Sports Psychology: Self-confidence is key


Self-confidence is commonly defined as one’s sureness of feeling they are equal to the task at hand, and therefore believe they can perform a specific behaviour successfully. This sureness is characterised by an individual’s absolute belief in their abilities, qualities and personal judgment.

When confidence is high, many of us feel we are almost unstoppable! There is a sense of certainty that any skill can be performed and then the challenges ahead tend not to feel so daunting.

At the opposite end, when there is lack of confidence you may experience feeling scared which heavily influences emotions, behaviours and thoughts.

Low self-confidence comes from the feeling of uncertainty which is decremental to successfully completing the task at hand. Thus, negative voices in the back of your head which cause self-doubt, may lead you to make mistakes you wouldn’t normally make; they are born out of a lack of real trust in your capability to execute optimal performance.

Are you lacking confidence?

Before you can move forward and work on your future self-confidence, you need to understand where you are right now. Try to reflect and evaluate where you seem to lack confidence and trip up. When do you experience an increase in negative thoughts and feelings of anxiety? Highlight emerging patterns and similarities to help reach an understanding on how you can over come identified issues.

Enhancing self-confidence

Practice and dedication

Are you feeling a lack of trust performing a certain skill or is there an event coming up which gives you a sense of anxiety? Build confidence in your ability to execute what is needed by setting aside time to dedicated practice.

Previous disappointment

Everyone has setbacks and gets into a state of self-doubt - that’s normal. Try to take the positives from this. Bounce back from these disappointments and refocus on improvements. Create a constant cycle of improvement and self-evaluation.

Think positive

Keeping positivity high can often be challenging, as negative thoughts popping up in your mind is almost inevitable. But you can try to develop a positive approach through changing your attitude towards setbacks – give yourself time to grow and learn.

Set realistic goals

Goal setting is vital to performance improvements and is directly connected to heightening self-confidence. Setting yourself a goal and working hard to achieve it can be extremely rewarding and will make you feel a little more confident each time.

by

Chenelle Barber

Sports Psychologist

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