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Confidence or Competitiveness?

Mindset Made Simple Tip #41 – What’s More Important, Being Confident or Competitive?

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What is more important for success? Is it better to be confident or competitive?

This is sort of like the chicken or the egg question. I am not sure there is a definitive answer. We all know that both are important and most peak performers are both CONFIDENT and COMPETITIVE.

Even so, we also know that even the most outstanding performers LACK CONFIDENCE way more than we would imagine or they would ever show!

No matter where we are in our season right now – getting ready to clinch, fighting for a spot in the tournament or trying to hang on and finish strong – our athletes are facing challenges – slumps, streaks, new expectations, self-doubt, over-excitement, disappointment – all which can wreak havoc on confidence.

You’ll notice that not everything in the above list of challenges is negative in nature. Even good things test our confidence.

Are we good enough? Prepared enough? Fast enough? Strong enough? Pretty enough? The list goes on and on!

I recently heard from a team I work with that they feel their erratic and disappointing performance seems to stem from their lack of confidence.

They wanted to know what they can do to boost their confidence and improve performance!

A great first step since self-awareness is our superpower!!

How do we manage our confidence? (Notice I said manage).

If I had an exact formula, I would be writing this tip from a cabana on a beach that I own, listening to the waves crash on the shore in my light-colored linen clothes and flip flops.

Instead, I am standing at my desk in my office in the basement of my house, which is beautiful, but it is no beach house 😊!

No matter who we are, what we do or how successful we have become, we are all in search of CONFIDENCE!

What is confidence, really? Why is it so fleeting? What can we do about it?

CONFIDENCE is simply this – the belief that we can figure things out!

REALLY? IT IS THAT SIMPLE? Sure it is! But simple doesn’t mean easy!

It is a belief. It is not tangible. It doesn’t have a true scientific measure by which we can say, try this and your confidence will raise by 18%.

Confidence is a feeling (that is why it is so fleeting – our feelings shift like the wind, especially when we are in our teens and 20s!).

As we become more self-aware, we sometimes find it is easier to change our actions than our beliefs or feelings.

With that in mind, maybe we should switch our focus from CONFIDENCE to something else when our confidence tank is low.

CONFIDENCE is something we feel.

COMPETING is something we do.

There it is! If it is easier to act than change the way we feel, then let’s COMPETE!

It doesn’t matter who we are COMPETING against, we control our competitiveness with effort, focus, energy and other things that ARE IN OUR CONTROL!

Even if you are the last team in the conference facing the league leader, YOU CAN COMPETE.

COMPETING IS A CHOICE. It is not a feeling. It is an ACTION.

You don’t have to feel confident to communicate, swing hard, defend well, or cheer loud.

You don’t have to feel confident, or even good, to sprint back on defense, take a charge, swing with two strikes or pick up an opponent’s tendencies.


One major difference between PEAK PERFORMERS and average players is their ability to act differently than they feel.

I heard it said that major league pitchers have their “A game” about 20% of the time, and even this does not ensure a victory. Either way, this percentage means that they are pitching without their best stuff 80% of the time! How can they ever win?

They know they CAN FIGURE IT OUT (confidence), but in the meantime, they COMPETE! They ACT like they own the mound.

They do what they can with what they have where they are!

Better yet – they do ALL they can, with ALL they have , where they are!


It is not a feeling. It is not a belief. It is what we do whether we are filled to the brim with CONFIDNECE or that tank is on empty!

So, what is more important, CONFIDENCE or COMPETITIVENESS?

I’ll vote for COMPETITIVENESS today since I have more control over it than my CONFIDENCE.

Maybe I’ll feel a bit different after I go out and COMPETE!

Here’s to COMPETING SMARTER, STRONGER AND BETTER and building our CONFIDENCE in the meantime!

Have a great week!


P.S. Thinking about implementing a more intentional Mental Performance program for next year? I can build one for you that fits your schedule and budget! Give me a call at 234-206-0946 or send me an email at

Julie Jones

Certified Mental Performance & Mindset Coach

SSB Performance • 234-206-0946



Be strong and courageous. Joshua 1:9


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