Sunday, July 6, 2008

My Experiment With Confidence...

My mind has really been thinking about confidence lately... probably because with it you can achieve SO much, without it you miss possibilities, opportunities, and amazing outcomes...[29torres-190.jpg]

This week in sport I have really focused on the women who hold a high level of confidence... just trying to learn from them, understand how they get it, and admire how great confidence looks on a person.

41 year old Dara Torres wins the 100 free! Besting 25 year old Coughlin! AMAZING! I was screaming and smiling and loving it! Then this morning I get to see Wellington (who has a lot of people still thinking her IM was a fluke) nearly knock down the women's best ever IM record! These women bubble over with confidence. It radiates & shines on them...

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Then I started to think about my confidence...

That's me blue goggles, I WAS in the front, VERY front of this swim start. But then the women who are now in front jumped right smack in front of me. Of course I let them, I totally had NO confidence in my swim, and I was an age grouper then, they were pros. I really, REALLY dislike this photo, I saved it as a reminder of the day I lacked ANY confidence at all. That morning I hid my tears behind my blue goggles. It sucked. I was mad at me, not them, they did nothing wrong. They had confidence to know they should start in the front... I did not.

Funny how we have a load of confidence at certain things we do... and very little or none in other areas of life. Example... surfing. I spent so much time surfing this week. Every session I paddled into the pack, went for the peak, took off on any and everything, I felt like I belonged. Surfing is an area of life for me that I am "confident" in. I wished I had it with triathlon...

So I plan an experiment... I was going to try to fake confidence...

This morning was a swim race, the Hapuna Rough Water 1 miler. Despite the fact I have only swam a total of maybe 4,000 yards in the last 2 weeks I decided to play a little game. I "pretended" I was fully confident in my swimming. I faked it. I lined up front and center, next to the best guys/girls, even talked with them like I was going to be in the lead pack with them. It was funny. I even made a $1 bet with one of Kona's best swimmers. Full on confident smack I was talking. Inside I was laughing about my experiment, on the outside I doubt anyone was looking at me like "what is she doing in the front?". It was too much fun...

Here I am, fully confident. Nobody knew my confidence was fake, that I was pretending I had it. So far the experiment was going GREAT! The gun goes off and me and my confidence just go for it, too fast, but who cares, this was a test in confidence. I am hanging with the lead pack! I could not believe it! Maybe this confidence thing works! By the half way point I am just off the front pack but with swimmers I don't even swim in the same time zone with! I am really liking this "fake confidence" thing! I should try it in a triathlon!! So, rounding the last buoy, the arms and everything hurt. The fact I have not been swimming and surfing too much is catching up... BUT I remain confident... I am telling myself all sorts of hilarious things... "I am a stud, Phelps wants my autograph, I should try out for the Olympics". It was all too funny...

I finish the swim as the 5th chick! 14th overall! Trust me, this is not normal for me in this race! I am usually like 22nd place and like 21'st girl in this race. This is no local dorky swim race, studs show up, I was pretty shocked... My confidence kept my mind believing and my body achieving...

After the swim I rode my bike home, 40 miles I spent thinking about confidence and Wellington, Torres, and the others...

Thinking about confidence, maybe there is something to it. Even if you are only faking it...

So do not throw away your confidence, it will be richly rewarded...
Hebrews 10:35


Blogger Marni said...

Confidence and trusting yourself can take you far. Oh, and have fun too!

July 6, 2008 at 2:27 PM

Blogger Eileen Swanson said...

So AWESOME! LOVE this post! You got it, you nailed it perfectly! Thank you for always helping me believe! I read and re-read all the emails you send me. They mean so much to me. You are the BEST! Thanks so much WEE for everything!
P.S. Phelps does want your autograph ;-) CONGRATS!

July 6, 2008 at 2:39 PM

Blogger TriGirl Kate O said...

Awesome. I'm sure Michael Phelps would love your autograph since he probably can't bike or run worth a darn.
Faith in yourself--that's all confidence is and you showed it in spades! Now, can you rub some of that off on me?!

