How To Build Real and Durable Confidence



“If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it.” — Jesse Jackson

What do we learn from sports psychology about real and durable confidence?

Lasting confidence doesn’t come from your track record.

And, it doesn’t come from outside factors.

Real and durable confidence comes from the inside out.

You can learn how to build self-confidence through simple confidence skills that you can practice daily.

In Overachievement: The New Science of Working Less to Accomplish More, John Eliot, Ph.D. shows us how to build real and durable confidence from the inside out.

First Comes Confidence, Then Comes Success

Don’t build your confidence from your track record.  That’s fragile.  Base it on things you control, such as your mindset and your actions.

Via Overachievement:

“You make a big sale, close a deal, or hit one out of the park, and you feel great.  But that delight is not to be confused with real and durable confidence. 

First comes confidence, then success. 

Otherwise, there would be no billionaires or candidates for the White House. 

In fact, people who base their confidence on past or even current successes often lose their sense of dedication and commitment. 

It all seems so easy, so why keep working hard?  Worse still, by basing confidence on your track record, you open yourself up to a nasty fall. 

When you run into a series of setbacks or outright failures, you are less likely to be able to pick yourself up and fight back.”

Don’t Depend on the Approval of Others

Avoid dependent confidence.  Own your confidence from the inside out.

Via Overachievement:

“Bouncing back is even harder if your confidence comes from outside factors: depending on the approval of your spouse or college classmates, on the bottom line of your business, on your coach or the critics, on the opinions of analysts reviewing your stock at Merrill Lynch or in The Wall Street Journal. 

This is what psychologists call ‘dependent confidence.’ 

We see this a lot among athletes who are extremely confident under a coach who thinks they’re a real ‘go-to” player. 

But when they graduate from high school or college or move to the next level and run into a coach who may not be as impressed, their confidence — and their ability to perform at high levels — evaporates.”

Practice Confident Thinking

You build your confidence by starting with a confident mindset and confident thinking.

Via Overachievement:

“Soon after Arnold Schwarzenegger arrived in the United States in 1968, he made a prediction. 

He would become a movie star, make millions, marry a glamorous woman, and wield political power. 

The young Schwarzenegger’s past stacked up quite heavily against such dreams:  He was an Austrian body builder short on money … and on English.  But he didn’t rely on feedback from others to decide how he would approach his future. 

Whatever you think of Arnold’s acting or his politics, it is hard to deny his brilliance as a confident thinker.”

Key Takeaways

Here are my key takeaways:

  • Confidence comes before success.   Confidence has to come before success so that you can take effective action towards your success.  If you simply base your confidence on your track record, then you have a weak foundation.  When failures or setbacks happen, you lose your confidence.
  • Don’t base your confidence on external factors.  Rather than externalize your confidence, such as on your track record, you have to base your confidence on what you control and your ability to take action.
  • Confidence is a mindset.   Confidence is a decision.  You have to decide to be confidence and drive from there.  You have to ask yourself, what would you do if you were confident and act like that.

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