“I’m Better Than You” — Being confident in yourself doesn’t mean you have to be an ego-maniac

Running takes confidence. Running also builds confidence. Yet at the same time confidence is a tricky thing and something many of us struggle with. Reaching for our goals and accomplishing great things demands that we confident in our abilities yet at the same time society tells us to not be overtly or overly confident. The latter examples are what we then coin ego-maniacs, these are the people we joke about having heads too big for their britches and they take up a whole room between their bodies and their egos.

woman boxer

I will beat you. :P


So we grow up with mixed signals about what is enough confidence and what is too much; usually it comes down to thinking highly of yourself but never actually voicing that you do. To put it out there means you are bragging and nobody like a bragger. What to do what to do?

Sports and running promote self-esteem because you can quantify the progress you make; hard work and perseverance lead to improvement and reinforces that work ethic. Yet, it’s not uncommon for runners to be afraid that they don’t measure up; doubting themselves as well as wondering what in the world they are doing thinking they can actually DO such-and-such. These are normal feelings and everyone has them to a certain degree at times, but get stuck in that circular, negative thought pattern and you wind up stuck.

To practice and promote a little self-confidence I thought we could play a fun little game. I’m going to call it Find Your Inner Rapper. Generalizing I may be, but I tend to think rappers are often pretty confident in themselves. I’m going to call myself Rev Runna CC…now pick your own name and let’s roll out.

* I want to to beat you. Pick a phrase that would be something you’d say at the staring line of a race, a workout, or even just going out for a run. Examples: I’m going to break 21 minutes in the 5k. I will not give up on this workout. I’m not going to let this dude next to me pass me. I’d like to go at least 30 minutes without walking for this run.

* Ditch the clutter. Check that phrase you came up with and cut out any of the following: like to, give up, I’m not, want to. Basically you want to pare out any unnecessary adjectives or verbs that aren’t calling immediate action…your phrase should be as short and to the point as can be. Why? Here’s a change to some of examples above: I will beat you. I will break 21 minutes. I will crush this workout. I’m better than him. (ie: guy next to you) I won’t walk. See the differences here? They all call action but they ALSO are all positive, reinforcing words. Even saying “I will not give up” includes the option of giving up and has you thinking it…ditch it.
tough kid
* Crime and punishment. Rappers are not all thugs but for our game the rest of it goes that you mess with some of the ‘rules’ of society. Have fun out there, represent. (How many stereotypes can I cram in here and pretend I’m hard core??)

Remember folks, society may call it a faux pas, but it’s not a crime to see a runner on the street and think to yourself, “I could totally whoop on him.”

It aint a crime to warm-up with a friend, wish them luck on the starting line but when the gun goes off treat them as any other competitor and run your best. Just so long as regardless of outcome you wish them well and then cool-down together.

It’s not a moral offense when asked what time you want to run and not stumble, stutter, pause, or include the words: might, we’ll see if, I doubt I can but, probably won’t but we’ll see if. Let’s be short, to the point, and call on those action phrases.

It’s more than okay to blast your pump-up music and sing horribly off-key; even if there are profanities. I’ve found some explicit lyrics are at times called for to properly get your gamer face on.

Don’t feel bad if you find yourself smirking and filled with pride when you drop the sucker behind your panting like mad. You’re faster than him and you know it.

The bottom line is: THOUGHTS are not a crime. You can’t be penalized for thinking something even if it’s the most egotistical thought in the world. In fact, get a little cozy with some of those phrases and build up your runner self-esteem. You don’t need to say them to be fierce…just act on them.

Word out yo.

1) What’s your runner rapper name?

2) What ego building phrase did you come up with?

3) What crimes did you partake in? Others not listed are begging to be shared!

4) What thoughts do you promise to not feel guilty about all in the sake of boosting your running ego and drive to improve your performances?

5) Am I dork for this game?
A resounding yes from the crowd, please.

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13 thoughts on ““I’m Better Than You” — Being confident in yourself doesn’t mean you have to be an ego-maniac

  1. bahahaha. i so needed this. i always think like “I WILL finish this race with xx time or xx goal” and then i add a hopefully at the end. oops.

    k. i need to work on channeling. I WILL run AND FINISH this ultra. Before that I WILL confidently TRAIN for it! haha. okay. i need some practice but i also needed to hear this post.

    loved your comment on my post. siblings really are the best:)

    • haha…yea, we’ll just have to stick a gu or powerbar into ur mouth right after ur goal so u can’t add anything else. ;) jk.
      awww, and yea, sibs are the best!

  2. You are funny! yes, a rappers attitude….
    In track, we used to sing a song to the tune of “I’m the King of Rock” it went like this…
    “I’m the King of The Mile!!
    There is none higher,
    When I run by,
    You call me Sire!!
    …and I wont’ stop running until I retire.”
    I totally agree with your post, and I remember the morning of my Boston Qualifier, and saying I hope to be done by 3:20, but I Knew I’d be done by 3:30, and then realized I was setting myself for failure, giving myself an “out”, and I needed to fully believe, and to ‘know’ that I could do a 3:20 as strongly as I believed in the 3:30. As it was, I finished in 3:20:00 exact, right on the button, and after ten years finally got my BQ. (I may just cry thinking about it.)

    • look at u busting out the lyrics!! awesome, but u kno that all-time BEST running song is cake’s ‘the distance’…just saying. ;)
      glad u liked the post and ur story right there proves the point! believe in that 3:20 and let it be, baby!! how awesome that u pinned it right on the nose. :)

  3. Oh, this is such a great post! I like the way you look at self-confidence and also draw attention to the negative side effect of becoming an ego-maniac. It’s all about balancing it!

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