Confidence – it’s the most important trait that leads to one experiencing success, yet is the hardest to develop and maintain throughout our life. From the day we are born we begin to develop our confidence and self-belief from our daily tasks, whether it is swimming for the first time, learning to ride a bicycle, taking a game winning penalty kick, or presenting in front of 100 people. You are faced daily with tasks and challenges, many that you have overcome in the past, and some that you are facing for the very first time. But what ultimately dictates if you succeed or fall short is your confidence and self-belief in completing the task at hand.
Why confidence you say? Confidence is the difference between thinking that you can accomplish the challenge, and knowing that you will. Thinking leaves doubt in the equation, which can prevent you from performing at your best and may result in falling short of your goals. Knowing on the other hand solidifies your belief and effort into accomplishing the desirable result. Ultimately, you shape your own confidence; others merely reinforce or compromise it. Yes, it feels great when others encourage and support you, but there is only so much that encouragement from your parents, friends, teammates, and coaches can do you when you’re executing a championship winning free throw or completing an interview for your dream job. In the end it comes down to you and whether or not you believe in yourself. Here are a few tips that can enhance your confidence and self-belief on a daily basis:
1. Acknowledge your daily success. As hours become days, and days become weeks, we do not always take the time to self-reflect and acknowledge all of the great things we accomplish. The daily accomplishments that help get us to our long term goals. Just because there was no trophy and no congratulations, doesn't mean that you did not accomplish something. After a long day, as you begin to wind down and get ready for bed, think of something that you did exceptionally well in the past 24 hours. Whether it was helping a friend overcome a difficult situation, breaking your personal record (PR) in the gym, or cooking most of your meals at home instead of ordering in – identify one success. Big or small. Acknowledge it, enjoy it, and give yourself credit for accomplishing it. Acknowledging the things we do well on a daily basis makes us feel better about ourselves and enhances our motivation to continue striving for improvement. Lastly, after recognizing something you did well that day, identify what you want to improve on or accomplish the next day. Make a note of it or set a reminder, holding yourself accountable.
2. Preparation improves consistency. Being prepared is crucial in building the necessary confidence to accomplish your goals. Preparation can be both physical and mental – whether you are visualizing yourself accomplishing your goals or physically practicing your craft. By practicing the right things the right way, we build the familiarity and consistency required to effectively complete the task when it matters the most. One number that always stands out for me is 10,000. It is the number of applied hours considered necessary for one to become an expert in any field or occupation. This could be 10,000 hours playing basketball, managing a business, or performing surgery. Whatever it is for you, make those hours count by first spending a few minutes visualizing yourself accomplishing your daily tasks and goals at your desired level or standard, and then actually executing them the way you imagined.
3. Speak like a champion. Sometimes one of the most difficult things for us to do is to talk about our self. But who knows you better than yourself? That's right, no one. You can learn a lot from the way one speaks; body language, tone, and volume being clear indicators of how confident they feel about themselves. Some athletes that come to mind when thinking of confident speakers are Floyd Mayweather, Michael Jordan, Usain Bolt, and Cristiano Ronaldo. But what separates them from the rest? It is that unbreakable self-belief and confidence. They know exactly who they are and what they do exceptionally well. If I were to ask you what your strengths are, would you be able to list them on the spot in a confident manner or would you have to think about it? Knowing what you are good at off the bat improves your confidence, and impacts how you approach daily tasks and cope with adversity. Begin to identify your strengths by writing them out one by one, starting with “I am”. Once you have listed a few, further expand on the strength by giving an example of how you most commonly exemplify that trait or skill. For example, “I am a fantastic communicator in the way that I am able to express my opinion in a clear, concise, and direct manner.” Now read your strengths out loud daily, while paying attention to your body language, tone, and volume at which you speak. Do you believe in what you are saying? Because if you don't, who will? Be the champion that you speak of and own the strengths because they are yours.
You already have the confidence to accomplish your goals, you just have to believe it!