In last week's blog post, we discussed self-image vs. confidence, and I encouraged you to start a list of your previous achievements. Confidence can be further broken down into re-active confidence and pro-active confidence. Re-active confidence is confidence based on waiting for a positive event or result before we exude confidence. Pro-active confidence is where we bring existing confidence into the situation which will help us (more often than not) achieve that which we are seeking. So, how do we bring more pro-active confidence into each situation? First, we build upon previous successes, and that is the reason for building the list we suggested. In a book I read a few years ago called "Mastering Your Inner Game," Dr. David Kauss used this technique of helping his clients use their list of previous successes in order to help them build a highlight reel of previous successes (he calls is the 'Psych Skill Pack'). His approach was used specifically for athletes, so I am generalizing it for a wider usage. Here is how it works:
Create a list of every past success (large or small) where you maximized your full potential; also include periods of steady successes and not just peak successes
Go through and put a star by the ones that were the most impactful or profound for you
Having identified the top 5 most impactful moments, then you want to find what he calls 'the spot' - a spot that can be completely private for up to 30 minutes that you have easy and reliable access to. This spot you will use solely for working on your mental game. For me, that spot is an adirondack chair in my backyard that I can have privacy in the mornings after my workout or at night when the kids are settled
While in your spot, after a few deep belly breaths, close your eyes and start to replay one of the 'previous successes' you identified. When our brainwaves slow down, our ability to recall memories increase dramatically (like the way detectives are able to get specific details from victims related to crimes). The idea is to create these 3-4 dimensional memories with such detail that we can easily recall these successes at times when we need to draw upon our confidence. Having this ability to easily re-call previous successes allows us to quickly get into the zone, refocus our purpose and attention, and help create the right mindset for whatever it is we are planning to do that day
Form the habit of using the spot a few times per week to really create clear memories of your previous successes. Before long the well to dipping into your confidence is not so deep anymore and will be much easier to access
As you begin to master this process, you can then use the time to develop other impactful scenarios to create a deeper well of confidence like: past meaningful obstacles that you have had to overcome, envisioning the best qualities of people you consider heroes (so you can start to implement them in yourself), and recalling with great detail specific places you have experienced that have powerful meaning to you (childhood vacation spot, family retreat, special travel destination, etc)
I think one of the challenges we face as we get older and face more and more experiences, we tend to forget the incredible experiences we have had and can easily lose touch with the confidence that we once had or confidence that we believe we should have. Kind of like a mountain climber only looking up to see the steep inclines ahead vs. the ability to glance back occasionally to see how far they have already come as well as enjoy the view from where they are in that current moment. I encourage you to start the process of what we have outlined today to further fuel your tank for unlimited confidence that you can carry with you in your day-to-day journey.
Have a great week!