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How You Define Success, and Where You Place Your Confidence Matters Greatly

confidence goal setting Aug 30, 2021

The second confidence pitfall from above is:  “My confidence is dependent upon my ability to win, to be successful, and how I think I will do in relation to somebody else.”  The salient point of this pitfall is that the outcome of any difficult endeavor and someone else’s performance are beyond our control. 

This pitfall creates a dependence between our self-confidence and outcomes we don’t control such as winning, getting straight A’s, closing the deal, getting promoted, being selected for a new position, or attaining a six-figure income.  When things go our way, we feel confident, but when things don’t, our confidence rises and falls like a roller coaster, regardless of our preparation and effort. 

Linking your confidence to the outcome often results in frustration, anger, resentment, disappointment, and other unhealthy emotions.  You can be at your best in the most challenging situations, and still not get the desired result.  Alternatively, you can be semi-successful with a poor attitude, or ill-prepared in a less challenging situation.  Which would you consider a “failure”?

The alternative is to anchor your confidence in aspects of performance that you control and generate consistent and enduring confidence regardless of your challenge or opponent.  You may be thinking, “this sounds great, but what does this practically mean and how do we apply it”.  Components of performance within your control include:

  • Attitude: are you “showing up” each day with a positive mindset eager and willing to learn?
  • Preparation: are you doing what is necessary to prepare for your challenge?
  • Effort: are you committed and giving 100%, or are you going through the motions?
  • Willingness to improve: are you living a growth mindset and open to new experiences that result in learning, growth, and improvement?
  • Habits: do your daily habits and routines create self-responsibility and support your life’s purpose, priorities, and goals? 

This approach does not discount the importance of results.  The downfall occurs when we overly focus or obsess on the outcomes, and ignore our processes, habits, and rituals that ultimately create the results.  Without good habits, we’re unlikely to achieve sustained results, especially in pursuit of difficult challenges, goals, and priorities that are most meaningful and impactful.

If you can make this mindset shift and craft your definition of success and confidence around aspects of performance you control, you can experience game changing and unshakable confidence.  This mindset shift takes time, but with continuous thought and reflection, a gradual shift can occur.  

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