Mental Fitness Fridays: Are You Confident?

Confidence: it’s something we all want when it comes time to perform on any stage. Like mental toughness, there are common myths about confidence that mess with our heads.

Those myths are:

1) Confidence is an emotion only.
2) You don’t need to work on confidence, it’s just ‘there’.
3) “My coach can take it away.”
4) “I can’t play well with out it.”

These myths developing what we call ‘cheap confidence’. Cheap confidence gets you nowhere. What I look for is for athletes that I work with to develop what I call ‘expensive confidence’. What’s difference?

Cheap confidence is built with false beliefs. It relies on emotion and often is temporary. Cheap confidence is easily destroyed,  built on superstition and status and constantly needs to be fed praise from others. When cheap confidence is gone, reactivity rains, and you hope and pray to the God’s of sports to restore it. Cheap confidence also almost always waits for something good to happen, and with it , you try to please everyone so they can believe in you (and often you please no one in the process).  

On the other hand, expensive confidence is earned. It’s durable and resilient. You recognize that it’s a skill and not just an emotion. Expensive confidence is built on the little things and while it may feel boring, it’s beneficial. Expensive confidence is pumped up by preparation. With expensive confidence you believe in you even when you don’t feel your best. With expensive confidence you’re aware and mindful, and you practice emotion management strategies to keep it in check. Expensive confidence is flexible and allows you to know when and how to problem solve versus waiting for things to happen.

So, how do you get get expensive confidence instead of cheap confidence? By practicing listenting to your own voice. Act according to your performance values and take care of yourself with the basics of sleep, nutrition, water.  Other things that can help:

• Meditate
• Visualize
• Know your strengths — and use them
• Be satisifed while striving
• Seek and Learn from criticism
• Evolve and change your game when you need to
• Separate who you are from what you do
• Seek new knowledge
• Be courageous
• Realize great relationships equal great results with others and with yourself. 

AND challenging the mental toughness myths.

That’s it. Now go forward and be confident that you have what it takes to be worth the extra price tag.