“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.” -Henry Ford
When facing life’s battles, the outcome does not always favor the strongest or the fastest, but often it is the one who believes in their own abilities that empowers themselves to accomplish an intended goal.
Confidence is rooted in the belief that if you think you can, you will. This conviction can be the difference between accomplishment and defeat.
Although many believe that confidence exists as a result of one’s ability, it is actually the belief in your ability to be successful that establishes your confidence. Confidence does not exist in a vacuum – here for one skill, gone the next. A belief in your own abilities can push you to excel where others may wallow in doubt.
Most people place themselves in a restricted circle of potential, unaware of the power of this belief system. When approaching any task on the field, court, classroom, office, lecture hall, etc. you have to condition your mind to believe that the task at hand is accomplishable. Remove the self-imposed limitation by concentrating on strengthening this philosophy. Initiate all pursuits with the forethought that your belief in yourself will build the confidence needed to conquer all challenges and achieve your goals.
Often we are found battling the existing misconception that some are just born with confidence, but let’s be clear, there is nothing innate about confidence. Similar to a growth mindset- the idea that abilities and intelligence can be developed – Confidence can be cultivated, and instilled into the mind, but it takes unwavering persistence. Confidence is not something that we are entitled to, but it is something that we have to work towards constantly.
As students, players and professionals, we should be cultivating this state of mind in all that we do. At Empower ME Academy, Coach Gumbs and the EMA Team believe in The Confidence Effect – the belief in your ability to be successful. This effect comes from first having the mindset that you can, resulting in the willingness to face challenges while increasing the potential for successful outcomes.
This is how we begin to build a robust sense of confidence.
- Preparedness. When you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail. In order for us to have an enduring belief of confidence, it is essential that we are always working to perfect our craft. Preparation is not only necessary, but it is key in ensuring success in your pursuit. So, practice that speech in front of the mirror, and shoot 100 shots a day because you don’t want to miss the opportunity when it comes!
- Think you CAN. If you think you’ve lost, you’ve lost. The mind is a powerful tool that can not be ignored. When it comes to confidence, you must think and believe you can accomplish the task at hand before you are able to do so.
- Accept the challenge. Although training yourself mentally is the first step, it can be the most difficult. Altering your thoughts into action is no easy feat. This is where accepting the challenge comes into play. Like Nike says, sometimes you “Just Do It”, put your belief system into practice. Once you train your mind to believe that you can and you have done the preparation it is time to step up to the plate and take on the challenge before you. If you don’t embrace the vulnerability you will miss your opportunity to be great.
- Act as If. You have to begin to act as if you already have the confidence you are seeking to obtain. Begin to act as if you are the best in the world because you are working like it. As a player, every time you are on the court you should act with the forethought that you are the best. The Lebron’s and Steph Curry’s of the world don’t wait to be affirmed by others – they affirm themselves! Step out of your comfort zone and put yourself in a position to be the best by acting like you already are.
- Failure As Feedback. Failure is fleeting and it is bound to happen, but when it does occur, don’t allow it destroy your confidence. In order to develop a confidence that is enduring, you must not become reliant on external affirmation. Affirm yourself daily. You know what you’re capable of!
- Eliminate Self-Deprecating Thoughts and Words. “I can’t, it’s too difficult.” Do not allow this type of negative thinking to create doubt that interferes with your confidence. Focus on what you WANT, not what you don’t want to happen. Trust me. It is much more EMPOWERING.
One thing will always be certain, truly confident people always have the upper hand over the doubtful and the fearful. When we are in our pursuit of greatness, we need to act as if we are the best due to the simple fact that we are working like it.