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Actions speak louder than Abs (become more confident)

Abs don't make you happy

Having abs didn’t make me more confident…

But, I do feel more confident when I have abs… 

However that is not BECAUSE I have abs.

Let me explain…

What does it take to get a six pack? 

From a ‘strategy’ perspective it’s:

  • Controlling your calorie intake

  • Consistent, Hard Training

But what does that look like in terms of actions? 

Something like:

  • Saying “no” to that extra cookie

  • Preparing your meals the night before

  • Waking up earlier to fit your workout in

  • Doing the extra rep that you don’t want to etc.

And… what sort of character traits are associated with someone who takes those actions on a regular basis?

You might say they:

  • Are disciplined

  • Have high standards

  • Are well organised

  • Stick to their word

Now we’re getting onto what I was getting at. The six pack muscles are meaningless without the character traits associated with obtaining them.

I have had periods where I’ve been incredibly lean but fallen into binge eating habits. At that period, despite my exterior appearance I did not feel confident because there was a dissonance between the way I looked and the actions I was taking. I was not disciplined, I was breaking promises to myself, I felt out of control. 

Comparatively, I have had periods where I haven’t been as lean but I was consistently training and controlling my food intake. Despite a ‘softer’ looking physique, mentally I felt more confident as I was taking the actions I knew I should be. That gives you a sense of pride.

I would guess that many people would like to be considered as ‘disciplined’, ‘hard working’, ‘consistent’, ‘healthy’ etc. But aren’t taking the necessary actions required to be considered so. This creates cognitive dissonance. A gap between values and actions. The larger this gap is, the greater the mental unrest. The closer the gap, the more peace of mind.

One cannot believe they are disciplined if they are not taking actions that require discipline, much like one cannot claim that they are hard working unless they have evidence that they have in fact worked hard. However by performing daily actions associated with these character traits, you start to change you identity. You are finally keeping the promises to yourself that you’ve broken so many times in the past. You’re now somebody with a work ethic, someone who perseveres, someone who is in control of their outcomes. You begin to step into the identity that you had always aspired towards.

And that is what makes you confident.

It is not the six pack itself, it is the actions required to get the six pack. These actions change the stories you tell about yourself and the outcomes you can produce for your life.

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