Confidence is one of the most misunderstood aspects of high performance in order to understand what real confidence is, you must understand what confidence is not:
Confidence is not your track record
You make a big sale, close a deal, or hit a homerun, that will make you feel great and proud of yourself, but is that really confidence? By basing your confidence on your track record, you open yourself up to a nasty fall. When you run into a series of setbacks or outright failures, you are less likely to be able to pick up yourself and fight back. Bouncing back is even harder if your confidence comes from outside factors: depending on the approval of your spouse or college classmates, on the bottom line of your business, on your coach or the critics. A great example of true confidence is Arnorld Schwarzenegger. He is an Austrian bodybuilder who was short on money, and on English. When he arrived to the United States, he predicted: He would become a movie star, make millions, marry a glamorous woman, and wield political power. Do you think he relied on feedback from others to decide how he would approach his future? Regardless of what you think about his efficiency in political power, it's hard to deny his brilliance as a confident thinker.
Confidence is not a button to be pushed.
Confidence is a mental habit, and like any habit, it needs practice in order replace the non-confident mentality with a confident one. Sticking with confident thinking in the face of adversity and for long enough haul, is the purity of confidence itself—and the definition of an exceptional thinker.
Confidence does not change your physical skills
If you don't have the right skills or proper training, you are not likely to set your field on fire, no matter how confidently you try to think. Confidence will not suddenly make up for five years or not going to the gym, or for your lack of business experience. Confidence is about having belief and impetus to improve your knowledge base and expand your skill sets, and the gumption to put in years of hard work behind the scenes while it isn't yet paying off.
Confidence is different from "false confidence"
False confidence is the intrapersonal version of the self-esteem movement: We tell ourselves we're great when we know full well that it's not true. With a little swagger and some expensive tailoring, you may be able to persuade the hiring director that you are the best person for the job. But if the skill or the experience is not there, you will not be the best person, and deep down you will know it, which is a major ingredient for low confidence. Confidence needs to be based on tangible facts and solutions, inner talent, things you can build upon, potential, actions that you can take, directions in which you are determined to head.
There is no such thing as overconfidence.
In cases where an "overconfident individual loses on anything, it is easy to assume that overconfidence was the culprit. When in fact it was due to the lack of preparation of such event. They slacked off, didn't do the extra preparation. Scaling down your confidence is hardly the answer; can you imagine going into the event low on preparation and low on confidence? The best strategy for success is to be irrationally confident, and unveliebably prepared.
Confidence is not arrogance.
There are people out there who want to believe that too much passion or big dreams or even success are marks of arrogance. Success just annoys the hell out of some people, and they are eager to cut you down. When reporters ask Tiger woods "do you think you will win today's match?" Of course he's going to say yes, he is not being arrogant, can you imagine him saying otherwise?
The way you want your confidence to be perceived is up to you. You can have internal confidence, which is the confidence that radiates without the need or grand gestures. And there is displayed confidence, which is the one where the individual vocalizes his confidence. This type of confidence is the one most likely to be misunderstood with real arrogance. Now, social arrogance is thinking that you are better than other people in general. Confidence has nothing to with your worth as a human being, or with a comparison of yourself to others.
You should not use an external factor to measure your worth, or to get your confidence from. True confidence comes from within, from knowing that you have something to offer to the world, or are in the quest of figuring that out.
In good health,
Efren Guerrero Rodriguez
High Performance Personal Training