"A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence." -David Hume
What gives us the right to have confident thoughts? We all have experienced the ebb and flow of our confidence being high and other times non-existent. If we could rate our confidence on a scale of 1-10 for different areas in our life, what would those numbers look like? Think of our confidence in our ability as parents, spouses, employees, athletes, and competitors. Would the numbers be the same for those difference identities? Last week, we discussed that confidence is the ability to fully commit to the moment and have the thoughts and evidence to back it up. It is not enough to just have confidents thoughts about the situation or event we find ourselves in. Our brains will find ways to poke holes in those encouraging thoughts.
"Do you really believe you can accomplish that?" "Are you sure you can actually succeed?""What gives you the right to be confident right now? Look at your track record and past experiences." "You're just lying to yourself and faking it."
If we don't have a response for these accusatory questions, then we are dead in the water and our confidence is hollow. It's no wonder it ebbs and flows.
To reach a stable and consistent level of confidence regardless of the situation we find ourselves in, we want to back it up with evidence that supports our ability to fully commit to that moment. This is where engaging in mental training before we step into the moment matters. We can step into each performance moment with evidence that proves we're capable of success! Last week we identified thoughts we like to experience when it's good to be us. This week we are going to back up those confident thoughts by providing evidence to support why we have earned the right to have those supportive thoughts.
For every confident thought we want to experience, we need to identify three pieces of evidence to support and back it up. For example, if the confident thought is, "I can do difficult things," then write down three examples of accomplishing difficult things. Even if we are walking into a moment that we have never experienced before, we can rely on related events or skills to leverage as evidence. Whether that be walking into an interview, sales pitch, test, meeting, or competition that is new, write down and identify three pieces of evidence beforehand that supports our ability to be confident in that moment. While this may not guarantee the moment goes the way we want, it certainly puts us in a better position to be successful compared to leaving our thoughts up to chance.
What gives you the right to have confident thoughts? The answer is the body of work, time, effort, and experiences we have accumulated over a lifetime. Be specific and write the evidence down!
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