How Self-Doubt Destroys Confidence
Many distractions during competition affect your ability to focus…
Some common distractions are:
- Opposing fans
- Rival teams
- Worrying about meeting others’ expectations
- Poor playing conditions
If you want to perform to your peak, you find a way to be able to cope well with distractions by being ready for them.
The toughest distractions to cope with are the ones you create for yourself.
Internal distractions are when you have negative thinking, doubts, focus on mistakes, etc. They start within your own mind, not from your surroundings.
They sometimes are about doubt, such as, “I won’t do well because…” and then you might even make up false evidence in an attempt to give credence to your claims.
However, self-doubt is way more damaging than a distraction because you drain your own confidence…
Negative beliefs or doubts about future performances are self-fulfilling prophecies and the only way to overcome these is by creating a different story about your ability to perform successfully.
Australian rules football midfielder, Hamish Hartlett, hit the nail on the head when he summed up the relationship between negative thoughts and performances.
HARTLETT: “I’m trying to breathe more positivity around the [team]. I’m my own harshest critic — and have been for a long, long time. It comes the stage where you continue going down the same path, doing the same things and continue to get the same results which is inconsistent performances, not playing to the level you expect of yourself or others expect. Or you change, slightly and hope things change for the better. It seems to be working, so far.”
The best way to “change things for the better” is to attack your doubts on two fronts.
First, change the story you tell yourself. When you have a doubt, recognize it as such.
Awareness of your own faulty thinking is always the first step.
Second, challenge your doubts when they pop into your head and fact check those thoughts to determine if they are valid.
When you change your story, you save your confidence from taking a big hit.
How to Challenge Your Self-Doubt
- Write down the top five doubts you’ve had before and during competition. Keep a log of these if you need to.
- Challenge the validity of each doubt and fact check yourself: rationalize with your own doubt. How do you know these doubts are true?
- Change each self-doubt into a statement of confidence. So change, “I just don’t have it today,” to, “You know how to grind it out and get the job done.”
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“I bought The Confident Athlete and I have to tell you it is one of the best investments I’ve ever made in sports (and I’ve made quite a lot!)” I am a top amateur racquetball player. I have multiple state and regional titles, and 2 national titles. Your approach and ideas have snapped me out of a slump that has lasted way too long. The sport is fun again and I am playing like my old self for the first time in a long time!”
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~Shaun Burrell, Professional Surfer
(Listen to his success story)
Boost Your Self-Confidence And Focus With Expert Mental Game Coaching!
If you’re a top performer during practice but find yourself under-performing in competition, the most likely culprit holding you back is your mental game.
Master mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome your mental game issues with one-on-one personal mental game coaching.
You can work with Dr. Patrick Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!
What are our mental game coaching students, parents and coaches saying?
“Mental coaching has helped me immensely. It has taught me what to focus on in and out of the racecar… How to stay calm and focused have been the key skills that I have learned, which are important to becoming a better and more confident racecar driver.”
~AJ Allmendinger, NASCAR Driver
WOW!!! What a week I had. I was able to perform with a confidence that allowed my style to shine through–no more entering the arena with that “deer in the headlights” look or feeling. I stopped evaluating myself while I was performing, and I actually left the arena after my patterns feeling like I had experienced a lot of fun. Thank you so much.”
~Julia Dreyer, National Champion Equestrian
Download Our FREE Mental Toughness Report!
Download your FREE Mental Toughness Report and discover if you are making one or more of theses ‘costly’ mental game mistakes before competition.
- Discover if those pregame jitters are positive or negative.
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- Learn how your mental game might sabotage your success in sports.
- Identify mistakes in your per-competition mental preparation.
Download The Mental Toughness Report:
You will also receive regular updates of more mental toughness tips to boost your performance in sports!
What are mental coaching students, parents and coaches saying?
“I am a sports psychologist in Dallas. I’ve read your two e-books and find them quite good. I commend you on the quality of your eBook. It is very readable and helpful.”
~Michael Wolf, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist
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