CONFIDENCE TO NARCISSISM
A few blog posts ago I discussed the mental aspect of the fight game. A big part of boxing is confidence. I believe you should be confident enough to know you will win, but smart enough to know you can only win if you put in the work.
I credit a big part of my success to my confidence. I’ll admit, at first I faked confidence. I would consciously turn on my confidence when walking into a room. Adjust my posture, putting bass in my voice, being assertive and never hesitating when I talk.
To this day I’m unaware of when I stopped consciously appearing to be confident and started being genuinely confident. I never thought I could ever be a confident person, much less so confident that it would become an issue. I will say that between 2009-2012 my confidence went over the deep end.
I taught myself to speak without hesitating because I found if you don’t say “uhhh” or “uummm” people tend to trust your words. People started following my words which made me some sort of leader in my head.
Confidence works in a snowball effect. Confidence feeds confidence and for the first time in my life, I gained social power. I could walk into a room and get attention. Maybe it’s because I didn’t get much attention when I was younger but I became extremely addicted to the attention.
I trained harder for boxing matches because I realized winning gave me attention. The attention gave me more confidence and the confidence gave me attention.
I became a monster at one point. In hindsight, I cherish my friends for sticking around because I was a dick. I would cut lines, demand special privileges, and I for some reason I thought that normal social rules didn’t apply to me.
The crazy thing is that it worked. I may have ruffled some feathers but people let me get away with anything and I took full advantage of it. Why wouldn’t I?
This confidence I took into the ring with me was my teammate. If I was fighting a boxer taller, heavier and more experienced than me, I didn’t give a shit. I thought I was supposed to win because there was something special about me. I knew if I trained my hardest I HAD to win.
Be confident enough to know you can win, be smart enough to know you can’t do it without putting in the work. Eventually confidence teamed up with pride and took over. I stopped working out as hard because I assumed I was supposed to win anyway.
Confidence helped me outside of the ring as well. I was now able to approach any girl I wanted and no girl was out of my league. I was living my high school dream. I started hanging out and partying more than working out.
My confidence turned into narcissism. I was on my high horse and I thought the world of myself. I stopped listening to coaches because I knew better. I refused to consider anyone else’s point of view. I refused to learn anything new from anyone. There wasn’t an ounce of empathy in me.
In 2012, after I found out that I would be suspended for not updating my drug testing whereabout forms and my first thought was “They can’t suspend ME!”. Spoiler alert: I was wrong. They did suspend me and I had humility shoved down my throat. I was off my high horse and it gave me a year to reflect on what a dick I was.
I changed my name and symbolically killed off the old me “Lenroy Thompson”, the narcism died with him…or at least I tried to.
I used to walk into rooms and consciously turn on my confidence. I now walk into room and consciously turn my confidence down slightly. Adjusting my posture, adjust base, and thinking before I speak. I’m able to be more receptive to others when I focus less on myself.
This person that I’ve become is more absorbent of the information around me. I had to learn a lot about myself before I would allow myself to be learn about other things.
I now question my ability to ensure I’m aware of the right answer. Ignorance to the truth doesn’t change it. Knowing the truth helps me reach a higher level of ability.
I made it out to New Mexico to fight at a different weight class because I have the confidence that I’m capable of winning. My first day here I worked out. My chest burned and my legs were wobbly. It made me question what kind of shape I’m in and if I have been preparing properly for this tournament.
Questioning myself gave me the opportunity to change my fight plan to conserve energy in the ring. If I have less gas in my tank I will be sure to be more efficient with my movement, not waste energy flipping into the ring and doing significant less showmanship. I will be sure to reflect on what my training and eating habits were to prepare for this fight so I can be better for next time. Personal accountability is an important part of combat sports.
After 3 days in Albuquerque, I realized that we are 6000 ft up and it’s the altitude that has been kicking my ass. Now I have no worries and I plan on kicking ass.
Ignorance to the truth doesn’t change it. I’m able to become better by questioning myself. I am still very much a confident person. Probably more confident than the average person but I’m slightly less of a narcissist now.