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The Inside-Out Model to Confidence

Confidence is a topic that everyone seems to love talking about. Whether they have all the confidence in the world or none whatsoever, it always seems to be a pretty hot-button topic both inside and outside the world of sports.


There are plenty of 'gurus' and self-proclaimed 'experts' out there who claim to have discovered the secret to building confidence... That's all good, but most of the time it really isn't anything all that groundbreaking.


My stance and belief on confidence was discussed at length in a previous blog post:


In this article we talk a lot about what confidence is and how you can get to a place where you feel more confident in everything that you do. I don't believe it is all about 'building' confidence. Instead, I believe that confidence is something that is within all of us at all times. However, as we do certain things, and people impact us in negative ways, we start to cover up that confidence and hide it deep within us until it can't be seen anymore. This is what happens when an athlete no longer feels confident. Their confidence didn't just disappear overnight. Instead, it was covered up by years of negative reinforcement, lack of identity, and poor performances.


It is the exact same situation as someone with 6-Pack Abs. We all have that set of muscles on our body, but after years of poor diet, lack of exercise, and neglect for our well-being it may get covered up until those abs can't be seen anymore under our belly-fat.


This lesson on Confidence is very important because, it is very possible to cover up our confidence, but it is also possible to uncover it and get back to the vibrantly confident athlete and person we were before.


The key to this 'Show of Confidence' is based on an Inside Out Model (below) when it comes to the relationship between our Confidence Level and our Athletic Performance.

In an ideal world, this Inside Out Model is how we would want every person and athlete to relate to their own sense of confidence.


But sadly, this isn't often the case. Since athletes allow their sport to become so engrained into their identity, they let their Athletic Performance (good or bad) determine where their level of confidence lands. In this case, the arrow in the graphic would be flipped. Meaning that if an athlete performs well, they are feeling on top of the world which is great. But... If an athlete has a poor performance, it will tear down not only their own Self-Confidence, but also their Identity and Self-Esteem. This can lead to a long downward spiral of not feeling adequate and constantly burying that sense of Self-Confidence deep below the excuses of their poor performances.


In order for anyone to have a strong sense of Self-Confidence, it all starts with that middle circle Self Esteem, then it builds outward, working in reverse of the situation we just described.


If an athlete has a strong foundational Self Esteem and is a strong believer in who they are before they even step on the field or court they are starting one step ahead. Having a sound sense of your own Self Esteem allows you to form a strong Personal Identity that isn't solely reliant on your sport performance.


So, what is your identity?


Who are YOU?


What do you enjoy?


What makes you Happy/Work Hard/Enjoy Life?


The questions can go on for days, but they become almost impossible to answer if your entire identity is wrapped up in your sport and you don't allow anything else to influence your life.


Only once an athlete has developed a strong Personal Identity and a sound Self Esteem, will we begin to see that confidence begin to shine through. Without the first two foundational layers, it is almost impossible for an athlete to go into a competition with the peak amount of confidence they can have.


The final important piece to this model is the lasting effects of having a strong Self Esteem, Identity, and Confidence.


When you are structured this way within your own mind, you are no longer at the mercy of your game's outcome to determine your happiness, worth, and confidence level. If we follow the arrow in the graphic, it shows us that these three layers lead to Athletic Performance, not the other way around!


If you have TRUE Self-Confidence structured around this model, a poor performance isn't going to destroy it all of a sudden. Even after the worst game of your career, you still know in your heart:


WHO YOU ARE

WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN

and that YOU ARE CONFIDENT.


By starting from the ground up and building a strong level of Self Esteem, Self Identity, and Self Confidence, you are setting yourself up to become the most confident person you can be and preventing yourself from being torn down by coaches, teammates, poor performances, or any outside factors at all.


The best way to start this process is by asking yourself:


WHO AM I?


Spend some time discovering WHO you truly are at heart, and allow that to drive your confidence. This will help you become the most confident and best version of yourself possible!

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