There’s a big fat myth about confidence going around. I heard through the grapevine that some of you out there believe the athletes that you’ve deemed to be supremely confident, are confident ALL THE TIME. Never a doubt about their ability. Never a wavering thought in their minds. One of my favorite quotes does a great job of busting this myth:
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” – Steve Furtick
Confidence is that one mental skill that every athlete is after. When you are feeling confident, it means you have a high expectation of a successful outcome. It means you’re feeling self-assured and have quelled all the doubts. You’re grounded, you’re focused, you’re secure, you’re ready. You don’t think you’re going to do well, you know you’re going to do well. You know you got this.
When you have that kind of confidence, you will:
- Create positive momentum
- Increase your effort
- Believe in your ability
- Not fear taking necessary risks
- Tap into creativity
- Persevere in the face of setbacks
- Set higher goals for yourself
- Handle distractions and stay focused
- Increase your motivation and commitment
- Set yourself up for success
You may have noticed that oftentimes when people are talking about this idea of confidence they express wanting to feel more confident. It’s a feeling that people are after. Two essential things to know about confidence:
Your confidence will waver; you will never feel 100% confident 100% of the time.
Confidence isn’t just something you are (feeling), it’s also something you do (action).
We ALL have a behind-the-scenes and we ALL have a highlight reel and oftentimes where you choose to focus determines how you are going to feel. Research in the field of sport psychology informs us that one of the greatest distinguishing factors of successful athletes is in fact confidence. There are many different factors that can influence your feelings of confidence and there is a specific theory related to confidence that I want to share with you. Self-efficacy is situation specific self-confidence. Basically it’s how confident you feel in your ability to perform the specific task in front of you. Your feelings of self-efficacy can change depending on the situation you are about to face. You can probably think of aspects of your own performance right now and pick out skills you feel confident in and ones you don’t.
According to this theory, your feelings of self-efficacy, or how confident you are in your ability to tackle the task in front of you, is informed by several different sources. In the next blog post I’m going to share with you the top three sources that influence your feelings of confidence and give you specific ways to increase your own.