July 6, 2008 at 2:50 PM

Blogger heather said...

I too struggle with the confidence gene. However, recently i had a little chat with myself in the bathroom mirror. If you speak with confidence you will show confidence. No pretending here. Passion makes me confident. Shout out loud Bree!! You are a superhero. You are the best. Dont shy down. Next time someone asks if you think you will say definitly. Just say it.

July 6, 2008 at 2:51 PM

Blogger Train-This said...

The body will follow the mind Bree! And...... "I like to start with the idea that nothing is impossible, and that anything can be done in the end."


July 6, 2008 at 3:14 PM

Blogger Damie said...

I love this!!!!!

July 6, 2008 at 3:17 PM

Blogger Samantha said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

July 6, 2008 at 3:29 PM

Blogger Beth said...

I love this post too. My college coach always used to say "fake it until you make it" in regards to confidence and it looks like that worked for you today!! Congrats!!

Anyway, I agree...Phelps WILL want your autograph!! :)

July 6, 2008 at 3:30 PM

Blogger Samantha said...

I totally needed to read something like this. Confidence is what I've been working on lately too. I go through the usual mid-race ups and downs and start to doubt myself even though I know I'm capable of more. You and your posts are inspirational. I'll have to try your experiment this weekend in Van.

July 6, 2008 at 3:33 PM

Blogger Samantha said...

omg. I forgot to tell you. There are literally the biggest pigs I have ever seen at a farm here in Victoria near a good ride route. You HAVE to see them next week. They're MONSTROUS!!!...and the chickens and roosters stand on them and stuff.

k. that was my random story for the day. well, I have more...but I'll save that for my training peaks entries and a blog post.

July 6, 2008 at 3:51 PM

Blogger TATI said...

yes, thanks for this post!! totally agree...confidence holds major power ;)
funny, i had this conversation with my coach a couple days ago.
~keep tearing it up for CA

July 6, 2008 at 4:00 PM

Blogger Mer! said...

Well said! I loved your "fake confidence," turning into real confidence!

A friend of mine is reading the book, "A complaint free world," and it's about thinking constant positivity and how good things will flock to you if you just think confidently and I think there is some truth to that! And you proved it today!!

Way to rock!! Thanks for an uplifting post as usual...I needed some confidence today!

July 6, 2008 at 7:45 PM

Blogger Bruce Stewart (施樸樂) (ブルース・スチュワート) said...

When I first looked at your post, I recognized Chrissie, but I thought you had cut your hair in the other picture! I have just realized I have absolutely no confidence in my swimming! So, I'll try working on it over the next year.

July 6, 2008 at 8:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Confidence is not only a feeling but a look one gets. You had confidence as a little girl trying out for your first Sharks swim team and saying "I can do this mommy" and you did. You puffed up your chest and pointed your arms and poked out your little bottom and dove right in the water. You brought life to the pool and my heaart beated so hard, and so proud, you came up and the coach said she's good! She's not good, she's great! Always proud, GOD"S gifts are always with us, use them... Love Mom

July 7, 2008 at 2:00 AM

Blogger Jennifer Harrison said...

Bree! Great post. I really believe in the mind and the power of the mind. I always work on mental preparation and toughness on a regular basis. And, what I lack in talent/speed, I try my hardest to make myself the SMARTEST and toughest out there.

"The body will not go where the mind has not."

One of my favorite quotes. GOOD job! :) Jen H.

July 7, 2008 at 2:45 AM

Blogger Cricket said...

This is great- Everyone needs to be reminded of this! You crack me up though! Faking it and Phelps wanting your autograph! Why wouldn't he? You're an amazing athlete!
Oh by the way (4) Sharks are at the Olympic tryouts... One is our neighbors son.

July 7, 2008 at 3:15 AM

Blogger Mel said...

This is such a GREAT post many struggle with confidence in everything...EVEN the ones who you THINK have the confidence...I am sure they are still scared/nervous before the start of the race!!! I DO believe in the saying "Anything is possible if you use "your" mind" I am going to try the "Fake" confidence!! You rock Bree!!!

