How To Build Confidence - Part 1

Has a setback dropped your confidence? 
It’s normal, and is a part of the normal process of climbing to higher levels.  Think about it: if something has got you down, or it seems daunting, that means that thing Is Hard to Do.  If you aspire to become your best, then this cannot be accomplished by doing easy things, since anything of value will require energetic input, hard work, and effort to achieve.  In your quest to reach high goals, it will invariably require you to learn to do new things that are challenging and which may suck, and which will push you beyond your comfort zone.  Embrace this. If you were already good at it, then you wouldn’t need to learn it (though you should still practice it).  

By the nature of something being difficult, it will guarantee that there will be some tough moments along its road to success.  Don’t lament this, but seek it.  Olympic Champion Jordan Burroughs had several mantras leading up to his Gold Medal, once of them was ‘embrace the grind’; when you’re in the midst of a grind – be it in sport or in life- see it as a sign of progress on the way to something better because you’re doing the right things needed to get better (e.g.: you could ensure 100% that you would never fall down if you always kept the training wheels on your bike).  Embrace this grind so that you can use it to grow.  As you may imagine, this feeling of being down, daunted, or overwhelmed is only temporary if you can reach deeper to push further towards your goals. 

Stew Smith is a former US Navy SEAL who has trained hundreds of people to successfully navigate their famously difficult training program that forges some of the most famously confident men on earth.  His advice to guys before entering the gauntlet: “Doubt Yourself”.  This seems odd at first, but then he explained it to mean that not only is it normal to doubt yourself at some point, but it is actually inevitable that it will happen if you push yourself hard enough to – might as well get it over with and get past it.  You realize that the task is actually manageable to do it, and the rest, as they say, ‘is gravy’.  The idea is that you are going to end up doubting yourself at some point in the process anyways when things get really tough, so that when you later get to that point again of things getting so tough that others contemplate quitting, you simply soldier on to get through it with a confident grin because you have already resolved that doubt will not stop you; you can even laugh it off when it tries to get you again because you have already beaten it.  From here, you develop that outer and inner armor which protects you from the negative doubts and distractions, and you thus become a hardened machine committed to achieving your goal no matter what obstacle or adversity may try to interfere.  So get ahead of the game: Doubt yourself early, and then Dispense with it.  You become unstoppable.

If you’re endeavoring to do hard things, sometimes setbacks will occur and on occasion you’re going to feel overwhelmed. Don’t sweat it.  Know that it is normal, and that you shouldn’t succumb to it.  It’s part of the process of getting better, so take encouragement in it and don’t let it get you down.  In fact, if things have been coming too easy to you for too long, it may be time to find ways to push yourself to new challenges in order to keep your competitive edge.  In time you will develop a supreme confidence with the knowledge of having persevered through a tough time and that there is nothing that is too tough to accomplish, built on the foundation that you know you took on great challenge and that it could not break you, but built you.