5 Keys to Building Confidence

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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.

golfIf 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.

Optimum Performance

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When you consider any personal, professional or organizational success you have had, your performance leading up to this is obviously a significant factor. It’s also fair to say that one’s desire for success is directly proportional to what you put into it; let’s call this effort. However effort alone does not guarantee success. To increase these odds, one needs to achieve Optimum Performance.

performanceLet’s consider this relative to where an outcome was less than desirable. Perhaps you lost a big customer or you hit 10 shots over your golf handicap or you had a big row with your teenage daughter. In all cases it is most likely that the intent going in was to achieve a positive result; every effort was made to achieve this, but sadly the result did not reflect this. Why is that?

In most cases, the “knowledge” is typically ever present and fully utilized, but there’s a key component called “energy” that is often seriously lacking. Optimum Performance can only be achieved through a critical balance of Situational Knowledge and Personal Energy.

Situational Knowledge is defined as the intellectual or physical skills required to engage in a meaningful way. Based on the examples above this would relate back to understanding the selling process, the ability to swing a golf club and skills of appropriate parenting respectively. These are the basics or fundamentals and can always be enhanced through experience, training, reading, practice, etc. However it only serves as the sketched outline if we were to use the metaphor of a picture.

Success is more assured if Situation Knowledge is coupled with Personal Energy. The latter is defined as the positive level of motivation and engagement presented in a given situation. It’s about how you show up with authenticity and commitment. It builds on the Situational Knowledge and is truly the illuminating color that brings to life the metaphorical picture mentioned previously.

By achieving this blend of knowledge and energy, optimum performance is assured and consequently success is more likely.