Confidence Vs. Ego

Confidence Vs. Ego

Confidence is a great thing to develop in all of us. It helps you take risks and push yourself to be where you’ve never been before. When we study and train hard to know our material as a Karate Student it helps us to build confidence when we test for our next rank or perform at a tournament.

Over-confidence can get you into trouble though. As a professional web designer, over-confidence in my skills and abilities has definitely lead me to take on more work than I could get done in the past, which resulted in me letting people down by not completing their projects on time when they needed it.

There is a huge difference between Confidence in your abilities and having an out of control ego. One area that this materializes in is how you give and take criticism.

Ego says “I can do no wrong”, where confidence says “I can get this right.”
Confidence says “i’m valuable”, where ego says “i’m invaluable.”

Have you ever been in a situation where someone else is chiming in on a conversation and it feels like they are encroaching on your area of expertise or influence? Do you ever feel like they are treading all-over your turf? Have you ever said things out of a need to protect your authority? Like being overly critical or cynical about someone’s work…

Try to be aware of yourself when you are contributing to something for real vs. when you are just feeding your own ego. Giving up some of your “turf” to either give or receive help from others may be painful at first, but this is how you truly stay ahead of the game.

In my experience, when i’ve been truly confident (and not over-confident) it’s because i’ve worked hard to prepare and through that preparation i’ve learned about what it means to fail and to try to do something right over and over again. It’s through this path that I really learn things about myself that I can apply to making me a better person and at the same time better at what it is that I do.

Learn to breathe like a warrior

Learn to breathe like a warrior

breathe

brēT͟H/
verb

To take air into the lungs and then expel it, especially as a regular physiological process.
synonyms: inhale and exhale

Your breathing is one of the most important and integral parts to your survival. Yes, if you don’t or can’t continue to breathe you die, literally. But if you can’t regulate your air intake and control your breath then you will simply not perform at your best. It’s that simple.

Breathing can also regulate your stress levels, when it’s out of control you can literally panic or your stress and fear can put you in a downward spiral of failure BUT when you can control it you can do amazing things. Your mind can absolutely control your body and the breath is a pathway to that realization.

Warriors, like the Navy Seals, use a breathing technique called box-breathing to regulate their airflow and control their mind and body when they are called upon to perform.

This technique will help you cool down your body as well as find your mental-center.

Use the breath flow animation above from Quiet Kit when you need something to help you get going with Box Breathing.

Box Breathing How-to:

  1. Inhale for 4 seconds (as the circle expands)
  2. Hold your lungs full for 4 seconds (as the circle stays fully expanded)
  3. Exhale for 4 seconds (as the circle shrinks)
  4. Hold your lungs empty for 4 seconds (as the circle is contracted)

One of my mentors Mark Divine, creator of SealFit & former Navy Seal, teaches in-depth about the way we breathe and various breathing patterns you can use during a performance or generally to control your emotional state.

There’s a really great podcast by Barbell Shrugged with Mark where they spend a lot of time on this topic, check it out as well: Box Breathing and Meditation Technique w/ Mark Divine of SealFit — TechniqueWOD

I can 100% attest to the validity of having “breath control.” I used it extensively before and during my Blackbelt test to calm myself down and find my mental-focus. Also during moments when I had to push through and get something done at a high level. It really does work and it has become an integral part of my personal arsenal as a martial artist.