One of the most common questions I am asked as a sport psychologist, always relates back to the issue of self-confidence, how you get it and how it can be lost. Often, clients come into my office wanting to know how they can be more successful in their chosen sport, but also want to know what they have to do to become more confident. The connection between confidence and success is very close. Many people commonly ask me which comes first, confidence or success? I usually throw this question back to my clients and ask them. Some say confidence, some say success.
I believe confidence is ultimately the foundation of success or failure. Too often, we base how we feel on the results of your game or competition. Consequently, if you fail, you will often feel good about yourself. At the other extreme, if you succeed, you will often feel really good about who you are. However, that to me, can be part of the problem. If you base how you feel about yourself too much on how you perform, you can be on an emotional roller coaster. If you base how you feel about yourself more on who you are than on how you perform, I believe you will be better able at dealing with the failures you may encounter along the way.
Recently, when I brought this topic up on my weekly radio show, one very intuitive caller, stated that he agreed that solid self-confidence is the foundation for success in anything in life, but that proper preparation has to go along with solid self-confidence. It doesn’t matter what sport you play, but once you have learned the appropriate skills that will give you a chance to succeed, then it comes down to how well prepared you are, which will result in a higher level of self confidence. If you equate believing in yourself with the score of the game, then you will feel either really good about yourself if you win, or really bad about yourself if you lose. As I stated, believing in your abilities is the key to becoming successful in the long run. Building your self-confidence by setting realistic short-term goals can help you feel more confident, more comfortable and in the end will help you develop the success we all want to achieve.