In our post ‘The Power of Imaginative Rehearsal’ I shared the importance of the principle “what you expect is what you get” and the corollary importance of imaginatively rehearsing positive outcomes, like you passing the EPPP exam. This is an important part of the picture for anyone hoping to build self-confidence, yet it remains only part of the picture. The other key aspect is that confidence has to be earned.
I have already shared that sports psychologists have long understood that the brain’s power to ‘rehearse’ optimal performance outcomes is crucial for an athlete to realize his goals and dreams. However, coaches and sports psychologists also understand that confidence by itself is insufficient if it is not matched with competence, including the type of competence that only comes after methodical, rigorous training.
A person can spend all day imagining that he is a successful NFL quarterback, but if he doesn’t actually train, he’ll be lucky if he can even throw a complete pass. While self-belief and confidence are important for success, if our confidence isn’t earned, our self-belief can be little more than self-deception.
With the teams I’ve coached, I’ve wanted them to have a confidence in themselves for any situation that happened during play, but I had to set up practice experiences that simulated the types of situation they might encounter. This enabled them to be prepared to do “right things” in any situation. Confidence requires competence, and competence requires mastery, and mastery is derived from doing right things repeatedly. Practice only makes permanent; perfect practice makes perfect permanent results.
In our post, ‘EPPP Exam & Earning Your Own Confidence, part 2‘ we’ll see how these insights can help you as you prepare for your EPPP exam.