There are very few people that wouldn’t like to be more confident. It’s one of those often illusive traits that is continuously pursued irrespective of level of achievement. Dr Joseph Parent, author of the book, Zen Golf, describes three levels of confidence. The first one is False Confidence where there is no substance and we are simply fooling ourselves. The second is Conditional Confidence which is outcome dependent and can only be supported by prior achievement. Unconditional Confidence is the third and is attached to a strong belief in what can be achieved. There is a forth, I would suggest, called True Confidence where there is a real alignment between skills (tangible) and beliefs (intangible) leading to an optimal outcome.
However how exactly do you create confidence? More critically which comes first, the skill or belief? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines confidence as “a feeling or belief you can do something well or succeed at something” which would seem to suggest that its belief driven. However many would also contend that it’s all about the quality and quantity of work you put into developing the skill and that it’s this “practice” that ultimately becomes the source of confidence.
To evaluate better let’s assess the reality of high performance one day and poor performance the next, when clearly there has been a negligible change in skill during this time. Clearly something has happened. The real answer lies in the need to not alone practice the skills but also to practice the beliefs; the two must operate in parallel. So we all know how to practice the skills, get some coaching and put in the time. But how do we practice beliefs?
According to the iPEC Coaching COR.E Performance Dynamics, confidence can result from the following disciplines or building “belief” blocks.
- Self-Awareness – mindful of what is happening around you
- Acceptance – accepting the past, good or bad but not acquiescing
- Conscious Choice – thoughtfully considering your options
- Trusting the Process – executing without reservation
When you work hard on these beliefs along with the tangible skills, then True Confidence will soar and practice might eventually make perfect.