Friday, December 18, 2009


If you’re serious about achieving your goals one of your greatest assets is your belief system. Every Olympic Champion I interviewed spoke of their confidence and unwavering belief as key factors to winning an Olympic Gold Medal. The same could be said for senior level executives or any other person that has found success in their chosen field. If your struggling with confidence and your belief system isn’t as strong as you’d like here are a few tips that will help you develop the confidence necessary to achieving your goals.

1-Past Successes- Nothing helps build confidence like success. Whatever your chosen field of endeavor success in the past leaves a blueprint in your subconscious and the mental expectation of future success. Success breeds success. The positive self- image you have of yourself as a result of your success can now combat the self-doubt or fears that often plague us. You have an arsenal of positive experiences to fight off the negatives so that a belief system can be formed. The more positive experiences or success you have in your chosen endeavor the stronger your confidence becomes. As you challenge yourself to more difficult goals and meet with success your confidence soars and soon your belief system will become so strong and real that you will envision the accomplishment of your goal with such certainty that it is often difficult to separate the visualization from the reality. In fact, the muscles, organs and body systems don’t know the difference between you actually performing the activity and an individual whose adept at visualizing that same activity. As early as 1980, there were over 70,000 studies confirming the direct correlation between mind/body relationships.

2-Positive reinforcement from someone you respect. Often times our confidence can be positively influenced by words of encouragement from someone we trust and respect. This may come from a parent, mentor, coach or friend. The more value you place in that person the greater the influence they will have on you. If one of your hero’s stops by after a performance and provides encouraging words of praise on a recent performance your confidence as well as motivation will soar. They can help replace some of the doubt or anxiety everyone feels from time to time. A few words from someone you respect can go a long way to building your confidence and belief.

3.Vicarious learning- You witness an extraordinary performance. Your pulse races, your mind wanders and suddenly you picture yourself doing the identical performance. That person became a role model for you and suddenly the doubts you had in the past disappear and you begin to think if he/she could perform like that so can I, that is vicarious learning. Projecting yourself into that role model and seeing yourself perform the very same activity provides you with the confidence to overcome the self-imposing hurdles you set for yourself and develop a goal and a plan for achieving it.

In the early 50’s the world was buzzing with mans effort to break the 4-minute mile. There were 30 world-class athletes trying to break 4 minutes. The medical community announced it was impossible to break 4 minutes in the mile. That was the accepted belief at the time. In 1954, Roger Bannister became the first person to break the 4-minute barrier. Of course Bannister became headline news all over the world and a national hero. It was a tremendous accomplishment, but the real news was what transpired over the next 6 months, as 13 other runners also broke 4 minutes. Suddenly, Roger Bannister had proven that breaking 4 minutes in the mile was indeed possible and 13 other runners BELIEVED they could do it as well. The mind is an incredible force. It is my belief that the greatest advancements in human potential will come from the study and training of the mind. The greatest obstacles to your success are the limitations you place on yourself.

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