Self Confidence, a Skill Everyone Can Learn

Self Confidence

Self confidence isn’t a skill, either you have it or you don’t, right?  That’s what I used to think. Then I came across this presentation by Dr. Ivan Joseph, championship soccer coach, who taught me something new.  Self confidence is a skill you can learn like any other skill. In his presentation he covers how to develop this skill which he deems the most important skill he looks for.  Here are some notes from the presentation and a few things I learned.

3 Quick Tips for Improving Self Confidence

1. Repetition and Persistence

First he talks about repetition and persistence.  When you want to learn how to do something it takes practice.  There are experts who say it takes 10,000 hours of practice or experience to master an activity like stock trading.  Likewise you may have to take 10,000 shots at the free throw line to become proficient in shooting the free shot in basketball.

As you do something thousands of times you get better and better at it, and your confidence in that activity grows.  The key is not to bail after the first bit of failure.  Think of Edison and how many attempts it took to make a light bulb.

2. Self Talk

Self talk is that little voice you hear in your head.  This happens all day long and it’s almost always negative for people.  We need to learn to control the self talk.  We hear enough negativity without saying it to ourselves.  Remember the words of Mohamed Ali, “I am the greatest.” Focus on the positive.  Make sure you tell yourself how good you are.  You’ll get plenty of negative comments in your life from outside sources.  Stop the negative self talk.

3. Catch Them Doing Good

Want to help improve self confidence in others?  As a coach Dr. Joseph reviewed multiple studies.  It was found that in reviewing the plays in a game identifying missed opportunities, errors and other missteps did not help improve the team’s statistics.  Most coaches review the games and look for opportunities for improvement.  Really what is happening is they are finding all of the negative events that took place in the game.  It tears the athletes down.

It was discovered if they focused on all of the things they did correctly, even the little things like a pass or a position on the field they built the confidence in the player and consequently the play improved more.  At the same time players with errors, wanting the same praise worked to improve their game seeking after the same recognition.

Here’s the presentation on self confidence by Dr. Joseph.  If you have a few minutes, it’s worth watching.

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