The Game of Confidence

Lisa W. Haydon
4 min readAug 19, 2022

It’s all around us: we read about it, we think about it, and we witness it.

Confidence is a determining factor of success. We know people who display it masterfully. It remains inconsistent and sometimes elusive for others. So what’s the secret sauce to knowing how to show up the way we want to and how to manage our brain and body to realize confidence?

We’ve all lived that moment of leaving a meeting and cringing thinking about who you were, how you acted, or what you said in that moment in time. We have a gift in these moments: it was only a moment, it is in the past, and it’s most likely forgotten by those in the room. So now let’s focus on the future and your next opportunity to show up with your full potential and your full package of talent.

Some say self-confidence is a state of self-belief. For many who want to perform at high levels, this self-belief can be an elusive goal due to a constant focus on learning and self-improvement. You may view your world or yourself as always needing improvement or to be better. Whatever your reason for not having consistent confidence, your mindset will get you through these wobbles in confidence.

How do you master the mindset of confidence?

Let’s draw from the sports world and visualize your next big meeting as game day.

Here’s what your coach would tell you:

• Do self-talk personal affirmations. Manage and dial down your self-critic

• Set and manage goals

• Assess and reassess who is on your team and who needs to be traded. Managing you success network is critical

• See failure as learning. Analyze setbacks and quickly jump back in to try again

• Prepare, train, and practice. Address your fears and establish what’s the worst thing that could happen. Repeat. Repeat again

• Play your game. Ignore competition and critics. Know your strengths and leverage them

• Focus on your long game

• Find a mantra and live by it

• Old habits are comfortable; new ones are not. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

• Self-confidence is the cornerstone of your performance. Find it. Know how to keep it in the game even when you are losing

• Your training plan should include managing your health: nutrition, movement, sleep and happiness

• Maintain your list of wins, successes, and accomplishments. Refer to this list regularly

• And finally walk into that meeting, event, situation standing tall and with strong body posture

Feel any easier? Likely not, this is a long list of things to think about and act on. For those of us who play golf, look at your work on confidence as you would your golf swing. Your golf swing is essential to a great golf game. There are many elements to your swing, and one little adjustment can make or break your game. When you learn golf, good instructors teach you the skills in increments.

Work on one thing at a time, practice it until you master it, and then move on to the next element. It’s not about one magic thing; it’s about creating a strong foundation that will withstand anything and then building upon it. Practice, practice, and more practice.

Self-confidence is a lifelong focus.

If you are learning, developing, and taking risks, your confidence will always be ebbing along with you and your changes. There’s a world around us and it’s always throwing us a new curve ball; in business, this could be the new owner, new boss, new transformation project, new strategies, new business objectives, new team, or pandemic.

Our world will consistently challenge our state of confidence.

What’s the recurring theme in all of this?

A growth mindset, focus, action, practice, and a success network are the key to self-confidence.

It is a tough game against yourself and a demanding professional world. Having an accurate assessment of your strengths builds the foundation that will endure pressure and stress.

Knowing your foundation of strengths, or what you are self-confidence about, will get you through many disruptions and many changes.

Want to work on increasing your self-knowledge and building self-confidence? Our diagnostics tool will start moving you into action.

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Lisa W. Haydon

CEO, founder and leadership development coach consultant working with companies optimistic and ambitious about growth. https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisahaydon/