According to world renowned sports psychologist, Dr Bob Rotella, golf is simply a game of competence and confidence. The competence piece we can all relate to and most would contend that this is something you can continuously build, but the confidence piece feels a lot more elusive. For many there is something very innate about this and you either have it or you don’t.
If you were to align with some of the work of Carol Dweck relative to mindset, there might be some hope. She contends that people can have a predominance towards either a “fixed or a growth mindset”. The former essentially assumes that the skills and talents you have are fixed with little or no change over time. However the latter contends that whatever transpires can be a learning opportunity and people with this mindset see potential for growth rather than limitations.
This is a critically important distinction and has a tremendous bearing on how to build one’s confidence. Being of a fixed mindset has a tendency for fueling a results orientation which creates a clear distinction between good and bad, success and failure. This can play havoc with confidence and is not ideal in the long run. However being process oriented, you tend to see the outcome either as confirmation of what you have been working on or an opportunity to learn something new; either ways it’s positive. With this in mind here are the 5 keys to building confidence in whatever you do:
- Identify desired outcome – then plan / prepare accordingly
- Trust the process – believe in your preparation
- Stay totally present – forget about past events and future possible outcomes
- Execute to the best of your ability – focus on what you want to have happen
- Make necessary adjustments – learn as you go
Whether its golf, other sporting endeavors or some aspect of your personal / professional life, these are all applicable. Confidence is something that can be developed, but like most things in life it requires constant attention and practice.