Issue #50


by Juan Carlos Lope

20 Questions with Cover Model and IFBB Figure Pro Nicole Pitcher Scott

Self Confidence
by Michelle Craven

Video Interview
with IFBB Figure Pro DJ Wallis Part 2

Asa Hallstrop Interview
by Anne Pietila

Nicole Pitcher-Scott, Sarah Evangelista, Harmony Hunter, Teri Mooney, Stefanie Bambrough

Video Interview with Fitness Model Shawnae Belvedere

Balance Your Life
by Heather Bear


Self-Confidence by Michelle Craven IFBB Figure Pro

Michelle Craven

Self-confidence is a magnetic quality.  On stage, it draws the eyes of the judges to gaze in your direction, to give you that second look and affirm that you are a winner.  Off stage, it causes the people around you to want to be near you, to soak in just a fraction of the self-assurance that exudes from your face.  But if it is such a desirable characteristic, why is it sometimes so difficult to possess?

I am convinced that the root of all self-confidence derives from our upbringing.  I am fortunate to have been nurtured in a loving environment in which my parents raised me to believe I was a special individual with self worth and many positive attributes.  However, I have known many women who have grown up in a different situation, one in which they may have been raised without enough positive reinforcement, encouragement or praise.

Perhaps, some of us compete in figure and fitness competitions because we seek that self-confidence that has been missing from our life.  Or maybe some of us compete because we already have the self-confidence that it takes to stand on stage in a bikini and be subjected to criticism from the judges and audience alike.  Although we constantly try to convince ourselves that the outcome is not as important as looking our best, we still seek approval and validation for all the hard work and dedication it takes to sculpt the ultimate physique.

Regardless of the reason for competition, one thing is for sure:  being in tune with the capability of dramatic change that takes place in our body can really do a number on our self-confidence after the contest is over.  If we don’t place as well as we had hoped it can be a direct blow to our confidence level and leave us wondering why we would subject our body to the taxing preparation in the first place.  Even if we win, the emotional, hormonal and physiological changes after a contest can lead to self-doubt and feelings of misery and despair.  Many of us struggle with the “post-competition syndrome” compounded by body dysmorphia and negative sentiments about ourselves, certainly not things that help build self-confidence!

Michelle Craven

As competitors we will all struggle with our confidence level.  It is during these periods of low self-esteem that we must take a step back and really change our way of thinking.  We must give ourselves time to bounce back, to stop our self-deprecating behavior, and to reestablish our identity.  Our body will continuously change on the outside, sometimes for the better, and other times to a way we perceive as less than ideal.  However, as long as we are always changing for the better on the inside, we can be sure that our identity-derived self-confidence will carry us where ever we want to be in life.  When we realize our inner beauty and are happy with our character, the rest will take care of itself!

For questions or comments about this article contact Michelle Craven at: ifbbpromichelle@gmail.com


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About the Author...

Michelle Craven is a resident physician specializing in anesthesiology at UT Southwestern in Dallas.  She received her M.D. from UT Health Science Center in San Antonio, and her B.A. from Rice University in Houston, where she also played on the Varsity Volleyball Team.  Michelle earned her IFBB Figure Pro Card in September 2008 at Team Universe in New York City and made her pro debut at the Sacramento Pro in November.  Look for her to make strong showings in her home state of Texas at the Europa Supershow and Houston Pro in 2009.

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