Have you ever listened to a passionate speaker or leader, and wondered how they have become so popular?! Maybe the content of their speech is not coherent or you don’t agree with what they are saying, yet they still manage to persuade hundreds or millions of people to believe in themselves. People follow strong believers even to their graves. Many people simply follow the belief that the great leaders of the world possess, and pay little attention to questioning the substance of what they are saying as they are caught up in their belief, confidence and charisma. All great speakers, leaders, artists, athletes and performers have a few things in common, one of which is that they back themselves. Every time they step up to perform they have to believe in themselves as they know they cannot hide. Noone will be there to rescue them, so they either back themselves or don’t do it. The bigger the profile, stage and audience the harder it is to hide and perform well without backing yourself. Do you ever think great performers go into every performance or competition thinking that they will win/nail it every time, off course not. Humans are humans, and the psyche will always allow a string of doubt no matter how small or big, however the great athletes who may not even believe they will win, still go out and back themselves knowing that the possibility is there. If you look closely at a lot of great performers it is not till some way after the start they hit full confidence and start playing at their best. Sometimes the belief comes as a result of backing yourself and you find your true belief and confidence in the performance after your body surprises yourself or your conscious mind.
Backing yourself doesn’t mean that you need to know that you will accomplish the task 100% of the time, without a shadow of doubt. It simply means that you have the courage to trust yourself and that you will find an outcome along the way. Being your best fan does not need to be a statement of arrogance or show of superiority, it is simply accepting the reality that if you don’t believe in yourself then it is unlikely others will. A great example of this is a high school basketball player who trained hard but got dropped form his high school team for not being good enough. Alot of people would have given up or found a distraction, but this basketball player kept backing himself and became the legend we know as Michael Jordon.
“But although I have confidence, sometimes I don’t think the task ahead of me is achievable and I lack that belief”.
If you find yourself doubting yourself, know that you are either facing a life threatening experience and you should probably listen to your instinct, or you are listening to the doubts of your conscious mind which has rooted itself in a pattern of doubt. When this situation occurs, for me, I often laugh at myself, as I know all I need to look at is how incredible my subconscious is. The complexity of the tasks the subconscious performs, minute by minute, is often far more complex than the task ahead. Imagine if you had to take on a fraction of the tasks the subconscious does in a few seconds. Imagine having to control the blood flow of your body, making sure every organ is performing at its best and servicing parts of the body that need more blood than others. Imagine how precisely each of the thousand of muscle strands has to move in order to lift a drink in to your mouth, or walk across the room to turn on a light, let alone return a serve, hit a golf ball or balance on a wave. Imagine the thousands of messages going through your nervous system, stimulating different parts of the body, and the processing of turning oxygen into energy as you effortless breath and maintain the correct levels of gasses in your body. This is a fraction of what is going on inside the body and the subconscious does this without question and can handle a hundred fold more. The brain is far smarter and faster than the most powerful computer known to man. This incredible innate ability opens up a world of possibilities and potential if we allow ourselves to use it. With such an incredible and intelligent brain already activated, the subconscious tends to put the conscious to shame in comparison. When we think of this magic inside us, that is already happening, suddenly the overbearing task ahead seems a lot simpler, ask long as we allow ourselves to trust our subconscious and ‘back ourselves’.
Surfing big waves is one example where I need to back myself 100% percent. Any lack of commitment to the wave and mistakes are made. Even when I’m tired and exhausted, and a wave has flipped me over and under and I’m seeking a way out of the intense washing machine of the wave’s underbelly, only to find the surface and see another wave crumble down on top of me. The one thing that gets me through this awkward and dangerous situation is backing myself and continuing to think, ‘I will get through this’. The mind can play havoc with fears, problems, and negativity, however, if you back yourself and focus on the next step the incredible subconscious will find a way.
The next time you have a match or performance and you start to doubt yourself, think of the incredible innate ability that already exists inside.
Replay past successful performances where you played at your best.
Replay only the most powerful of these experiences.
Replay the memory looking through the eyes of the performer (not looking at yourself from a 3rd person’s perspective)
Soak up the emotion of how you felt and replay the movie again and again until the movie seems real
Should the doubt surface again, simply back yourself and replay the movie until it has gone.
Once this vivid movie has helped you dissolve any doubt, create a title and front cover (dvd) to the move. In the future repeating the title to yourself and imagining the front cover may be all you need to ‘back yourself’.
Once the above process has worked on several occasions, find another experience and repeat the above, creating 2 or 3 movies that will may work in different situations. Feel free to change or customise the experience, emotion or detail, to achieve the outcome you need in order to ‘back yourself’.
The above task may take an hour initially. As you become more familiar with replaying the past experience this whole process can carried out in 10 seconds.
The brain understand and learns best from images, so the more intense the movie is the greater the effect.
The more you can practise this task, the more established the mind body connections will become. This process literally reestablishes old connections and allows you to be at your best.
If the one memory is not working or you are finding a block to reaching the associated feelings, change the experience to another past experience where you have surprised yourself or played your best.