loss of confidence

No question about it, self-belief is the most important mental skill.

Belief and trust eventually become the ONLY difference between those who eventually reach continued success and those who don’t or can’t sustain it.

Confidence is King. In the game of chess, when the king dies, the game is over! So, it’s how the game is lost! If there is a loss of confidence and self-assuredness, it’s tough to get it back. We have to start a new game.

So, what’s the only way to overcome a loss of confidence?

Notice I didn’t write a lack of confidence. And that’s crucial.

A lack of self-efficacy means there’s not enough, there’s a shortage, which means WAY more work, planning, strategy, and execution is needed to fill this lack.

A loss on the other hand is temporary. We’ve lost, we’ll be back.  We’ll have to start a new game!

I don’t have a lack of keys for my car. I’ve merely lost my keys. Having to go to the dealer or GM headquarters and get new keys manufactured would be awful. Losing my keys is no fun either, but I know I’ll find them, I just have to look in the right spots.

So, Here’s How To Overcome A Loss Of Confidence


Remove the Issue-

Jack Nicklaus once was asked why he played so poorly the week prior to winning the tournament. He answered “Oh, I slept awful last week, very poor bed. This week, I slept great!”

In the 1992 U.S. open, Ian Woosnam hit an awful shot on the par 3 twelfth hole. He immediately turned to his caddy and said “there’s something wrong with that golf ball.” Next hole, after switching balls, he pured it right down the middle of the fairway.

Why would these greats not accept responsibility and just say “yeah, I sucked!”  Because that would mean that they sucked! And they didn’t believe that. They believed the situation or external event caused the mistake. 

We need to remind ourselves and others that “self-belief” is NOT the issue! And it’s true! Confidence is a feeling, not thoughts, and deep down they really believe in themselves. So, letting them know trust is NOT the issue means there’s nothing wrong with them.

We need to remove confidence as THE issue.


Flank the Confidence-

B. H. Liddell Hart was a military strategist who examined over 250 campaigns. He looked at what decided the outcome of battles. In almost every campaign it was never just a frontal assault! He found that most battles were won by an “indirect approach.”  A flanking strategy —- A quick move that caught the enemy off guard and they were able to get behind the opposing forces.

The only way to overcome a loss of self-efficacy is the same way.

A frontal assault attacks someone’s entrenched position. It attacks one’s trust in themselves, their beliefs, their values, and the ego.  It also attacks their coaches, their teammates, everything. It gets them questioning and doubting themselves.

We frontal assault someone’s self-belief by telling them, “it’s all in your head” or “you’re not confident enough” or “what’s the matter with you?” It’s easier to crush someone’s belief than it is to build it up…Here’s our infographic showing 5 ways to crush someone’s confidence.

Let them know that since it’s not a belief issue, it’s just that they are focused on the wrong things! 

Focus is Queen. In the game of chess, focus is how the game is won! We can’t move our king one space at a time and think that will win. Our queen is what wins the game! Focus!

We can’t JUST address self-confidence head on. We need an indirect approach —- when we have a loss of confidence, we need to flank it.


Overcome The Loss In Confidence-

When we are focused on the wrong things, 99% of the time, we/they are worrying about things in the future or not letting go of the mistakes of the past. We are focused on outcomes, results, and what it may or may not mean. We are time-traveling to the future.

Our focus is OFF.

We need to return to our breath, this moment, this day. Focus on the Now! 

This is especially difficult during tough times, but it’s the ONLY way to return our confidence!

But, If we are truly focused on this moment, then how does self-belief even come into play? It’s ALL about focus in the moment.

There is indeed fear in the future and people, places, and things that are out of our control! Fear lives and ferments in the future. When we look back at our mistakes and all the times we came up short, then there is actual proof how we aren’t good enough.

It gets back to our focus!

When our confidence is down, we need to pay attention to all of the things that we say to ourselves. The Voice in our head is negative and we are simply over-thinking! When I overthink, I lose my keys and get off at the wrong exit.

increase your mental toughness


4 Reminders To Increase Your Mental Toughness

We have more knowledge today literally at our fingertips than ever before. We do not need to search our minds for an answer, or even ask our friends, it’s right there on our phone.

Knowledge is not the problem.

