I couldn’t resist writing another blog about what we can learn from sport for our confidence and resilience.  I was prompted by this article which has some valuable tips from sports psychologists and there’s a handy summary at the end.  https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/aug/21/how-to-win-at-life-what-sports-psychologists-can-teach-us-all

I especially liked Steve Peters https://chimpmanagement.com/ tip about thinking through in advance the possible consequences and how you would deal with each one eg “what if x happens?……..then I will……”.  This primes you for dealing with any eventuality and gives you the confidence to know you will cope. 

Here are my top tips for building your confidence

Performance = potential minus interference (@Timothy Gallwey).  Sometimes our performance in a situation does not match our potential, because of interference caused by our own unhelpful thoughts.  So,

  • Identify your ANTS (automatic negative thoughts).
  • Replace them with more helpful thoughts. 
  • Remind yourself of what you can do, rather than of what you can’t.

For example, if you are going to a job interview, you might have unhelpful thoughts such as “there’s a lot of competition/I haven’t got the skills/they already know who they want” etc.  Replace these with more helpful thoughts, such as “I’ve got skills in xyz, I’ve got as much chance as anyone, I’ve prepared well”.     

Visualise yourself performing well in the situation – and rehearse it too. 

For example, if you are worried about doing a presentation, see yourself walking into the room, standing at the front, being calm and controlled, hear yourself speaking confidently, picture the audience looking engaged, practice what you will do and say, think about how your topic will be interesting for them, feel your passion for your topic, believe that it is worth the effort.

Behave “as if” you are confident.  Your body and mind are linked.  If your body behaves “as if” it is confident, your thoughts and feelings will be more positive. 

  • Breathe deeply and relax your jaw and shoulders
  • Stand tall and make eye contact
  • Slow down your speech and lower the pitch of your voice
  • Smile and show an interest in others

Prime yourself for a confident state of mind.  These small actions create a positive upbeat mindset.

  • Manage your mood – do something that makes you feel good
  • Write down three positive things that have happened at the end of each day
  • Let positive feedback from others sink in and enjoy it.
  • Reward yourself and celebrate when things go well!

I love this quote from Vincent van Gogh:

If you hear a voice within you say, ‘you cannot paint’, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. 

In other words, believe in yourself and do it!  For more insights into confidence, charisma, resilience and more,  buy a copy of How to Get On with Anyone. Here are more blogs on self-confidence and self-esteem.