3 Easy Tips to Improve Confidence & Chances for Life Success
Confidence is king when it comes to life success, as psychologists generally agree with Al Bandura’s theory on self-efficacy and how important it is to believe in your abilities if you are to succeed at a task. In fact, in my nearly 25 years of working with elite-level athletes, confidence is almost always the first thing mentioned by my clients when it comes to developing mental toughness and athletic success.
Developing confidence is important for many reasons, perhaps none more than the fact that when we’re confident, we’re a lot less likely to to experience debilitating anxiety that is often driven by fear. The question, then, is how do we develop confidence since it is so important for success? The following three pointers will help toward increasing self-confidence, and these tips are easier than you might expect:
- Ask “what’s the worst that can happen?” When we create realistic self-dialogue and temper our emotions while we appraise situations, we almost always feel a boost in confidence. In fact, you might want to ask 2 more questions — whats the best thing that could happen, and whats the most likely thing that will happen? These cognitive techniques allow for a better assessment of reality, and in almost all cases in life, the worst result isn’t going to be that bad and life will go on another day — even if you do fail. The real challenge is learning from failure, frustration, adversity, and stress — not being paralyzed by these experiences.
- Eliminate “perfectionist” thinking. If you think in dichotomous ways (i.e. black/white; right/wrong) you miss a lot growth opportunities in the shades of grey of life. Perfectionists strive for absolute perfection, often leaving them at-risk and vulnerable to missing growth that occurs — even in losses. Furthering this point, perfectionists also struggle finding happiness in their endeavors as they never seem to get to a place where they can recognize their success, and as a result their confidence doesn’t grow as much as it could.
- Set goals, journal, reward. Improve your focus by setting specific, measurable, controllable goals, and journal your progress as you work toward attaining your goals. Reward yourself when you see progress, and enjoy the process (not just the final outcomes). By taking this approach, you will more regularly get into Flow (or, as athletes like to say, “the Zone”), and you will pay more attention to your success rather than your failures.
It is very worthwhile to work on improving self-confidence, as countless psychology research studies support the connection between self-efficacy and peak performances in life. For more information please visit the AHPS website, or check out The Mental Toughness Guide to Athletic Success.