Hi everyone, I hope you are back on track in your day to day (for those who went on vacation last week), and hopefully you are ready for a new blog post.
Today I’d like to talk to you about confidence, which to me is probably the first trait that a successful person must have. Why do I say the first? Because to my understanding, it is impossible to pursue something if you don’t believe you can accomplish it. Look at any of your role models, and I bet none of them portray a lack of confidence. They are not scared of failing, although they know they will at times, but they don’t let fear stop them from trying again, and again.
I will give you a few do’s and don’ts to get rid of fear, or at least live with it and ignore it, and boost your confidence by letting it grow in you. Now, like Harv Eker says “don’t believe a word I say“, because I am mostly sharing with you things that have worked for me, and am only speaking for myself and my experience seen in others, but hopefully, this will work for you.
Don’t second-guess yourself
It is not a fun place to be, going scared through life can kill you. It can bring your morale down and make you mentally or even physically weak. If you go out there believing “maybe success is not for me”, or “maybe I’m not as good as I think”, these thoughts will eat you alive. When you focus on your weaknesses, you are 10 times weaker and prone to insecurity. Focus on your strengths and believe that you already are what you want to be. Make a recap of all of your accomplishments, and have them at the tip of your brain, so you remember who you are in the event that you start second guessing yourself.
Overconfidence can be a risk too
Confidence leads you to believe that you can actually accomplish something, and its a motivation and morale booster, but if you are falling into overconfidence, it may be risky. We all have seen people ego’s blind them from the reality, because they believe that the previous success will be in everything they do. They start believing they have the “Midas touch”, and sooner or later the fall is worse, since they have been in that foolish belief for so long.
This reminds me of the 2004 Boston Red Sox, who had a great season, and probably one of the teams with the most chemistry that I have ever seen. I think anyone (except for Yankee fans) would want to be a part of that team. Everybody got along, and they shared one mission, to win the 2004 World Series. When they faced the Yankees, it wasn’t easy, the started trailing 0-3 in a best of 7 series. They believed in themselves and were confident, the motivation and morale went skyrocketing, and the Yankees, being on top 3-0, fell into overconfidence, they forgot that the Red Sox had such chemistry and probably the best offense in the majors. The unexpected happened, the Red Sox came back from dead and won 4 games to 3, and went on to become the 2004 World Series champions.
They key is self evaluation
You might be asking. Ok, so you are saying that I should be really confident, but not overconfident. How do I find balance?
To my understanding, the key is self-evaluation. That means, that the first step is believing that you can accomplish something, the second step is actually having the courage to attempt it, and the third step is having the skill to pull it off.
If you don’t pull it off, make a self-assessment, identify your potential opportunities, diminish your weaknesses, work on your strengths. If you do pull it off, make a self assessment too! Think to yourself, why did I accomplish it, and how could I’ve done it better? In going to my ultimate goal, what’s the next step, and how should I start getting ready? Remember that success is not an endpoint, but a lifestyle, and habits will make you successful. So, evaluate, evaluate, evaluate, and don’t think, “Why didn’t I win?” “Why did I fail?”, instead, think “How can I win?” “How can I succeed?”. It probably sounds as semantics at first; but once you start doing this, you open a space for improvement in the future. By doing the opposite, you focus on lamenting and thinking about something that is already in the past.
Compete with yourself through positive thinking
This one is a very personal recommendation, and I have found that many people think this way too. When you are faced with a challenge, ALWAYS look at the upside. Thinking positive is the key to attaining confidence. If you are running a marathon and are thinking how many people will pass you, chances are that a lot of them will. If you go out there thinking one by one who are you going to pass, it’s challenging, encouraging, and you pass one, then focus on the next one, until you hit a high confidence spot and start passing lots of people. I think I shared with you this thought from a marathon runner once, but I think is good to share it again, he said “When my body can’t go any further, my mind takes over”. You see, that’s what I am talking about! talk to yourself, motivate yourself to take one more step, if it is in the gym, one more rep, if it is in a negotiation, push those numbers to the limit, even if it is at sometimes overwhelming and time consuming, because at the end, the satisfaction that you will feel will be worth it. Finishing that marathon successfully or closing that negotiation on your terms will be worth it, but stay confident, because in the end, that little extra that you give yourself by pushing, makes a big difference, it’s the difference between ordinary and extraordinary.