Ask a Health Coach: How Do I Feel More Confident?
By Chloe Maleski
Updated on November 3, 2022
Hey folks, Board-Certified Health Coach Chloe Maleski is here to answer your questions about having patience and boosting confidence. Struggling to stay the course over the long haul? Feeling insecure about your wellness choices? We’re here with backup! Have a question you’d like to ask our health coaches? Leave it below in the comments or over in the Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group.
“This might be off topic, but do you have tips for cultivating patience? I struggle with it when it comes to seeing changes from working out (muscle tone, strength, etc.) and in all other areas. I don’t like to wait and find myself getting irritated at how long it takes to see results.”
That’s not off topic at all, Sandra! As a coach, I work with athletes and others seeking to get and stay fit. Whether when it comes to working out or Primal eating and living, meaningful change usually takes commitment, persistence, patience, and time.
This is all the more true when we’re talking about change that is sustainable, rather than a one-off win or achievement.
I realize that “waiting around” isn’t the most fun or exciting part of change efforts! One way I like to reframe it is thinking of patience as powerful rather than passive.
This shift in narrative reminds us that we’re doing big, important work with each step, each workout, each meal, day after day. Over time, daily disciplines create a stronger, deeper foundation. When results come—and they will come!—they are real and have this foundation to stand on.
In today’s world, things tend to move fast and we are bombarded by promises of new “solutions” and “quick fixes.” In truth, the actual solutions are often quite simple (and not even that surprising).
The 10 Primal Blueprint Laws, for instance, are guidelines that align with our very biology and our (long, slow, patient) evolution. Putting them into practice is another thing entirely, however. Not that doing so has to be hard—it doesn’t! But their impact comes from consistency over time, rather than doing them for one day or one week.
Most of us took many years if not decades to get where we are with eating, movement, lifestyle, and health. Changing any or all of those in a significant way takes at least 21 to 30 days of really showing up for the process.
Typically, patience lags around the midway mark of any challenge, plan, or program. This is a great time to recommit to your “why,” read through some success stories for inspiration, and lean into a likeminded community or coach. Doing so can reinforce your trust in the process and serve as a reminder of why the heck you’re putting in the effort!
Show Up, Be Present
Another thing I’ll mention comes from my personal practice and how I’ve cultivated patience in fitness and life generally: Whatever I’m doing, I show up fully, without fixating on outcomes.
By prioritizing presence rather than results, I’m able to see each moment and experience as different and new (even if I’m doing the exact same workout or run, completing the exact same morning or evening routine, etc.).
Each moment is unique, and we are a bit different each day. This includes in how we experience the seemingly repetitive things that add up to wellness and fitness over time.
The benefits of this reframe? Well…
First, it reduces boredom! The most ordinary things, done with presence, precision, and care, stop feeling so mundane (at least more of the time).
Second, it requires single tasking. This is one of the best ways I know to counter feelings of overwhelm or anxiety. Perhaps counterintuitively, it also helps “slow time,” helping us get more done with less stress or urgency, fewer errors, and less sloppiness that we’ll need to clean up later.
Third, it brings better outcomes! Yes, we’re shifting away from results and focusing on presence and process. But turns out, doing that brings more of the results we want! Part of this is because we get optimal impact when we show up 100 percent. Another part is that we’re far more likely to make supportive choices when we’re fully present with what we’re doing and feeling now rather than fixating on later.
For me, showing up fully for each thing—including the seemingly small, repetitive ones— equates to going deeper and building a more powerful, lasting foundation. This, far more than speed or casting a larger net, feels more meaningful and impactful.
All to say: Lean into presence and lean into the process. Might not be the most exciting answer, but I promise it’ll bring epic changes.
“I want to be the kind of person who feels confident in my body and my life. I know that’s vague, but how do you really own who you are as a coach and someone choosing to eat and live healthy? When I’m with family or friends who aren’t into paleo or wellness, I want to be strong and secure instead of making excuses or shrinking.”
Love this question, Daniel. I can assure you, you’re not alone in asking it or in struggling with confidence when it comes to food, wellness, or anything else.
One simple exercise that I use with coaching clients goes this way:
Draw a big circle with your name in the middle. Inside that circle, write down everything about yourself that feels good and is NOT related to what you’re feeling insecure or unconfident about. These can be things you love, characteristics of yourself, movies, music, friends, family, sunsets, or whatever else makes you feel GOOD.
During times when you’re feeling less confident, return to this circle as a reminder of the whole person that is you.
It’s also a reminder that you are so much more than what you do or say or even how you eat and stay healthy. You are a layered, whole person and can’t be boxed in. Focus on items from your “confidence circle” in moments when you could use a boost… or could stand to offer yourself grace and compassion.
To answer your question from another angle: Eating and living healthy is one of the most powerful confidence boosters I know!
While change takes time, it also adds up. With each day or week of Primal eating, healthy movement, and other supportive choices, you’ll likely feel better and more secure in your chosen path and your body and mind.
Part of this stems from the very tangible, physical outcomes you’re likely to see. Desired changes in weight or body composition, for example. Or shifting unhelpful patterns around emotional eating or mindless snacking. Or any number of other welcome changes in health and wellbeing (as illustrated beautifully in Primal success stories). When we feel and look healthier, it’s attractive, magnetic, and energizing!
This also brings us back to Sandra’s question, above. When we choose to draw a line in the sand and really commit to something that supports us—bringing our presence, persistence, and patience—we gain strength, steadiness, and assuredness as a result.
Those “non-scale gains” contribute to a sort of quiet, inner confidence that doesn’t require external validation or shouting about it. It just is. And it not only feels great but impacts how others see, interact with, and respond to us.
Look, many times we know what to eat and do to feel healthier (or, given the right resources, can learn fairly quickly).
But the sorts of questions and qualities we explored today—patience, presence, confidence, feeling secure—have a HUGE impact on whether we actually do the thing and see meaningful, sustained results.
If you’re struggling in these areas, welcome to the club! It’s part of being human. But as a coach and as someone committed to ongoing self-exploration and growth, I guarantee that we can develop these qualities with time and practice.
If you’re looking for an extra layer of motivation, inspiration, accountability, and support, coaches are great at this. We’re not just here to tell you “what to eat” or “how to move.” We’re here to help you develop the characteristics, skills, and confidence to do what will make you feel better… and keep doing it. Visit myprimalcoach.com to learn more and get started.
Have confidence boosting strategies to share? Or tips for cultivating patience? Inspire others and drop other questions for me in the comments!
About the Author
Chloe Maleski is a board-certified Primal Health Coach and personal trainer with a Bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a Master’s in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. She is also the Head Coach at myPrimalCoach, the premier online health coaching service designed to help you lose weight and take control of your health for life.
If you want to lose weight, gain strength and energy, sleep better, reduce stress, or manage chronic health conditions, myPrimalCoach can help. Take the myPrimalCoach health questionnaire to take the first step toward lasting health and wellness.
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