We know how and what to eat to be healthy, but we still have an obesity epidemic.

We know the benefits of exercise and movement, but heart disease is still at an all-time high.

It’s not for a lack of knowledge.

We just choose the easier route. It’s easier to have the milkshake than it is to be in the salad bar line. It’s easier to NOT workout than it is to hit up that spin class.

In our own performance, we know what we NEED to do to become our best. We can’t claim that we don’t know what we don’t know.

Knowledge won’t increase your mental toughness. 

Wisdom is what increases our mental toughness and the only way to get wisdom is through experience. That’s why mental toughness is caught more than it is taught.

Experience is built upon action, living, taking part, and being in the game. Once we experience overcoming adversity, we can rely on our life reminders.

If we don’t hold up mental toughness and continuous improvement as a priority and to be the BEST at getting BETTER than it doesn’t happen. It’s not a priority. 


Here are 4 reminders to increase your mental toughness

1. Gratitude

2. Just one more

3. Faith

4. Be in the moment


Gratitude-

I don’t believe in an attitude of gratitude, it’s an action of gratitude.

Gratitude is a muscle.

We need to take certain steps to exercise our gratitude! I once fell off an 80-foot cliff and I am thankful every day that I am still able-bodied!

It’s tough to be hateful and grateful at the same time.

Once we start counting all that we are thankful for, it gets tough to stop. We all have tough patches in life and we all go through slumps. That’s life.

Then, we see a child who has to receive weekly cancer treatments or someone who just had a life altering injury and can no longer walk.

When we are in that space of thankfulness, perspective, and positivity, we share it with others.


Just One More-

When people look for “the secret” or the magic bullet, there really isn’t one. But, there is one technique that comes close to build your grit.

It’s called just one more.

Here’s how it works:

Whatever we are doing, we all reach that finish point. This strategy plays when we reach the end of our day, the finish of our workout, or even the completion of a task.

When we reach that point where we are “done”, then we need to push ourselves to just do one more. Write one more paragraph, make one more call, do one more rep, or one more sprint.

It will increase your mental toughness because “just one more” is how we push ourselves past our current limits and it guarantees that we finish every task strong!


Faith-

There is an illusion of control in all of our lives. We think we have more control than we actually do.

The individuals on earth who actually have a precise idea about our own lack of control are in fact institutionalized. The illusion of control provides us an elixir that enables us to operate. If we thought about how little control we actually had, it would consume us, much like those souls in institutions.

Ahh, and that is what happens. We focus on things that are out of our control.

We think about other people who drag us down and we get sad. We think about our current circumstance or issue and get upset. Or we get bogged down in all of the things that we need to do.

We are the actor in our own play, but we are not the director. There are too many external variables in life and our performance that we have absolutely no control over.

Faith is what we need to overcome the temporary setbacks and defeats and negativity. Faith is the belief that “it” will work out. I can’t overextend my energy or force myself to make “it” happen, I just have to have faith and believe.

Besides, we don’t need to work harder, we just need to believe more!

Faith = Flow

When we have faith that we will be successful, we relax. When we know and have trust that our needs will be met, we relax. And when we are at ease and relaxed, we only focus on what’s in our control. Faith gets into the state of flow.

Lastly, I believe that there is a God and I know that I’m not it.

It makes no difference to me what your higher power is, because the example we set is louder than the words we speak. My own faith rests in Christianity and the grace that God and Jesus Christ promises us. That’s my faith.

And faith isn’t really faith until it’s all you’ve got.


Be in the moment-

The sexy term is “mindfulness” which is just the buzzword for being in the moment.

Question for you: When you are truly in the moment, how miserable can you actually be?

All of our fear and anxiety is because we are thinking about the future or we are still rooted in the past. That which we fear is next month, next week, tomorrow, or even later today, it is NOT right now!

When we remind ourselves to focus on this moment, this breath, and just for today, we are being mindful.

In order to increase your mental toughness, we need to focus on the now. That’s it, this breath!


We can’t read the directions and expect a cake to appear.

These four reminders to boost your grit are action items. They must be exercised before adversity strikes during times of struggle and after coming out of hardships. Return to the simple tasks and exercise these four reminders…

Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out all the books on Mental Toughness