July 7, 2008 at 3:26 AM

Blogger Leah said...

Great post. So helpful to know that we all struggle with similar stuff, regardless of where we fall in the pack. Love your blog, btw!

July 7, 2008 at 3:56 AM

Blogger Flatman said...

You are such a fishy!!! Nice race...way to go. I love that verse...thanks.

July 7, 2008 at 4:11 AM

Blogger Laura said...

This is great! Thanks for sharing Bree!

July 7, 2008 at 4:25 AM

Blogger Tri*22 said...

Love this one! I had a disastrous race last weekend and lost my confidence halfway through, after several mishaps. I had to really choke back tears to make it to the finish. Thanks for the great post!! I am definitely gonna try that fake confidence approach in my next race hehe. Congrats on an awesome swim :)

July 7, 2008 at 4:41 AM

Blogger LeAnn said...

Oh, I love this. Im going to try this at my next swim meet. I like the scripture ref too.

July 7, 2008 at 5:42 AM

Blogger Kim said...

That is so funny.. I was about to write exactly the same thing as Beth (Fake it, until you make it) and then I checked her post, she already said it! Took my post. It's funny how things your coaches say really impact you and you take them with you forever. They truely impact the athlete you are, and what you become. You are not the only one struggling with this, we all are, but just know that you are strong, you will continue to develop and someday, faking it or not, you will step up to the line, confident as can be! Thanks for the great post!

July 7, 2008 at 6:02 AM

Blogger Lisa G said...

Great post! Confidence is all in the mind - if you have the right mindset you can accomplish anything! I have struggled with confidence in the past but continue to work on it now.

July 7, 2008 at 7:40 AM

Blogger rr said...

Great attitude, as usual, Wee one :) Fake it until you make it.. and really, there's nothing to fake, as you always give it your all and that's all you need to know, I have total confidence in you and all that you can do.

I want to be Dara. That picture is crazy!

July 7, 2008 at 9:22 AM

Blogger Katie Weaver-Jongerius said...

Great post Bree! I lack in the Confidence department, so glad I'm not alone. It's easy for us to all sit here and write about how you SHOULD be confident because you always rock (as you do) but it's still a nasty mind game we all have to play. Mind over matter! Way to swim fishy!

July 7, 2008 at 9:33 AM

Blogger Wingman said...

"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude."
Thomas Jefferson

July 7, 2008 at 9:45 AM

Blogger Monica Kvas said...

Hi Bree! I've never commented before but I've been reading your blog for the past couple of months now and absolutely love it! Thank you for all of your inspiration. Everything you write always seems to resonate with me!
This post is absolutely so true! I actually played the exact same game when I had to give a talk in front of my University class. I was so nervous so I pretended that I was this confident actor who had to give a very important talk. My only goal was to act confident and it totally payed off. So thanks for the reminder!

July 7, 2008 at 10:22 AM

Blogger Wes said...

I tried this at my last triathlon. Damn near drowned. But I'm going to do it again, damn it :-)

July 7, 2008 at 10:27 AM

Blogger Pedergraham said...

I love your Mom's comment. I can just pciture your little butt and bony elbows whipping back and forth in the pool! Congrats on your race today. Open water swims are so hard--you just have to go, go, go from start to finish. Someday I am going to have you and Rachel pick me out the best open water race in Hawaii!

July 7, 2008 at 11:15 AM

Blogger Stewart said...

heck, i wish i could have a fluke and win IM Hawaii.Who cares what people think, she's awesome and the future.

July 7, 2008 at 11:18 AM

Blogger Gould said...

hi! i'm new to the tri-blogging world but i'm told yours is a good one. :) i like the idea of "faking" it. i think we often psyche ourselves out too easily so maybe we can psyche ourselves . . in??? congrats on a great race.

July 7, 2008 at 11:27 AM

Blogger TriBunny said...

Bree, I love your blog and this post in particular. I admire your willingess to be open, vulnerable, honest, genuine...touchingly funny. Thanks again

July 7, 2008 at 12:26 PM

Blogger Bruce Stewart (施樸樂) (ブルース・スチュワート) said...

