Increasing self confidence is one of the hardest things to do, and usually the most common topic I work with. It can be difficult but it definitely is possible if you work at it one a constant basis and know some things that can help to build it.
In the next week or two my first book will be published called Get Into the Zone: The Essential Guide for High Performance Through Mental Training. To start the buzz I want to share with you a snippet from one of the chapters on confidence, as this is one of the most common topics I deal with when working with clients. If you are interested in purchasing the book when it comes out, you will be able to do so through Amazon, and you can be added to my email list by contacting me to be notified when it is officially on sale!
Defining Self Confidence
I would say that self confidence is one of the most common topics I deal with when working with clients. Everyone wants more self confidence, and wants to know how to get it. To define self confidence I am going to use my experience of being truly confident within myself and also from what I have learned from dealing with others.
The first time I found out what true confidence was, I was twenty-two and nominated for an award. The award, which recognized the top four male and female athletes in all of Canada, took me to Calgary, Alberta and gave me the opportunity to hang out and be around other athletes from different sports who had also risen to the top. I spent quite a bit of time with one of the male athletes because we were from the same athletic conference and the organizing committee broke us up to do different events such as TV interviews based on our conferences.
Spending time with this individual allowed me to see what true confidence looked like. It was the first time I realized that true confidence borders very closely with cockiness or arrogance, but if one is astute one will see the difference between what is true and what is not. This athlete had gone up to his coach in his freshman year and told him that by the time he graduated the team would have won five championships (in Canada you can play college sports for five years). This could seem very arrogant, but this came from a place of true confidence in his abilities and skills.
He took what he had to offer seriously and wouldn’t let anything take away from what he knew he could accomplish. He knew there would be tough times, and that things would not always go the way he had hoped, but it would not take away from his abilities and skills. The way he talked at times could seem arrogant, but it was true belief in himself and what he could do. I think at times projecting this confident image can make other people feel insecure and label the person as arrogant because they don’t know that confidence within themselves.
This athlete, led his team to five straight championships, and created a dynasty for his school. Meeting him truly changed my life. As I have gotten older and taken my own skills and talents seriously, I have watched people become uncomfortable at times or feel I am being arrogant. So I do have to monitor my expressions and make sure that a line is not crossed, but it is also important for me to not let others shrink my confidence because they feel uncomfortable with it.
Some might ask how I knew this athlete was confident and not arrogant. Well at first I did think that he was arrogant, but once I got to know him, and really began to pay attention I noticed there was a difference. He had characteristics of being modest, humble and kind, in addition to having a high confidence in himself.
I see confidence as an unwavering belief in yourself, that is unshakable by circumstances or people around you. To take yourself seriously and know what you are capable of accomplishing doesn’t mean that there won’t be hardships or trials, but if you can still believe in yourself, in who you are and what you have to offer, then you are on your way to having good self confidence. It is being able to look at what the world is challenging you with and know that you are capable of meeting it head on.
When I step onto the ice and know that no one on the other team stands a chance against me I am there. Twice in college I experienced this feeling in overtime. I remember each time lining up for the face off, and thinking to myself how the other team didn’t stand a chance against me, that I had an unfair advantage over them. I remember smiling and knowing that I would come out on top. Sounds pretty arrogant, I know, but both times I scored the winning goal, and knew that is the type of confidence that is necessary to succeed.