BY DR. VIRGINIA SAVAGE FOR FLORIDA TODAY
If you want to know about developing confidence, please ask yourself a couple of important questions:
● When you make a promise to a friend, do you try your best to keep that promise? I expect that is true because you want to honor your word.
● When a friend makes a promise to you, what happens when they don’t keep it? More important than not getting what you expected, if that little shift happens, especially repeatedly, you stop believing that you can trust their word.
● Now, the next question is really important so think about it carefully. What happens when you set a goal for yourself (making a promise) and fail to follow through, just let it slide, find all sorts of reasons for not sticking with it? How many times has that already happened, such as New Year’s resolutions? This is a very important question for anyone, any age, any situation.
You may say, “It’s not as important because it is only about me, no one else knows, and I’m not accountable to anyone else.”
But think about the consequences of this line of thinking. If you fail to keep promises to yourself, you stop trusting that you will keep those promises, accomplish those goals.
Every time you give up, you are creating a pattern of failure. Every time you fail to accomplish what you set out to do, especially if you fail to really try, you reinforce a belief that you never reach goals you set for yourself.
The long-range consequences of this pattern are a huge lack of confidence in your ability to achieve goals, anxiety (also related to confidence), and loss of passion for pursuing your dreams. Please consider how important this is.
Let me give you a foolproof method for changing this pattern, some essential keys to setting goals that are achievable. Listen carefully and well.
1. Choose two goals for this soccer season. One can be an outcome goal, (goals, assists, starts) whatever is meaningful, challenging, and achievable. The other goal should be task oriented: the process of improving your game, some aspect of physical, technical, mental, or emotional skill training. This goal is the one that will make you a better player and ultimately help you to achieve the outcome goal.
2. Now that you have a couple of goals in mind, make sure that they are specific. If your goal is so broad that you can’t measure progress (i.e., you want to be a better athlete) you will not really know when you have achieved it. Specific task-oriented goals are ones that you can measure, such as:
● I will increase my endurance by increasing effort by 10 percent each practice.
● I will completely recover mentally from mistakes in five seconds.
● I will practice positive affirmations before and during every practice and/or game.
When your goals are meaningful, reasonable, specific and measurable your chances of achieving them will increase by leaps and bounds. Achieving even small goals sets a motivational climate that leads to confidence, passion, and success.
So begin this season by setting some goals that will not only make you proud, they will make you mentally and physically stronger. It is the best gift you can give yourself.