If I could force all of the baseball players I know to read just one of my blog posts, it would be this one. However, the subject matter pertains to not only baseball and sports but also to everyday life.
Conviction in your beliefs and self-confidence in your abilities are two of the most important factors in becoming an elite athlete, performer, entrepreneur or anything else you’re striving for.
You have to believe that you can throw 95 MPH. You have to believe that your speech will get a positive reception. You have to believe that your business plan will succeed. You have to believe that the post-game meal will still be hot by the end of the game.
Maybe less of the last one, but as you will see, belief is one of the most important attributes of successful people in all professions.
“If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will do it for you.” Kobe Bryant
Belief is like the seed of a humongous redwood tree. A tiny seed of belief, along with proper care and dedication, will skyrocket your dreams to the staggering size of the 350-foot redwood.
However, having a belief that you will succeed is not enough. You have to constantly strengthen that belief through your purpose, hard work and daily routines. With consistent dedication, your beliefs will subconsciously grow stronger. This brings success which will in turn bolster your conscious beliefs and feelings of confidence.
“To achieve your potential or live your real possibilities, somewhere deep in your core you have to choose to go after your dreams. You also have to create an underlying belief that you can do it. When you dream big dreams and focus on the little daily steps that will take you there, you nourish your long-term commitment, your focus, your confidence, and your belief in your mission,” said sports psychologist Terry Orlick.
Here’s the life cycle of belief:
Creating long-term goal – belief in achieving goal – daily dedication and perseverance – belief grows stronger through subconscious repetition – small victories strengthens confidence – belief grows both consciously and subconsciously – achieve long-term goal – experiencing success of attaining goal leads to bigger and better goals.
You need strong beliefs to jumpstart your goals and maintain confidence in achieving your dreams. Belief and confidence go hand-in-hand like wood bats and pine tar or travel ball and a lighter wallet.
Confidence in life, especially in athletics, is fundamental to success and strengthens mental health. With confidence, you can brush off setbacks and reinforce your self-worth.
So, what’s the most effective way to consistently play and live with confidence?
Consistent, positive self-reinforcement is key to training your brain to remain confident despite any situation you encounter. Since we are what we repeatedly do (thank you Aristotle), vehemently maintaining confidence will rewire your subconscious to know that you can do anything you set your mind to.
“She believed she could, so she did.” – R.S. Grey
Our minds are vast, but they are very responsive to our thoughts and actions. The subconscious does not decipher between good and bad thoughts. It only reinforces the messages that we consistently send it. So, if we’re repeatedly filling our brain with confident thoughts, then over time, it will respond with confidence automatically.
Try this exercise for yourself. Find a quiet room, close your eyes and relax. This exercise is most effective if done while laying down on your back, but you can also do it standing or sitting. Take a few deep breaths through your nose then exhale slowly. Relax your muscles as best you can and clear your head.
Once you are relaxed, think of something you really want to accomplish. It could be throwing 95 MPH or finishing that essay that’s due at midnight. With your eyes closed, repeat in your head, “I can do this,” or “be confident now.” Repeat one of these mantras while thinking about achieving your desired goal. Try to actually “see” yourself accomplishing what you want.
After a few minutes of this, you should be feeling more confident and capable of attaining your goal(s). This is literally strengthening your brain’s confidence for success. Imagine if you did this exercise daily!
So, what’s the easiest way to be more confident? Simply be confident with the utmost conviction and as often as possible, and the brain will be wired to emit confidence subconsciously. Also, consistency in your daily routines will boost confidence, because you’ll know that you prepared as best you could, and you’ll be ready when competition, or any other obstacle, strikes.
Orlick, Terry. In Pursuit of Excellence. Champaign, Human Kinetics, 2008.
https://www.acudemy.com/improve-confidence-in-yourself/ (Image courtesy)