How To Be Confident

Dude, that cute girl who is a fan of yours is here.

I pretend not to hear.

“She is on the ladder machine. You should definitely go say hi.”

A girl at the gym recognized me from the Internet once. Apparently she is here.

I lay the 40 pound dumbbells by my feet and remove an earbud.

“I don’t know man, she probably thought I was someone else. Like, Steve Cook, maybe.”

Roman’s face relaxes and his jaw drops slightly, he pauses to make sure I’m serious, then, dumbstruck, he firmly states:

You look nothing like Steve Cook.

As a fight or flight sensation rises from my stomach to my throat, I wordlessly turn away from my very good friend and pretend to stretch my hamstrings.

Well, I guess I wasn’t pretending. I did actually stretch my hamstrings.

Roman’s inner Dumbledore led him back to the pull up bar for another set, as the morning sun beats down on us.

Then, from a forward bend with my arms dangling at my feet, I see the universe slap me in the face for being so damn insecure: the brunette Gold’s Venice regular is fast approaching.

She must be done on the ladder machine.

Hi! You might not remember me. But I recognized you here a while back from YouTube.

“I remember.” I tell her with a sheepish smile.

“Well, I just wanted to tell you that I absolutely loved your last video, the one about fitness for elderly people. It was amazing. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in… this.”

She gestures at her body.

“So, yeah, it was really good.. What are you doing in town?”

We chat for a few minutes about biceps and blizzards before she bids me farewell to catch her 10:00am spin class.

Roman saunters over and I grin at him.

Then, with a would-you-please-just-believe-in-yourself-god-damnit undertone, he says:

“Yeah, Steve fucking Cook bro.”


So, clearly, I’m no “expert” in confidence.

I could have fabricated some alpha male story to “establish credibility,” but that’s just not me.

I’m not always confident.

However, my confidence is vastly different now than it was just a few years ago.

And because you guys ask me daily “where my confidence comes from” — I’m going to take a shot.


How Do You Have The Confidence To Shoot Videos In Public?

Never would have done this if I didn't see others do it first.

There are infinite factors at play here — how to be confident is a stupidly vague title.

But what I think you want to know is how do you do the things you intuitively want or know you should do without feeling shame or embarrassment.

How can I talk about Gluconeogenesis on Park Ave during a Monday lunch hour?

How can I snapchat a workout from a South Florida LA Fitness where every single member, none of whom are under 70 years old, is staring at me thinking I’m a narcissistic, self-entitled, millennial piece of shit?


Two Keys To Confidence

  • Do Things
  • Surround Yourself With People Who Lift You Up


Do Things

Literally, do anything.

I don’t care even what you do.

Just do it.

Yeah, yeah.. “work smart.”

But first you have to start working.

Then you can work smart.

And I’m not talking about “work” in the traditional sense – making money, or whatever.

Work = taking action.

“Do things” means go for a walk, smile at strangers, try barbell hip thrusts even though you’re embarrassed, and chug a glass of water instead of lying on the couch.

Literally, do anything.

We gain momentum when we do things.

Objects in motion stay in motion.

You can’t think yourself into action.

You can’t strategize a perfect plan.

You just have to start.

Do it. Do anything. Right now.

This momentum will stretch you outside your comfort zone, and your world will expand.

Put a video on youtube even if it sucks – because you will get better, I promise.


Spend Time With People Who Lift You Up

Who do you hang out with?

  • Do they give backhanded compliments?
  • Do they caution you against nonexistent fears?
  • Do they imply logging food and lifting weights is obsessive?

Or… are you spending time with people who energize you, motivate you, and make you feel good?

We are all filled with doubts and insecurities.

Little voices in our heads tell us we can’t or we shouldn’t or we aren’t good enough.

Why allow more negativity from the people in our lives?

I don’t care if you share blood.

This rule applies to family and friends.

Just because someone grew up in walking distance of your house or shows up on your lineage tree does not mandate you let them influence you.

And I get it: that whole “surround yourself with the right people” concept is pretty cliche and beaten to death in shitty 300 word articles all over the internet.

But how many of us actually execute?

Can you emotionally disconnect from someone who makes you feel bad about yourself?

Or, will you continue drifting down that same path because it’s easier.


