Confidence: it’s difficult to define but easy to detect. With it, the world is your oyster. Without it, you live in the shell sitting by the shoreline. Confidence is that quality that sets people apart. Neurologists say it’s rooted in our DNA. Psychologists decree that it’s the product of choices we make, sports authorities and performance coaches declare it comes from practice and hard work. It’s true, some of us are born more confident than others and it is partly genetic, however, confidence can be acquired; it’s part science, part art. General confidence is an attitude, a way you approach the world; self-confidence is a sense you can accomplish anything.
Sports and Confidence
Assuming the basic physical components are in place, the secret ingredient of success in sports is mental confidence. World class soccer pro Alex Morgan, Team U.S.A., awarded Soccer Player of the Year, told herself she wanted to be the “best soccer player in the world.” She then set her priorities and told fiancé, family and friends they were all #2 – in terms of her time and attention; soccer was #1, as she has a finite window to play (age factors, etc.)
To win you have to set goals, evaluate priorities and above all, believe in yourself … believe you can win. Excellence is precise, practiced, measured, judged.
As athletes practice and train, we too, can train our minds and literally change our brain structure to be more confidence prone.
Studies show confidence is more important than competence and ability when it comes to getting ahead at work. Projecting confidence can affect your rise up the corporate ladder – – you have to have it to be good at your job. Higher status means you are more admired, respected, and have more sway; confidence sways people. Whether consciously or subconsciously, we all give confident people an inordinate amount of admiration and respect; confident people are highly prized.
According to Katherine “Katty” Kay, English journalist, lead anchor of BBC World News America and author of “Confidence Code,” when people are confident, “when they believe they are good at something, regardless of how good they actually are, they display behavior (non verbal and verbal) which makes them appear confident in the eyes of others… whether they truly excel or not is irrelevant.”
Note: over-confidence can be misinterpreted as arrogance.
When you genuinely believe you are good, this comes across. Conversely, when people don’t genuinely believe in themselves, others pick up on this quickly.
- Train your mind – every day – to think positively. (Positive thoughts also release endorphins …happy hormones!)
- Believe in yourself.
- Dismiss past negative thoughts and behaviors (you can’t think negative thoughts and lead a positive confident life).
- Articulate goals, and write them down.
- Use expansive body language.
- Speak in clear audible vocal tones … speak early and often in a calm, relaxed manner.
- Expect people to respond positively; expect the right connections.
Open the oyster, venture out of your shell and into the sea of life. Decide to swim. Decide to win. Be a part of the Sea Change. You can affect change.
Time … life (!) is flying by. Put on a fresh new attitude and re-set your mind. Believe in yourself. Be willing to take a risk, … be willing to fail, but try, for in trying, we develop true confidence.