|Photo courtesy of ninikalviee.blogspot.com|
This past weekend wrapped up a busy week of cycling. Vincenzo Nibali winning the Giro after leading for nearly two thirds of the race. Tony Martin winning the Tour of Belgium and Freddie Rodriguez, at age 40, winning the US Professional Road Championship. Each of them is talented in their own right but also have one common trait that led them to success - confidence.
In a broad sense confidence is the ability to believe that you can reach your goal. But what gets in the way of your confidence? Probably most everything, if you let it!
There are external distractions: environment, competition, coaches, judges, critics, spectators, etc. and there are internal distractions: anxiety, self-doubt, worries, fear, negative self talk, etc. With low pressure you might experience one or two of these distractions but at a level such that they might actually help facilitate a good performance.
As pressure increases, the number of distractions and the level of disturbance from them continues to increase. Distractions are called distractions for a reason. They distract you from you goal(s). Not only do they distract you but they detract but allowing your attention and your energy to be taking in completely different direction rather than taking in the direction necessary to reach your goal. We get "suckered" into the shifting our focus on the negative instead of the positive and, as a result, performance suffers.
One way to build confidence is to keep distractions in check and ensure you have realistic goals. Some other ways are as follows:
- Act confidently - acting confidently helps you to think confidently and vice versa. If you have a chance to watch some of the Giro's mountain stages, look closely at Nibali. Never one did he show a sign of anxiety, even if internally there were times when he was concerned about who was up the road.
- Think confidently - self fulfilling prophecy: if you are thinking positively and confidently, positive and confident outcomes will follow.
- Think about past successes - try and think about success successful moments from your past, recall the feelings you had at that time and find a way replay those good feelings.
The Webster Dictionary defines confidence as "a feeling or consciousness of one's powers or of reliance on one's circumstances" and "the quality or state of being certain." Make a promise to yourself that you are absolutely committed to your journey, and that you will do all in your power to achieve it.