24 Mar Confidence.
What does it feel like? I asked.
Well, my mom said, leaning over to me like a secret, it feels like a gust of wind blowing inside your heart.
It feels like bright yellow paint.
No one doubts the value of confidence. It’s one of the most important qualities in determining your success in life.
Research from Carnegie Mellon University, shows that people prefer confidence over expertise.
As a recovering awkward person myself – an introverted geek in middle school. (I was more of an academic than an athlete) I wanted to understand how does someone become more popular, more confident?
As an entrepreneur, I’ve gained experience and collected confidence along the way — but I also wanted to learn how to STAY confident.
Like motivation — confidence ebbs and flows
Here are 5 research backed tactics that you need to know.
# 1 Surround Yourself with People who Take you Higher
Is there a person who encourages and reminds you of your potential?
If so make a note of who they are and send them a thank you note today!
For me it was my dad – he instilled the “can do” spirit by what he said – and what he did.
Richard Shell a professor at the Wharton School in his book Springboard: Launching Your Personal Search for Success says the phenomenon of transferred expectations, or better known as a “self-fulfilling prophecy,” occurs for two reasons.
1. When you’re told you’re good by someone you respect, you believe it.
2. When YOU believe you can do it, you work harder.
Together, these things make you do better—so you have a reason to be confident.
To put it in another way, if someone holds a high expectation for you let’s say a parent professor coach mentor)
They start treating you differently, giving you more challenging work to do.
There’s power when you’re in a high-performing/high-expectation social environment versus a low-performing/low-expectation one.
Your social setting strongly affects not only what YOU believe is possible—it also determines the EFFORT you make, and the results you achieve.
The more you stretch and LEARN the more you achieve and the more your confidence increases.
#2 Focus on Effort and Learning
When you focus on learning, failure is just a part of the process and won’t shake your confidence.
Experiences like taking test or giving a speech aren’t a gauge of your self-worth or your innate ability.
When you look at them the right way, they measure how much improvement you’ve made.
Building on the research of Carol Dweck, you want to have a “growth mindset”
Measure yourself by effort, not by results.
Measure yourself by hard work rather than natural talent.
This way you’ll be proud of any result that follows deliberate effort—even when the result isn’t quite what you expected.
One of the greatest coaches of all time John Wooden reminds us:
“Just try to be the best you can be;That’s in your power.”
#3 Create a Ritual
What gets you in the zone?
What gets you feeling ready?
Going for a run?
For me, it’s listening to R&B, Hip Hop 90s music and sitting cross legged on a meditation pillow.
Research from Harvard professor Francesca Gino says rituals have the power to make you more confident.
“We have physiological measures. If you engage in a ritual prior to a potentially high-anxiety task (like speaking in public) you end up being calmer by the time you approach the task and more confident in what you’re about to do.
As a result of that, you perform better.
Rituals bring back a sense of control and reduces the level of anxiety that people experience.
# 4 Accumulate Small Wins
Did you know that even Olympic athletes need a boost?
Some Olympic athletes train in a way that’s designed to instill confidence.
Rather than focusing on the gold, they set smaller achievable goals and build from there.
When they accumulate these little wins, their confidence grows until they feel unstoppable.
Daniel Chambliss author of Champions: The Making of Olympic Swimmers
tracked the techniques athletes used to compete in the Olympics.
One of the common threads in this training was to focus on a series of “small wins” in training rather than on the larger goal of winning a medal.
The swimmers “found their challenges in small things like working on a better start this week, polishing up their backstroke technique next week, planning how to pace their swim.”
As a result, they got a boost from their minor achievements,” which gave them the confidence to attempt more each day.
#5 Get a lucky charm
In the book:
The Courage Quotient: How Science Can Make You Braver
research shows good luck charms inspire confidence.
Lucky charms are like placebos that tap into a circuit in the brain that controls our expectations and helps us navigate the world.
These objects activate good-luck beliefs, and often are the catalyst to people’s self-confidence
Lucky thinking, it turned out in this study, positively affected people’s ability to solve puzzles and play golf!
People with a lucky charm performed significantly better than those who had none.
Michael Jordan reportedly wore his University of North Carolina shorts under his Chicago Bulls uniform.
Only you can decide what object to imbue with this lucky magical power.
Chances are, if you believe you’ll do your best work with that special coin in your pocket … you surely will.
To recap, here are the five research based tactics when you need to collect your confidence
1. Surround yourself with people who believe in you
2. Focus on effort and learning
3. Create a ritual
4.Accumulate small wins
5.Activate a lucky charm
You CAN with deliberate practice,
build confidence and make it CONSISTENT in your life.
Which tactic will you try first?
Time to get to work
“It’s not always the people who START out the smartest who END up the smartest.”
— ALFRED BINET, THE INVENTOR OF THE IQ TEST