Dealing with low confidence
Some of the toughest athletes struggle with low confidence. Maybe it’s the team captain, a naturally gifted athlete or the admired hero. Even professional athletes experience confidence issues. High achieving athletes dealing with low self confidence are masters at covering up their weakness.
The inner criticism of worry or doubt can be brutal. Everyone knows you as a talented person. Your lack of confidence is hidden from public view. So much time is spent worrying that one day someone will discover you’re a fake.
The hidden truth
A conflict arises when you don’t walk your talk. The internal pressure to keep others from discovering the truth makes it difficult to remain on top of your game. Hiding the truth is draining.
Training more is the common choice to turn things around, but that’s rarely a confidence building solution. Mental game problems, including low confidence, can’t be worked out in the gym.
Low confidence solution
5 steps to gain self confidence
- Root. Your confidence is connected to specific thoughts and beliefs. Some build you up and others hold you back.
- Reality check. Many times our thoughts and beliefs, especially the ones which keep you stuck, are old and outdated. They don’t apply to who you are today.
- Refresh. Get curious with those old beliefs. See if a new belief or thought exists which is better suited for you. If you could hit your internal refresh button, what updated belief would replace the old version?
- Resolution. After the game, the losing and winning teams shake hands. It’s possible to shake hands with your old beliefs, and then move on. Accept that these beliefs served a purpose. Now it’s time to put them behind so you can focus on what’s before you.
- Reward. You are already achieving some pretty cool stuff. You have permission to own it (and celebrate your successes).
Not walking your talk is costly. Everything you do is affected when you’re hiding behind a mask. Imagine how things would change if you decided to stop battling your inner critic.
Low confidence hits bottom
Some athletes end up “hitting the bottom.” This is where you finally say “no more.” Reaching your bottom is a turning point. We each have a different bottom. The good news, however, is building confidence is possible even if you never bottom out.
You’ll recognize the moment when you’re ready to change. Yes, some hard work is required. The good news is that as an athlete, you’re better prepared than most people. You already possess the skills to build confidence.
Walk your talk
The goal is to walk your talk. Finally feel as confident on the inside as you appear on the outside. No more masks!
There will be times when low confidence resurfaces. All you need to do is go through the steps to get back on your game. Self confidence empowers you to do more than you imagined possible.
Challenge: Grab a sheet of paper and make four columns. Across the top have the first column be labeled What I want to achieve. Second column will be Actions to make it happen. The third column is My strengths to succeed and the fourth is Why I deserve to succeed.
First identify 3 things you want to achieve this season. Next identify very specific actions. The third column is where you list specific qualities or strengths you already possess. Column four is to keep you focused on your personal reason when the tough moments arise.
Use this to map out your season. Keep it really simple. Avoid the temptation to achieve more than 3 things at a time. This is your roadmap to compete with confidence.
Confidence Building Roadmap
|What I want to achieve||Actions to make it happen||My strengths to succeed||Why I deserve to succeed|
What actions will you take to remove this block once and for all?