What SnapChat taught me about confidence


In less than one month, over 100 people have said my snapping is helping them every day.

And there is only one reason I’m on snapchat: Garyvee gave me permission.

He made me go on youtube 18 months ago, where I cultivated the ability to speak on camera.

Then, on 12/31/2015, he told me:

you can be THE fitness guy on snapchat.

Something I never would have believed myself.

On a platform used for #happyhour drink pictures and silent 10 second panoramic beach vacation videos, I had permission to be abnormal.

Permission to vlog my whole life.

Permission to win.

It’s not like I didn’t know this before he told me.

Put content in a place where attention exists and reach more people.

Not that hard.

But we don’t always follow our intuition. It’s hard walking the untrodden path.

Having someone close to us who can be a massively positive influence is often what we need.

To overcome the little voices our head:

that’s not how people use snapchat


people will think you’re weird


cool it on the shirtless pictures 

I have ten times the story views I had last month.

And it’s because:

  • I actively try to surround myself with people who lift me up
  • I keep doing things

As for the brunette… part of me is still pretty sure she’s mixing me up with Scott Herman or something ?

You asked me to share my thoughts on confidence, that doesn’t make me Casanova.


If you haven’t picked up my Free Beginner’s Fitness Guide, that would be a good idea right now ? Get it here.

Comments for This Entry

  • Nelson

    Very entertaining article. By the way, my wife calls you Captain America so I think the girl at Golds gym knew who she was interested in. ?

    January 30, 2016 at 9:00 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Alam Burgos

    Great article! I absolutely love the way you write! Reading it felt more like a conversation with you than it did a blog post. You enbody authenticity too.. Nelson, AHAHA that's exactly who I pictured in my head when I first started watching Mike!

    January 30, 2016 at 9:34 pm | Reply to this comment

  • JusG

    Another awesome article, Mike. Really look forward to them. You are the only person I follow on snapchat and I have to admit that if I don't see a notification on there, I check that my wifi is working. Sometimes they come through with perfect timing that I can relate to. I've also started annoying people by becoming quite opinionated by what "they" want us to eat or wear. And find myself saying in situations I don't want to be in "but I'm gonna" ? Now I just need to embrace this confidence and start using snapchat at the dog park. Seriously, I've tried and then freaked out when a dog walked past, never mind a human ?

    January 30, 2016 at 10:34 pm | Reply to this comment

    • Mike Author

      LOL the "they" thing is obviously ripped off straight from dj khaled and 80% funny.. but there is a ton of merit to it. whether you actually have an opponent/enemy, pretending you do is motivating. Like "the resistance" in Pressfield's work. Does is ACTUALLY exist? Meh. But having something to fight against helps.

      January 31, 2016 at 7:57 am | Reply to this comment

  • Mendy Friedland

    Awesome article. As always. Oh. And ur snaps are the best way to engage with a online fitness trainer like urself. ?? Keep doing what you do. Please?

    January 30, 2016 at 10:57 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Alison

    I'm trying to show the love for my fav snapchatters by seeing what they're up to outside of snapchat. You're one of my favs! So positive. And consistent. I think it's funny when you're like "let's see what they don't want us to ________." Cuz it's true. But finding humor in life is necessary. But also moving towards your goals. Thanks for all your snaps. And this blog. PS Girl at the gym definitely knew it was you. (Obviously).

    January 30, 2016 at 11:04 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Sanaz

    I recently started following you on social media; your snaps are motivating and funny! You seem like a cool guy andddd you're super cute. The girl at the gym definitely knew who you were. ?

    January 30, 2016 at 11:56 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Nick

    Great article. I will have to agree, your snaps have my macros on point.

    January 31, 2016 at 2:33 am | Reply to this comment

  • Michelle

    You are truly inspiring. Always. I'm glad I watched that first video :) Have a great day!

    January 31, 2016 at 7:51 am | Reply to this comment

  • Adam

    I enjoy the snaps. Keeping it light and fun with a consistent message. Move more and pay attention to what we eat and drink. Thanks for being real.

