Updated: Apr 13, 2021
Mindset Made Simple Tip #33 - I'm Confident!
I got a good chuckle last week at my 8-year-old’s swimming practice when his coach reported that my son responded to the coach’s question saying, “I am confident. Probably more confident than I should be.”
This comes from the same kid who at 4 and 5 years old often proclaimed “I am great at that.” “That” being a lot of things, some of which he had never done before!
Where does this confidence come from, you say? My fear was (and still may be) that those who know me think this hyperbole is hereditary.
Trust me, I may walk with purpose, but I do not walk around saying “I am great at that,” nor do I feel that way often!
But maybe we should all feel that way more often!
Instead, we all have a tendency to beat ourselves up WAY TOO MUCH!
As my coach used to say “J (apparently she had to shorten J.J. 😊), you do things 10 times and 9 times you do it well, yet you choose to focus on the one time it could or should have been better! Remember the 9!”
This was great advice and even more perfect for me since I wore number 9!
I am pretty certain I am not the only one with this tendency. It is our nature…almost automatic…to look for the problem instead of the bright spots.
The first thing I do when working with athletes is discuss this tendency and explain that our brain is designed this way for one reason – TO SURVIVE. It wants today to look like yesterday and tomorrow to look like today.
And this is great…unless we need to change…or to improve!
To change and improve we need POSITIVE EMOTION and we aren’t naturally wired to be this way. We don’t have to work at finding the negative…it is automatic!
I’ve heard it said that our brain can be like living with an annoying roommate who wakes us as soon as we fall asleep to say, “remember how you screwed that up” or “you probably can’t do that because….” It isn’t necessarily this roommate’s goal to disrupt our sleep or to make us miserable. It’s just what he does.
If we had a roommate like that, we would either kick him out, move out or consider inflicting bodily harm upon him (or her) at 2:00 am!
Yet…we continue this pattern in our own minds EVERY SINGLE DAY and then put up with it!!
Then…we beat ourselves up for putting up with it. It can be a never-ending cycle! In this case, we are allowing today to look like yesterday…and the next day…and the next…
BUT IT DOESN’T have to be this way!
Our thoughts are not personal. They are simply THOUGHTS. Just because we think them DOES NOT MEAN THEY ARE TRUE!
It isn’t the thoughts in our head, the insult that was thrown our way or the mistakes we made. It is our response to any or all of these that makes the difference! Our response is MORE IMPORTANT and can cause greater harm than the thought, the insult, the mistake itself.
However, just like our annoying roommate, we are prone to get stuck in these loops of looking for the negative and then feeling as if we don’t measure up. Some psychologists call it preservation.
I listen to podcast after podcast of top-level performers in all walks of life who FEEL THIS WAY TOO! No matter what we achieve or who we are, we are not immune!
When we find ourselves thinking of the ONE instead of REMEMBERING the NINE, we can do a few things to help move toward much-needed positive emotion.
One thing that can move us past preservation is spending time thinking about the things we can control. Most of us spend about 60% of our time worrying about the things we can’t control and only 40% focusing on those things we can.
Thus, we waste time, energy and emotion on stuff we can’t change! (I think someone wrote a prayer about this a LONG time ago 😊).
We can also look a bit deeper into the things we can’t control and think of ways we may be able to influence them. Can we shift our perspective? Is it something that can be ignored? Can you change the way you think or feel about it? Is there something we can do to reduce the importance we are assigning to it?
If any of these apply, we then need to make a plan on how we will influence it!
If we focus on what we can control, plan or adjust to influence those we cannot and spend less time focusing on the rest, we too may feel more confident and end up saying “I am great at that!”
Here’s to kicking out the roommate and remembering the nine!
Have a great week!
P.S. Remember, if you are in and out of quarantine or need a positive activity to change things up due to cancellations, schedule a FREE STAFF or TEAM SESSION with me to talk about growing your team’s mental game!
Certified Mental Performance & Mindset Coach
firstname.lastname@example.org • 234-206-0946
Be strong and courageous. Joshua 1:9