I ordered my first back brace the other day. I was starting to experience some lower back pain, so my doctor recommended wearing a brace, especially when I weight train.
On my first visit to the gym with the new support, I asked my trainer if I was wearing it correctly. She adjusted it and told me I should only wear the brace when I train. I was surprised. (It felt good, so I was already thinking of wearing it more often.)
My trainer explained that, if I rely too much on wearing the brace on the outside, my muscles will get weaker, not stronger, on the inside. She said that the only way to really strengthen my back is to do core stabilizers—a series of exercises. Then, one day, I won’t need the brace at all.
The experience made me think of the ways we build confidence. Often, we rely on support from the outside to feel good on the inside. We rely on praise from others, looking tan and fit, how we dress, our job title—you get the idea. In the long run, none of these really build confidence—they’re just temporary supports.
Confidence is something you must exercise regularly to strengthen your core. It is best when it comes from within, when, no matter what, you believe in your ability to feel stable and able to do whatever it takes.
And just like my brace, one day, you’ll no longer need the temporary support at all.
Copyright 2014 Michelle Kerrigan