone. It is most definitely true.
Besides, if that isn’t reason enough (and it should be) why suffer through self-judgement and insecurity? Don’t dismiss fitness as vanity. You take care of your house, your car, and your clothes, but somehow taking care of your body is shallow?
You deserve to be confident. The self-assurance fitness gives will ultimately allow you to be who you truly are. At first getting fit may feel like you are trying to fit in as if you are looking for some kind of approval. But you will find when you can dismiss all your insecurities and yes, even downright self-loathing, the person on the other side stops caring what others think of them.
Instead all that remains is a person who is confident in who they are. Anyone like that is free to live a life of their own choosing, free to be themselves.