Why Confidence Isn't Always the Solution to Mental Toughness Problems

STACK Expert Dr. Rob Bell explains how confidence plays a role in an athlete's mental toughness.

How many of us have been driving in an unfamiliar place, following the directions on our GPS, when we suddenly sense we're not in the right spot? Disregarding the directions, we make a quick turn at a corner. The GPS points us in the direction we're supposed to go. We must make a choice whether to trust and follow it.

Confidence is our own built-in GPS system. It's the belief that we will succeed and the attitude that we will find a way. Can we trust ourselves, our decisions, and those closest to us?

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How many of us have been driving in an unfamiliar place, following the directions on our GPS, when we suddenly sense we're not in the right spot? Disregarding the directions, we make a quick turn at a corner. The GPS points us in the direction we're supposed to go. We must make a choice whether to trust and follow it.

Confidence is our own built-in GPS system. It's the belief that we will succeed and the attitude that we will find a way. Can we trust ourselves, our decisions, and those closest to us?

Trust comes from our gut, our intuition. It's our decision whether to trust our gut.

However, I've never had my internal GPS actually ask me, "How did you get here?" "Why are you in this part of town?" "Are you going to be late?"

Let's take closer look at what confidence does and doesn't do for us.

RELATED: Mental Warm-Up: How to Build Confidence Before a Game

Our In-Born GPS Doesn't Judge

Tired Athlete

We are way too hard on ourselves and we constantly evaluate our own performance. It is fine to evaluate our performance, but we tend to associate how we played or practiced with who we are. When we judge ourselves, doesn't it seem like we are either the best or the worst? It's all or nothing! There's little room for us to constantly judge ourselves.

RELATED: 4 Tips for Building Confidence

Stop Questioning Yourself So Much

Why Confidence Isn't Always the Solution to Mental Toughness Problems

When we drive, our GPS never asks questions, so why do we constantly question our decisions, our technique and the what-if's? We ask questions we don't know the answer to, and it saps our confidence. For instance, "what if I play badly?" or "This game should be over, why am I even here?" or "Am I really good enough?"

Confidence Doesn't Blame

Tired Athlete

Feeling confident involves the ability to let go of mistakes, refocus, and not dwell on what went wrong. It doesn't blame umpires, teammmates, or coaches when things go bad. Confidence certainly doesn't second guess our own play or our ability.

RELATED: Using Visualization to Build Confidence Before a Game


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: MOTIVATION | MENTAL TOUGHNESS | VISUALIZATION