Ghandi once famously said that our beliefs become our thoughts, which then become our words, our words then become our actions. Our actions then become our habits, our habits our values, and our values our destiny. This is undoubtably true of athletes when we think about how so closely confidence is linked to success. Without jumping around the page too much here, as a former collegiate and professional athlete, I can firmly recommend five strategies that help form strong habits and cultivate a confident mindset.
Choose your circle wisely
Who you surround yourself with has a tremendous influence on who you will become and is reflective of who you are now. These will be the people who are either going to the gym with you to get up extra shots or the ones egging you on to come to a party with them. They'll be the ones who are skipping class or getting an extra hour of study hall with you. Bottom line: do they make you better or do they bring you down?
Seek the Truth
It takes a person of high character to actively seek out information (particularly about themselves) that they may not want to hear, but need to hear. This is where your circle comes in to play. Surround yourself with people who care about you so much they are willing to tell you something you need to hear in order to help you, and are willing to say it even if it makes you mad or upset. Remember, it's never easy to hear those types of things, the saying "the truth hurts" exists for a reason, but it will ultimately make you better.
No matter how much or how little success you are having at this moment, do not stop working. You have to believe in your ability to reach your goals and that hard work will pay off, it always does. Now, there is a massive difference between believing in yourself and being entitled to an outcome because you think you've worked hard for it. This goes back to having solid people you trust to be honest with you.
Here's the kicker though, you must be receptive to what they say and at all costs avoid shooting the messenger! You are enlisting the help of someone to give you a different perspective than your own, which is absolutely critical for your growth as a player and person.
Have selective hearing
The one voice you need to be listening to, even if you are not religious, is the voice of faith. Faith, or believing in yourself, is the voice that will tell the critics and fans to be silent, because they don't know your process. They don't know the sweat, blood, and tears that you put in; they don't know what you are working towards; and really, they don't know you.
Trust the process
If you haven't noticed already, the four lessons before this are all interwoven in some way. Ultimately, these all constitute your process, and when you are confident that you are doing things the right way, which is in accordance with your values and vision, then you must trust that with persistent action and work, you will get to where you want to go.
There will undoubtably be times you are tested on this, and your tests may come at times when you aren't ready for them, that's why it is so important to have good people in your circle you can lean on and to help you through. They are there not only to tell you what you need to hear, but to be positive with you when you are having a hard time doing that for yourself.
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