When you create something, you know its every flaw. Whether those flaws are seen in the finished product or not, they are known within your mind.
"If you are tempted to look outside yourself for approval, you have compromised your integrity. If you need a witness, be your own." - Epictetus
Confidence must first and foremost start from within. No one can purchase or gift you confidence, just like no one can give you the fitness needed to complete a grueling event. You must build and create it on your own.
True confidence, the type that originates from within the soul, is built through daily progress towards a goal. An athlete with true confidence knows they put in the time and overcome countless challenges to be where they are today.
When it comes to confidence, an athlete may suffer from something I call the "creator's curse". As a mechanic and carpenter I know this too well. When you create something, you know its every flaw. Whether those flaws are seen in the finished product or not, they are known within your mind.
If building fitness is like building a pyramid, you the athlete, are the engineer. You must shape and work the stone into blocks that can support those around it. Why is building a pyramid so hard? Because these blocks are not a shape found in nature. A round stone is common and easily found, but cannot be stacked into a tall and stable structure. Blocks, like fitness, are not made without significant time and effort.
You, as the engineer of your own fitness, know what your pyramid is made of. Is it a pile of round stones, or carefully honed blocks? True confidence, the type that runs true and through, is only found in those who take the time and energy to shape every block to the best of their ability. In this knowledge lies confidence, or lack thereof.
Of course, there are flaws even in the grandest and tallest structures. The real trick is realizing there is beauty in imperfection. The experience gained from working through your unique struggles, mistakes, and flaws as an athlete can become your most enduring strengths.
- Antonio Gonzalez