Are we naturally confident? Or is confidence built?
What makes a person confident?
Yesterday, I posted a clip on Instagram from my recent podcast episode talking about how basketball is life. I often look to basketball whenever I am navigating through different decisions or self-reflecting. As a basketball player confidence in your ability is everything in order to perform at a high level. One thing I love about basketball is how fast a player can go from being confident to not confident. We hit a 3 from the corner on one possession and the next possession we are eager to shoot the ball again. At the same time if we airballed our last shot, when we get open for another look, maybe we hesitate. A key thing as a basketball player is accepting failure and practicing short term memory loss. If we don't forget about our failures during the game, we can't continue to perform at a high level and help out our team.
I don't think that being confident is a thing that we either are or are not. Confidence is a consistent battle that you are going to continue to face no matter what you are pursuing or going through. I believe that there are two types of confidence: Long term confidence and short term confidence.
One question that you can ask yourself is what I am confident in? We all want to be successful and it takes a lot of confidence in yourself to be able to a point where you consider yourself successful. But, what does being successful even mean? To me, being successful means waking up and spending your day however you would like. In the long term, I am extremely confident that I am going to be successful because I know that I am in control over my definition of success. To answer my question before, I think that confidence can be a natural thing because everyday I am extremely confident that I will wake up tomorrow. Today, no matter if you make good decisions or bad decisions, your track record for coming out alive is undefeated. Therefore, naturally we have to be confident in the fact that everything happens for a reason and in the long term we are going to be okay.
Short term confidence is something that is built. Our actions throughout the day are directly dictating how confident we are. Think about basketball for example, if we made our last shot, we are more confident to take our next shot. I think that you built short term confidence by taking on hard tasks and checking off those boxes. For example, today is Wednesday and I wrote about how hard it is for me to wake up on Wednesdays and have a good day. When my alarm sounded, I could have either gone back to bed or got out of bed and started my day. When I got out of bed, I checked off the first box of the day. Next, I had to decide to either go to the gym or not go to the gym. When I went to the gym and completed my workout, that was another box checked. As the day goes on if I continue to check boxes that are important to me, that is the same as making shots throughout a game. I am more confident in my ability to hit my next shot. However, days where I face those same tasks and do not check those boxes, I am naturally less confident. It is like missing a shot and hesitating on your next attempt. Just like in basketball, short term memory loss is everything and we can't let one failure in the day carry over through the rest of our day. Therefore, if you woke up today and maybe didn't check off that box, well you still have a lot of other boxes you can check off the rest of your day. Therefore, forget about it and move on. Like I said before, made shots= confidence, missed shots = hesitation. The best thing about life is that we are in control over whether or not we shoot in the first place and in life unlike basketball, we are actually in control over whether or not we make or miss the shot. Therefore, today go out there and average 20 and see how you feel.
To conclude, long term confidence is a necessity and is something that hopefully we all have naturally. If we aren't naturally confident in the long term, then we have to practice short term confidence by consistently shooting and making shots. The more shots we make, the more confident we will be in our ability, and the more likely we are to be naturally confident in our future.