How being more active can boost your confidence
The past week or so, I’ve been thinking a lot about helplessness. I don’t know what sparked this, but the thought of it deeply resonated with me. I see helplessness as the feeling that life is happening to me and all I can do is accept it – like an out of control passive existence. I came to the realization that for a while now, I’ve been in a sort of helpless state. I’ve come to accept that within my brain, there was shit that was going on that I didn’t like, but I just had to find a way to work with it. While acceptance in some situations is great, it doesn’t mean you can’t change.
Depression and anxiety are great at fooling us into believing that they are the new normal. Even though I’m aware that I deal with mental illness and I work on overcoming it, most of the time, it still manages to render me into a helpless slave to its power. Finding ways to outsmart the habit of helplessness could be crucial to finding “it” – whatever “it” is. One tool that is powerful in the fight against helplessness is psychical activity – like sports.
Smart people scoff at sports and working out – that’s something that jocks do, after all! Sports are for brutes who failed at thinking and resorted to using their body to gather achievements. Same goes for the gym, it’s where meatheads congregate to discuss protein powder and EDM. That’s what we’ve been taught and its complete bullshit. Some of the smartest people I know are athletes and some of the dumbest people I know are scientists. I’m not here to tell you that stereotypes are often wrong, we know that. Embarking on this path towards regaining my health has made me realize how powerful a tool sports is in combatting helplessness.
The opposite of being helpless is being confident. When you train, and see yourself becoming stronger, it’s irrefutable proof that your actions are causing a positive change. It’s a powerful feeling seeing yourself become physically stronger, not because of the strength achieved, but because of the confidence it provides.
Confidence is something that has a different meaning for everyone. When it’s brought up in the same conversation as athletics and sports, you might get images of cocky frat boys and that’s understandable. For me, I view confidence as believing that I’m capable of achieving something, regardless of what rules or obstacles I have in my way. Like happiness, confidence is elusive and fleeting. Perhaps no one exemplifies confidence as well as Keith Richards. You might assume that the legendary guitarist exhumes confidence because of his Rockstar status, but I think all of that is irrelevant to the core of his confidence. It’s about being carefree – uninhibited by constructs and how society may want you to act.
Music and sports are two of the great equalizers, and to be good at either takes discipline and rhythm. Harnessing the power of physical movement is perhaps one of the most intelligent things to do and it can enhance your art or academic work in so many ways. Einstein perhaps summed it up best when he said, “I thought of that while riding my bicycle.”
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