Henry Ford said: “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right”. However beneficial or detrimental his efforts turned out to be, those words can be regarded as a supreme statement of confidence and most would agree that his impact was massive. And whatever you might think of Donald Trump, the US President exudes confidence. Trump believes in himself, has a clear purpose he believes in, knows what he wants to achieve and is willing to do what it takes to achieve it. As he said himself: ‘Nobody’s ever done a better job than I’m doing as president’.
Three-time British Olympian turned executive leadership coach David Carry is CEO and co-founder of Track Record and here he looks at the topic of confidence and how it impacts individual performers and teams to deliver extraordinary results, whether that is in the boardroom or in the arena.
Michael Jordan once said: “I am not competing with somebody else, I’m competing with what I am capable of”. As a successful athlete, he identified a key component that contributed to his success;belief and clarity in what he could achieve and then focusing on what he could control to fulfil his potential. Research shows that if you don’t believe you have the ability to succeed, you will not tap into your ability. Confidence has a direct impact on performance and also influences a multitude of other factors such as motivation, focus, resilience and perseverance.
Confidence can come from external or internal sources. Extrinsic sources, such as winning a match, scoring a goal, receiving praise, getting a bonus or improving the share price of your company; all have the potential to increase your confidence. And why not? They are perfectly justifiable causes for celebration, but the majority of factors involved with these achievements are completely out of your control.
If the majority of your confidence comes from external sources, you may not be capable of delivering your best performance. You could become a victim of circumstance, reacting to and seeking confidence from others. By focusing on enhancing confidence from intrinsic sources, which are within your control, individuals can develop a more stable and reliable source of confidence, leading to a higher probability of a success.
We have identified four important questions that should be asked before embarking on the journey towards achieving a high level of individual confidence:
- Do you have a strong and unyielding belief in your ultimate purpose?
- Do you have an identity with which guides your decisions and have complete ownership?
- Do you have an ambition with a high degree of clarity?
- Are you committed to prepare, deliver and learn on the journey to realise the ambition?
If you have a strong sense of your answers to these questions and are able generate more confidence from these answers than external sources of confidence, then you will be able to generate more controllable and stable confidence.
Below are the 8 steps we have identified to increase your confidence to perform:
Eight Steps to Confidence:
Step 1 : Discover your purpose – Why am I here?
Step 2 : Define your guiding values – What do I stand for?
Step 3 : Select your foundations – Which areas of my life do I care most about?
Step 4 : Time travel to your win – What would be my amazing achievements?
Step 5 : Design your critical elements – What would have to be in place to realise my achievements?
Step 6 : Plan – What preparation is required to increase my probability of success?
Step 7 : Do : Identify the link between mindset, attitude and behaviour so you can choose to be at your best more often
Step 8 : Review : What is relevant learning?
Through our research and discovery, we have found confidence to be something that can be self-generated, can have a direct impact to an individual’s performance and their ability to turn ambition into achievement.
By focusing your energy on what you can control, planning for what you cannot and learning from and then implementing your experiences, you will join a small percentage of highly successful individuals who have found the power of owning their own confidence.
David Carry is CEO and co-founder of Track Record, a company that builds confidence through leadership coaching. A three-time Olympian David Carry set up Track Record in 2016 with Performance Scientist and Head Coach, Dr Scott Gardner. Together they share a passion for elite performance and a desire to better understand what it takes for individual performers and teams to deliver extraordinary results.
Track Record has worked with Olympic Champions, CEOs, sporting teams, leadership teams and world leading organisations and has identified two consistent realisations; the power of coaching to realise potential and the transformative effects of confidence.