Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Shaken Confidence - The Answer

Continuing the series of Lesson Posts, this one is an extremely common challenge for everyone, athlete or not. It was submitted by @RandleGolf on Twitter.

"How do I stay confident while I'm not performing well?"

This is a question I receive every day, and if practiced consistently, can be game / life changing. The short term answer is simple in theory, more difficult in practice. Because of our emotional nature, staying calm and focused during these rough times in our first priority. Being able to see a clear picture of what's taking place is an important piece of this puzzle.

When things aren't going our way, and we begin to lose confidence, it's vital to look back to a time where we were playing our best. Draw from that experience(s), and bring it into our current situation. The key to this isn't the picture of past successes, but instead, the EMOTION that's linked to it. Our bodies react to emotion, so by attaching a positive and confident feeling to our past performance, it'll immediately bring a sense of restored confidence to our mind. Most fail when attempting to "draw from past experiences," due to this lack of visualized emotion. Visualizing a detailed picture of confident actions, and linking the powerful emotions to it, is absolutely critical!

For a long term solution, we must understand there are different types of confidence, but only one we should be striving for.

Fake Confidence

We pretend to act confident in all that we do, in order to hide how scared and insecure we truly are. We puff out our chest, talk about the wins under our belt, and make sure everyone knows that we know how special we are.

Dependent Confidence

Unfortunately, this is where most of us live, and is why this specific topic is discussed so often. We only feel confident and believe in ourselves when we're playing well. When we perform less than we think we should, all confidence disappears, and we begin to doubt all aspects of our our game. We hear it all the time, whether on t.v., from coaches, peers, or family:

"He's gotta find that confidence he had in the past... the type of confidence he had when when he was winning."

"When he starts playing better, he'll regain his confidence."

Sure, confidence can definitely be built upon when we're performing well, but doesn't have to be the only tool in our bag. The all-time greats understand that Dependent Confidence is a trap, inevitably leading to a loss of self belief.

True Confidence

This type of belief was there when we were born, and never leaves us. This intense confidence comes from deep in our core; a level of certainty that can't be taken away by anyone or anything. It's there during our highest level of performance, and remains after our most heart breaking defeat. It's an assurance that makes us feel invincible. Rather than a slave to our outcomes, we understand the true meaning of our steps, and belief in our process. We know we belong because of who we are as people, our preparation, passion, and dedication to our craft. This true confidence can't be shaken, no matter the result of our short term journey. It stays strong, and always reveals a true inner champion.

This is our goal. This is what we should be striving for in our every day preparation for greatness. This is the true definition of 1%!


Rettakat said...

For all the stuff I've read, trying to learn how to reach my goals, I've never once heard it explained this way! I didn't even know there WAS such a critter as "dependent confidence".

But now that you contrasted it with True Confidence, it becomes clear, and I can recognize it.

Truly, an eye opener! Thank you, Coach Dayne.

Dayne Gingrich said...

You're welcome! Dependant confidence is so natural, it never gets questioned. Doesn't have to be that way! Good luck! Keep me posted.