September 19th, 2017

How I Build Confidence: Raising My Discipline Score

byMic Manaras

It’s been eight days now since I’ve abstained from processed foods, tv, and porn! I’ve been eating lots of greens, drinking lots of water, reading and avoiding the couch, among other things.

Why am I doing this? I’m pretty in-tune with myself so I know when I’m not performing up-to-spec. I don’t mean performing in the capitalistic sense, I mean performing at a level where I feel proud of how I’m feeling and what I’m doing.

To be honest, in the last few weeks I haven’t felt like my normal, hyper, disciplined, confident self. The moment I realized I was going to separate my blog and my music pages marked the beginning of this phase. My overemphasis and borderline obsession with my new endeavour had my head spinning in so many directions I got overwhelmed and didn’t really know where to start.

What do I do when I don’t know where to start? I get tired, sit on the couch, turn on the TV, eat shit food (I’m convinced the TV’s making me do it), indulge in the shallow pleasures of the internet and repeat. It all starts so innocently but about a week or so of this is enough to severely decrease my energy, motivation and confidence levels.

And so I’ve been down this road before, and the moment I realize all I want to do when I get home is sit on the couch and crush a new season of whatever, I know I’ve gone too far.

So my solution is simple: do the exact opposite of whatever I’m currently doing. Cut out whatever suboptimal consumables I’m currently ingesting with the polar opposite versions. The rut is when I’m consuming an abundance of instant-gratification, the high is temporary and definitely “easy come, easy go”.

Replacing those habits with not-so-instant ones likes green vegetables, books and abstinence doesn’t feel so amazing in the beginning but I’ve come to understand why I think they work so great. One or two days will still feel uncomfortable from the sugar withdrawals alone, however the compound effect I feel is a buildup of discipline points.

I truly feel that confidence is the result of a certain amount of discipline points earned, like a score. The further I go with my discipline, the more I feel my self-esteem rising. The prouder I am of myself and my control, the higher I feel myself vibrating, resulting in a more positive outlook.

Whenever I put myself thru this type of challenge, the effects literally change my life. Two years ago I told myself I’d quit partying for a month to be more focused with work. Fast forward to today and not only do I not party but I don’t even do the same work; I’m building a completely new business based on music and writing.

Around that time I told myself I wouldn’t do less than 4 days in the gym every week; I haven’t missed a week and it’s become a huge part of my life. These commitments or challenges or whatever you’d like to call them forced me out of a routine, and the longer I stayed on track, the more confidence points I’ve earned myself over the years.

So shouldn’t I have enough points to keep me confident forever? Well, no. I don’t believe we can bank those points, they come and go on a daily basis. Just like that old saying “It’s much quicker to burn down a house than to build one”. The confidence and pride comes from lots of continued work, but enough movement in the wrong direction can knock down that house of cards.

The beautiful thing is I can always pick myself back up. If I look back on where I was five years ago versus today, I’m very pleased with my progress. However I know that progress wasn’t linear; there were ups and downs. As long as the ups outweighed the downs I was definitely moving in the right direction!

And so here I am, writing my first blog in about a week, feeling very inspired and extremely happy to be sharing once again. As usual I’m not writing to provide a 10-step miracle recipe to getting out of a rut, more so explaining my journey and how I do have shitty periods where I’m not the beast I sometimes make myself out to be.

The plateau happens for a number of reasons, in strength training for example our bodies can only take so much until the progress slows down. If we wait too long we actually start to decline. That’s why these moments are the best opportunities to take a break, reevaluate and try something new.

I’ve officially completed week one and today marks the beginning of my second week. I’m feeling more motivated, my confidence towards my pursuit of of rock and roll seems to be right back on track; I feel excited again.

My approach to healthy eating and self-control (I wrote a blog about it) gives me the discipline points to allow me to be the best version of myself. The act in itself, placebo or not, effectively allows me to take pride in my work, in my ability to be in control and translates to a higher vibration.

This type of confidence makes it easier to step out of my comfort zone, whether it be going away for a camping weekend on a whim, or jamming with a band I’ve never played with before or working with someone new who’s job it is to critique my work.

Whatever it is, growth only happens when we move into new territories and I personally need confidence to do so, and adjusting my lifestyle provides me that ability.

When I’m not feeling myself, it’s a sign things need to change, and since no one can do it for me, I might as well make things happen!

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