Even now, at my age and level of accomplishment, I have confidence gaps. Especially when I'm training in the morning before work, like early when I'm sluggish and tired and not moving fast, there are times when I say to myself: "You suck"... Sorry that's the reality of it. Okay, I apologize for the bad language (My dad calls it "vulgar and he's totally right.) I could sugarcoat this but those are my words. When I'm running so slowly it could be through water, dragging myself around the trails of central park, or when I can't motor and spin my feet fast enough on the bike or I can't seem to smoothly pull myself through the water in the pool, my thoughts turn negative... I defeat myself with such nega-speak, even now after writing a book about how not to do this. Then out of the blue something happens, usually I see myself getting a little faster or comoparing myself to someone who is much, much better at the sport than I am (and I'm not keeping up but I'm in the game with that amazing person) and I realize, You don't suck, you're just working hard and finding it HARD WORK and that's not bad, in fact it's GOOD.
I have to remind myself you don't suck (terrible word I realize but hey, this is me talking to myself) and then I realize; it's hard because you are working hard. It's feeling terrible because you are challenging yourself, and that doesn't stink... it's actually an asset. You're building mental strength, resilience, and perseverance.
So then the next time I try to remember this process and it's like learning all over again. I have to go through the process again and again, and sometimes in work or in play (my training) or in parenting or friendship or family conflicts I realize: when it's hard, that can means it's worthwhile. If everything were easy, there would be no value in accomplishing the hard things. Like parenting and being a good spouse, friend, daughter, boss.
When things are tough and I am dragging, now I try to tell myself: you are training the brain ... not the body... to be resilient and stick with it and keep on going. When I'm feeling super sluggish I remind myself to stay with the program. And just sticking it out can be an accomplishment. I then realize, the brain is stronger than the body and if you can teach yourself to stick it out and have resilience, everything else will follow.
Sometimes I tell myself: don't hate yourself for these gaps, since the gaps are there for a reason. Without them you'd never learn to get over them. So instead of saying You suck, I now try to remember to tell myself: You stick with it. You are trying, and that doesn't suck. In fact, it's what makes the final result worth working for. And sometimes that final result is even success.