PREVIEW: “In high school… I began associating the feeling of confidence with someone grading my exam at 95% +, or wearing the team captain jersey, or winning a tournament. I was very much seeking others’ approval to feel good about myself. Looking back it seems ridiculous: what stresses could possibly be that bad for a 16 year old? …but guess what? Within a year, I had my first anxiety attack. I hit a point where I couldn’t do it all – I couldn’t do what I thought I had to do in the time I had in a day and a crazy feeling of being overwhelmed came over me. I closed my eyes to calm down and ended up falling asleep for 20 hours straight without waking up…”
Every third Thursday of the month I am going to feature one of the wonderful women in the #ConfidenceAlliance to share a little about where they get their confidence. This week we hear from the magnificent Melissa Pylypchuk.
Melissa is the owner of Leier Fitness Consulting, where she develops programs and coaches athletes with a variety of goals and levels of fitness from beginner to those in contest preparation for physique, figure, and bikini competitions. She has a B. Sc. Kinesiology and is currently completing her M.A. Leadership; it has given her the opportunity to learn and apply both fields she’s passionate about – Exercise Physiology and Leadership.
Outside of work, I spend my time training and competing in the sport of Powerlifting, and as well with my family as an active outdoors enthusiast, particularly hunting and fishing.
Melissa wasn’t always so sure of herself. Here is her journey including tips and tricks to experiencing real, rewarding pride.
“What are some of your earliest memories of being confident?”
“Early in my last few years of high school I put a lot of pressure on myself in academic performance on top of being involved in almost every school athletic team and social group. I was determined to do a great job in every group I was a part of, and I had a fear of being ‘mediocre’ or not achieving at high levels. When I didn’t achieve, I would lack confidence to the point of feeling embarrassed.
There were also pressures of financial rewards (scholarships and awards) that I was striving to achieve. It led me to unhealthy behaviours like not being able to delegate within a team or trust others to get work done and I would just attempt to do it myself.
My school day was followed by 3 different sports practices. After that, I would lock myself in my bedroom and study – not to understand material, but to memorize believing I had to have every answer for an exam or I would feel embarrassed.
In high school… I began associating the feeling of confidence with someone grading my exam at 95% +, or wearing the team captain jersey, or winning a tournament. I was very much seeking others’ approval to feel good about myself. Looking back it seems ridiculous: what stresses could possibly be that bad for a 16 year old? …but guess what? Within a year, I had my first anxiety attack. I hit a point where I couldn’t do it all – I couldn’t do what I thought I had to do in the time I had in a day and a crazy feeling of being overwhelmed came over me. I closed my eyes to calm down and ended up falling asleep for 20 hours straight without waking up.
Lesson learned, and I’m glad I did learn it then: how to put things into perspective. I learned how to not get in my own way, how to let go of the things I didn’t have control over, how to ask myself the question, ‘So, what?’ and how to take a different angle on what feeling confident means – that if I invested energy into something, cared about it, and put my best effort forward I’m fine, instead of obsessing over the ‘what ifs’ , seeking others’ approval, and feeling worried about embarrassment.”
“What do you do now that makes you feel most confident?”
“I take pride in achievements where I’ve invested energy and heart. I can give my self permission to make mistakes instead of worrying about the ‘what ifs’. I can demonstrate vulnerability where I don’t have an answer to a problem or question. I don’t have to be captain of the team and that’s ok. I can still work hard, have fun and enjoy the process.
I’ve had a chance to expose myself to a variety of brand new sports, from boxing, to bodybuilding, and powerlifting – starting with knowing nothing about them and not being good at them, and I’ve grown from the experience of getting to learn, work hard, and enjoy them.
In the work that I do, getting to coach others to bring out the best in themselves! It is an amazing feeling – helping someone else do things they once thought were not possible and getting to see them smile.”
“What advice would you give to someone struggling with feeling confident?”
“Someone once told me that if you every need a refreshed sense of confidence, read through your own resume. Absolutely true!
We tend to reflect easily on our recent past and to be critical of our current situation, but looking back in depth over years at a time can be a fantastic reminder of all the life experiences, learnings, efforts, and energy put into getting to where you truly are. These are all things that have happened for a reason and you have taken something away from; these experiences are leading you down a path and you are yet to find out what good things are still to come!
“How can people find you to keep up with what you are up to?”
“I keep active social media pages through both Facebook and Instagram, and anyone can usually find me 5-6 days/week at Synergy Strength Crossfit Saskatoon. I also have a personal website www.LeierFitness.com to check out. 🙂 ”
Looking for confidence outside of yourself? You won’t find it. Like Melissa, engage in your passions with your full heart, and take pride in your achievements. Needing a confidence boost? All it takes is a shift in perspective. Take a real look at your resume and see every challenge as something that has shaped you into the beautiful human being sitting in front of a screen reading this right now. You are the only you out there and the world is better for having you just as you are today.
“Today you are you. That is truer that true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.” – Dr. Seuss
Want to join our collective of confident ladies and possibly be featured here? Start hashtagging any post where you are just being you and discovering your confidence with #ConfidenceAlliance and #ConfidenceRevolution. Click here to read more about what the revolution is all about: https://idealisticisabel.com/2015/10/08/confidencealliance-confidencerevolution-☐/
Wish there was a program to help you feel more confident? There is! Projekt Possible: An 8-Week Blueprint for Building your Biggest Life, Cultivating your Confidence, and Smashing your Goals: http://idealisticisabel.com
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