Chapter 56

Repeat After Me: "Yes, I Can!"

Today's Empowering Quote

"Self-trust is the first secret of success."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today's Empowering Question

"Haven't I done many things I wasn't sure I'd be able to do when I started them?"

Today's Fast Session

I was always perplexed by the question, "What came first, the chicken or the egg?" Does that have an answer? I don't know.

But an equally good one that does have an answer is, "What comes first, confidence or large achievements?" 

The answer most definitely is confidence.

No. You don't need large accomplishments to gain confidence.

But what creates confidence and how can you get more of it so you can consistently achieve more and have fun doing it?  And what is it that causes a loss of confidence?

It's easy to see in the world of sports the difference between confidence and doubt.  Team A goes on a tear and destroys their opponent by an enormous amount of runs, baskets, goals, etc.  But the next night, you've got the same two teams and this time it's Team B that administers the beating.

What's the difference? Players on the losing teams often say things like this:

- We just weren't focusing.
- Our emotions weren't in check.
- When they scored in the 3rd quarter, the wind went out of our sails.
- We just weren't taking good shots.
- Once the crowd got into the game, we got out of our rhythm.

Those things took their confidence away.  They didn't trust themselves.  So their performance for the ENTIRE game or large portions of it was sub-par.

The next day, different mind set... VERY different results.  The focus was there now.  They clearly visualized their outcomes. Momentum never left for long.  Belief came back.  They refused to be intimidated and wouldn't accept defeat.

I often use sports analogies because there is absolutely no difference between games and life... especially your life.

Every day, life demands that you perform.  Whether it's just cleaning the house, raking or trying to enjoy yourself while you pack up and take a vacation with your family, your confidence level affects your performance and your enjoyment.

Confidence. What is it?

To me, confidence is just a feeling that you can do something.

It's the current knowledge that if challenge pops up, and they always do, you can overcome it.  With this knowing comes the ability to perform at your best.

But as soon as the feelings wane, your positive expectancy drops and you start to focus on mistakes instead of your goals.  You start to feel less capable, so you hesitate.  When your confidence leaves you, you can't make decisions.  And when you start to replay these unsupportive mental pictures, you literally couldn't buy a few minutes of success at any price.

This power was never more evident as when John Wooden and his legendary UCLA basketball teams won a record 88 games in a row.  For nearly 4 years, they didn't lose a single game.

His teams won 7 consecutive national championships.  In the next thousand years, it hardly seems possible that his records will be approached.

He knew that if he could gain momentum and hold it, the other team would mentally give up.  Their pressure forced mistakes and caused the opponents to hesitate, to not want to make more mistakes.

But when your focus is on not making mistakes... you make mistakes!!!  So how do you gain confidence and keep it?

You must picture success before it happens.  Your internal dialog must be that of expecting success... yes, even before you have success.  How?

Well, how do you learn anything? By repetition, of course.

Look at your bookshelves. If there are more than a few self-help books, and you don't yet have the qualities taught inside the covers, then it's repetition that's missing.

Coke and Pepsi spend tens of millions of dollars each year to program you to buy their carbonated caramel water. 

Why? Because repetition works.

They sell billions of dollars of their products simply because they communicate their message constantly.  Do you remember the words of songs that you haven't heard in years?

I'll bet you do!

If you take control of your own mind just like big advertisers and communicate a positive message of belief and hope and of expecting to get what you want, and you do it with repetition, you know what?

You'll become confident.

At least you'll have hope, to start.

And confidence begins with hope. Without hope, a glimmer of optimism, you wouldn't even try.

If you haven't up until now, start really using this tool.  If you do, just like a drill or a hammer makes building a structure a thousand times better and faster, you'll achieve more every single day... easier, better and with more joy than you ever thought possible.

Today's Winning Beliefs

-- My confidence is soaring now
-- I respond to adversity with increased determination and belief in myself
-- I believe in myself completely
-- I am going to begin right now

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