What is Confidence?

What is confidence? I hear it all of the time, “My daughter could be great if she only had more confidence.” Most people do not realize that confidence is a symptom of great performances, not something that leads to exciting performances.

“Confidence” is the freedom to make mistakes. Confidence is the freedom to try new things without fear, to reach higher than you ever imagined without reservation. Confidence comes from knowing that, regardless of the outcome, you will not face condemnation from yourself or from those around you.

As we stand by the ocean and try to cast a stone into it, we are relaxed because the outcome is certain. If we cast a stone into a pond, we tend to remain relaxed because the outcomes are still fairly predictable. But, as we stand some distance from a small puddle and try to cast a stone into it, suddenly the area around it looms much larger. The size of our doubt grows as we consider all of the places the stone could land outside of the puddle. At this point, we have two choices: Step up to the puddle and drop the stone, or challenge ourselves to miss a few times while we improve our skills. With proper practice, eventually the difficult outcome becomes routine.

Confidence comes from challenging yourself to do the impossible until you see it as routine. Follow that by learning to do it so well that, even in stressful situations, proper actions are so ingrained into your memory that you know no other way to do it. That is confidence. Confidence
comes from giving yourself the freedom to make mistakes, not seeing those mistakes as failures, but as part of the process as you make steady progress toward achieving the impossible.