    January 31, 2016 at 8:38 am | Reply to this comment

  • Aaron

    Hey. Love watching your snaps everyday! The things you do and say have helped come along way, I used to be surrounded by real negative people....luckily not no more, thanks to my fitness family, my fantastic partner and yourself I have come very far in my confidence. When I first started out I wouldn't have my picture taken, now I'm forever doing it, post daily videos on snapchat about my workouts snd I even video my dance workouts once I'm comfortable with the routine lol

    January 31, 2016 at 8:42 am | Reply to this comment

  • John Helbling

    Great article brother! The confidence struggle is real. Just joined you and Roman on Snap Chat last night. Looking forward to it.

    January 31, 2016 at 9:17 am | Reply to this comment

  • Janine

    Well said Mike, great article! The simple things that make all the difference.

    January 31, 2016 at 9:17 am | Reply to this comment

  • Michelle

    Thank you for this post! Totally hit home for me as I've never had a lot of confidence to do videos, etc & hello I'm a newb online trainer! It's nice to know I'm not alone. Thank you for always keeping it real and leaving out the BS. And I just downloaded Snapchat! I have no idea what I'm doing. I should probably ask my teenager. :)

    January 31, 2016 at 9:19 am | Reply to this comment

  • Kate K

    Love this, Mike. The ability to admit that you're not always confident shows incredible humility and hope for those who are getting to your level. And the snap stories really are motivational! Thank you once again, and keep grinding. ;)

    January 31, 2016 at 9:26 am | Reply to this comment

  • Tarah G

    Dude, you look nothing like Scott Herman lol. Great points though, I think creating good work then creates that positive feedback loop you talk about, which generates more confidence.

    January 31, 2016 at 9:53 am | Reply to this comment

  • Rebecca B.

    Is it bad I like you better than Gary on snapchat? I think you can have snapchat and he can have YouTube?!

    January 31, 2016 at 10:03 am | Reply to this comment

  • Alana

    I was watching a Kanye interview and he was speaking on the topic of being a DOER...Inspiring Awesomeness, and shutting out those who want you to be humble---"when's the last time someone told you to be be be AWESOME." I thought of you, please continue posting amazing, inspirational, and informative content on here and definitely on your snapchat!

    January 31, 2016 at 10:04 am | Reply to this comment

  • Filipe

    Another inspiring article, great to read more from you! Keep it up!

    January 31, 2016 at 11:09 am | Reply to this comment

  • Kat

    Loved this one, Mike. :) Cutting out the vampires who constantly suck away your energy and confidence is soooo important. It's a practice in setting boundaries. It can be hard to think that it's ok to distance yourself from family members or friends you've known your whole life, but when it comes down to it, we do not owe anyone anything, nor they us. Just because you're related or because you've known someone for a long time does not mean you have to keep them in your sphere forever. In fact, I argue that the longer you've known someone, the more clearly you can see how their actions and attitude affect you, which simply provides you with more evidence to support why you should cut them out of your life, or at least set very clear boundaries of how and when you will allow yourself to interact with them. All that is to say, you totally nailed this one Mike, and I'm so happy you're talking about this kind of stuff. Keep crushing and inspiring on every social media platform. It's always a delight to read your stuff. See you in the gym sometime!

    January 31, 2016 at 11:28 am | Reply to this comment

  • Mike S

    Amazing as always Mike, your section on Spend Time With People Who Lift You Up, making me think more about who I spend my time with! PS love all the content from This to Snapchat to YouTube. Don't stop!! Love from SnapChat

    January 31, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Josh Hunstiger

    Mike, nicely done. I really appreciate your honesty and transparency. I love your snaps brother. I find myself battling that little voice in my head telling me that I won't make it to my goal...that I won't get stronger or thinner. Gotta beat that voice into submission, otherwise I will deplete myself of the confidence to persevere. Keep going man, you are crushing it!

    January 31, 2016 at 12:32 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Amy Budd

    You're just killing it, dude. Here, snapchat, the youtubing - you are CRUSHING it. Thank you for giving us all of these avenues for surrounding ourselves with your influence, because you clearly lift us *all* up. Lovelovelove you!!! ??❤️?

    January 31, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Gus Worden

    great work mike. I believe you are one of the emerging fitness trainers that doesnt take advantage of mainstream media weight loss (i.e. the biggest loser convincing america that 20 lbs lost in a week is a reasonable goal). Keep up the good work. We need people who will make this world a healthier place using sustainable and healthy methods.