I saw the Hapuna times, and they were very, very fast. In fact, some were so fast I'm surprised you and all those who were ahead of you are not trying to qualify for the Olympics, since you would all be close to the qualifying standard. While I continue to swim, I seem to be getting slower. Well, maybe the confidence thing does not work for everyone. Maybe I'll just focus on preparing for the King's Swim instead.

July 7, 2008 at 4:11 PM

Blogger Cy said...


I look at you as a shining star in this sport (for both you ability as a triathlete, and your amazing attitude). From the outside, it's hard to imagine you could waiver in confidence...You are such a star, but confidence is also generated with experience, and you are certainly making the best of that.

"Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong". ~Peter T. Mcintyre

July 8, 2008 at 1:31 AM

Blogger Kim said...

thank you for this! :)

July 8, 2008 at 2:36 AM

Blogger Trigirlpink said...

HI Mz. Bree!

I got a surprise in my MAIL BOX yesterday... :-)

July 8, 2008 at 5:45 AM

Blogger Sarah said...

I needed this post more than you could ever know. I struggle, too. It's reminders like this that keep my head in it come race day, which is NEXT WEEK!!

I used to say to Matt "oh, there's no way I could win that one" and he would say "why IN THE WORLD ARE YOU SAYING THAT?! You need to say "I'm going to WIN TODAY!" And you know what...whenever I did that...I either won something or came close to it!'s amazing how much power our minds have over our bodies. Simply incredible. Together - they can do amazing things.

Thanks for reminding all of us how human you are, Bree. And as always, THANK YOU for the inspiration!!

:) S

July 8, 2008 at 9:26 AM

Blogger IronMatron said...

Self Deprecation is a way women make themselves approachable and lovable. Unfortunately, we start to believe our own modesty/deprecating statements. So it's GOT to work the other way, right? If we put on a show of confidence, eventually we will believe it...

July 8, 2008 at 9:43 AM

Blogger Randy said...

This reads like a prerace pep talk. Thanks for posting it. Save me a spot up front at the Kings Swim.

July 8, 2008 at 11:50 AM

Blogger Karen said...

Why don't you send some of that fake confidence my way. I have no confidence in myself when it comes to races. Congrats on the great swim.

July 8, 2008 at 12:16 PM

Blogger Speed Racer said...

Bree, I LOVE it. "Michael Phelps wants my autograph"! I just can't believe that YOU of all people lack confidence. I'll have to try that one sometime. I'll run aroundd telling myself, "Bree Wee wants my autograph".

July 9, 2008 at 4:55 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved reading this post! Confidence in sport is something that always holds me back from the next level. It's like I talk myself out of a performance before I even start. I want to achieve greatness, but I won't allow myself to reach it out of fear. I have been trying to figure out what those "fears" really are. I constantly am doubting my abilities or thinking of ways to survive--not thrive! You truly are inspiring! Love the matching suits! Courtney

July 9, 2008 at 5:15 AM

Blogger Sugar said...

great blog!

"Fake it, till you make it." ~ Hillary Biscay

give her web page a hit. she is one positive inspiring athlete. As the rest of her team mates on team tbb too.

all the best at IMC!

July 9, 2008 at 5:52 AM

Blogger ShirleyPerly said...

Great job on the swim!!

Funny, I had a similar experience with confidence that produced a surprising result while I was out in Kona recently (I finished first in a 1-mile time trial while running with Eric's group). The mind is an amazing thing.

July 9, 2008 at 12:09 PM

Blogger rocketpants said...

I love the post. And just read an article in Inside Tri--2008 Women's issue about Wellington which I think gives insight into the fact even pro's waiver in confidence too. Her coach just basically told her don't be scared, everyone is beatable...and the rest we all know. Confidence place a huge role.

Nice job with the swim!

July 10, 2008 at 5:54 PM

Blogger The Young Family said...

This is a great post!! Thank you for writing this!!


July 10, 2008 at 6:01 PM


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