Self-confidence ignites passion


Yonit Krebs

When you’re seven years old, you think you’re the best. I was no different. I believed I was a great gymnast, although looking back now, I could barely cartwheel.

As I grew older, I became a better gymnast, but I also grew conscious I lacked certain skills. As a result, the self-confidence I had diminished.

When my peers asked if I was good at gymnastics, I didn’t know how to answer. What does “good” mean? Could I say that I was good or would I sound arrogant? These questions plagued me and time after time I would answer “not really.” However, whether my gymnastics skills actually were good or not, I began to believe in my abilities less.

The loss of my self-confidence held me back. I stopped putting in 100 percent and started debating if I should quit. The only thing keeping me in the sport was my dream of joining the high school team in eighth grade and re-discovering my passion for gymnastics.

After making the team in eighth grade, my answer of “not really” didn’t change until the end of my first season on the team. The advancement of my skills after joining the team sparked within me a new-found enthusiasm for gymnastics. In turn, my belief in myself increased, allowing me to improve substantially. By my second year on the team, I began to answer that I was “okay.”

For me, gymnastics has always been a 40 percent physical and 60 percent mental sport. Now, in my third year on the gymnastics team, I still don’t feel the confidence I had at seven-years old. However, I’ve learned the difference between self-confidence and conciet. I don’t have to downplay my skill and abilities to avoid seeming too sure of myself.

We’re taught to fear appearing conceited, but in reality, without believing in yourself, you won’t try your best and won’t have the mindset to succeed.

The ups and downs in the self-confidence I’ve felt as a gymnast carry through to other parts of my life and teach me that without belief in myself, I can’t improve or strive for greatness.