    January 31, 2016 at 1:01 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Mimi at Tahoe

    Great article, Mike! I love the passage about just move! That ubiquitous WHAT WILL PEOPLE THINK is old world village thinking. Like, do we really care?

    January 31, 2016 at 1:16 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Matt McLeod

    Really look up to your writing and the way you represent yourself in the fitness industry. Slowly helping me Snap myself in public places and voice my opinion. Loved the article, brother. Thank you

    January 31, 2016 at 1:52 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Jacqueline Kennedy

    "You can't strategize a perfect plan". That might be the most important thing I've read all year, because that's my biggest problem in most areas of life. Thanks Mike!!

    January 31, 2016 at 1:53 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Sheldon Pearce

    Hey Mike, Watched your snaps for about two weeks now. Never thought you were a douche because of your confidence and authenticity. If people can't get past the ab shots then they are not someone you want in your life. To me it's like Gary says about his swearing. If he loses 4,10,30 people from a keynote they aren't people that he wants to do business with. I couldn't agree more with him and you. This is the first article k have read of yours. I have no interest in fitness, and therefore macros, but your authenticity makes me care about the brand you're creating. Your tips are simple but hard to remember. We get down on ourselves, take easy way out because that's human nature. You along with others I watch give the me inspiration and push to succeed. I still struggle with perfectionism equaling procrastination but I'm working on getting over that. Trying to just start because I know it will get the ball rolling and increase my confidence to keep going. Get the confidence to do something I want and know that if I put in the work I will be successful. Confidence is a huge pillar to success along with surrounding yourself with people that lift you up and support from a spouse. Thanks for all of your work Mike, I genuinely appreciate it! Sheldon

    January 31, 2016 at 4:11 pm | Reply to this comment

  • sam

    Great article Mike! Ha, I've started following Roman on snapchat too. Love the encouragement from your bromance! The constant snaps pump me for my self improvement.

    January 31, 2016 at 8:18 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Jason Punda

    Good article Mike. That's one thing I've certainly learned over the past few years... if you surround yourself with people convinced that things are useless or that they suck then you too will wind up convinced of the same. It doesn't have the be rainbows and unicorns all the time - life is many things but rarely that - but being surrounded by negative people only has a negative effect on you. I've gotten as far as getting Snap Chat installed on my phone. When I figure out how to post or share or send of whatever the correct nomenclature is I'll shoot you a message!

    January 31, 2016 at 9:47 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Cecilia

    Love your snaps, your blogs , your passion, knowledge and concern for people. You are outstanding! I appreciate you so much. I feel like I can trust you. . Keep doing what your doing Mike! Muahh!

    February 2, 2016 at 8:20 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Sharon

    When you put out good content people will remember you. And by the way... I don't know who Scott Herman is.

    February 2, 2016 at 8:46 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Cody Baldridge

    This was a very good read! very funny story Mike, and from watching your snaps it sounds pretty accurate. ? Your awesome and I enjoy your positivity! I'm doing what you ask and giving you some feed back. Keep up the HUSTLE!

    February 2, 2016 at 11:12 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Melanie

    I loved that video! And this article is pretty awesome too. Great job.

    February 5, 2016 at 3:46 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Amber

    Love this article! My friends laugh at me for snapchatting in public but I say selfie with no shame! Thanks for being a mm example of confidence! Your snapchats are one of my favorite parts of the day! I commute to college an hour and a half away from me. After sitting in the car for that long the 5 flights of stairs down the parking garage do me some good! When I'm not at school I'm at my office that's four flights of stairs up!! No elevator. No escalator. Thanks for staying consistent and illustrating how to stay on the regimen!

    February 5, 2016 at 8:33 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Jordan Thoms

    Haha awesome man!! This was written so well and many angles covered. Could definitely relate to so many parts. This is actually one of the biggest areas I want to improve with myself, to be able to feel comfortable on camera, to cultivate those skills, and be more confident overall. And I truly think that being comfortable seeing yourself on camera is a HUGE confidence boost (to me, probably one of the biggest), especially if it's authentic content that you are passionate about and to help others. So thats my goal, to be more active and comfortable on Snapchat sharing all types of content, ideas, video, drawing, etc, etc...just being real and being comfortable putting it out there for others. Another great article, keep it up!!

    April 14, 2016 at 1:06 pm | Reply to this comment

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