“I never lose my confidence. It doesn’t mean I’m going to get hits, but I have my confidence all the time.” – Derek Jeter, in the midst of a slump in 2004
What is the factor that most consistently distinguishes highly successful from less successful athletes? Confidence. We are talking about a specific type of confidence that is stable and unyielding and comes from the belief in oneself and one’s ability.
It’s not that highly successful people don’t experience self-doubt. It is that these individuals know how to effectively and appropriately handle these thoughts. They recycle them into motivating and useful learning experiences.
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life – and that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
There are three main sources of confidence. These are:
- Achievement: This can be making a great play, putting a perfect putt, or obtaining an academic degree or professional title.
- Self-Regulation: This comes from an individual’s ability to make good decisions, physical skills and training, and belief in self to bounce back after a setback.
- Social Climate: This is related to organizational climate and having a strong support system (including co-workers, teammates, supervisors, and coaches).
Of these, self-regulation is the area that is most accessible and readily available to make change by an individual. Self-talk is crucial, but so is imagery, self-care, effectively managing worry/anxiety, and creating and implementing a daily routine that promotes our highest performance. It is important to have a variety of tools in our performance “toolbox” to nurture and development our confidence. Take a moment to examine your sources of confidence and identify any areas that could be improved upon.
Nicole Pacheco is a peak performance coach & consultant. She works with athletes, business and medical professionals, and sport organizations to help them reach their maximum potential. She is board certified in biofeedback and her article, Neurofeedback for Peak Performance Training, was recently published in the Journal of Mental Health Counseling Journal of Mental Health Counseling, Vol. 38, No. 2, pp. 116-123. Follow Professional Edge on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.