You know that feeling…
There is no wondering, there is no question, there is no doubt–
You don’t think,
“Maybe I got this.”
You think, feel, and KNOW, “I have GOT this.”
And you think, feel, and know it with every fiber of your being?
You know that feeling when you know you can handle the situation in front of you?
It’s a good feeling.
And that’s what you’re after when you tell me you want to FEEL more confident. You are after a feeling.
You want to believe in yourself, you want to be bold under pressure, and you want to rise up to the challenges that come with training and competition. You want to know you have what it takes to handle whatever comes your way. When you tell me you want to “feel” confident, you are telling me that you desire an unwavering trust and faith in yourself.
When it comes to this topic of confidence people often wonder– is it the chicken or the egg? Do you need to feel confident to perform well, or do you need to perform well in order to feel confident? The answer is both, but take a wild guess where it needs to start…
Confidence IS as confidence DOES. You are always searching for a feeling, but confidence comes with taking action.
Here are three ways to take action to feel more confident:
Chart Your Confidence
I talk about this mental training drill in Rebound (Chart Your Confidence, pg. 155) and it is a fantastic way to figure out what action you need to take to move yourself up the confidence scale. On a scale of one to ten, one being no confidence and ten being supremely confident, where would you rank your level of confidence in this moment in your ability to accomplish the task in front of you? Don’t overthink it. Pick a number to rank your level of confidence and then answer the following:
- Why did I choose that number instead of one number lower?
- What would I need to do (or what would need to be different) to rank myself one number higher?
These questions help you assess what you’ve done to gain the confidence you do have, and what you need to do to gain more. Focusing on how to get to the next number (not jump ahead 2-3 numbers) helps you figure out how to take action right now. Anytime you feel your confidence wavering, you can do this quick exercise to figure out what you need to feel more confident.
Change Your Don’ts to Do’s
How often do you spend time thinking about what you don’t want versus what you do want? If you are experiencing feelings of hesitation and doubt about something, I guarantee you have had some inner dialogue about the things you don’t want to do or don’t want to have happen. Another way to take action to feel more confident is to practice changing your don’ts to do’s. It’s a subtle, yet VERY IMPORTANT distinction. Your “don’t wants” are grounded in fear and your “do wants” are grounded in desire. Each presents a very different emotional landscape. When you catch yourself thinking about something you don’t want, see if you can flip the script by asking yourself “OK, so what DO I want?” The more you practice, the easier it gets. Every time you catch yourself and flip the script you break free from self-limiting beliefs that erode your confidence.
Set Some Goals
Now that you know what you need to do to increase your confidence, and you know how to shift your mindset and break free from self-limiting beliefs, it’s time to set a goal. Setting goals is an incredibly effective tool for experiencing performance accomplishments and experiencing performance accomplishments can be very effective tool for gaining confidence. When you have successfully accomplished a task in the past, you’re more likely to feel confident about your ability to accomplish that same task in the future (remember confidence is the chicken AND the egg). Setting a deliberate goal with a well thought-out roadmap to accomplish that goal is another action you can take to feel more confident.
Confidence is not something you ARE, it’s something you DO. It’s a big fat myth to think that you will feel 100% confident all the time. You can still do GREAT things and only feel 80% (or 70% or 60%) confident. What you need to know where to focus and how to take action. When you do your mental training, that is how you get to that place of having an unwavering trust and belief in yourself no matter how many butterflies you have flying around in your gut.