1 World-Class Secret to Build Confidence Over the Long Haul

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I saw Serena Williams play an exhibition match in Los Angeles when she was only 11 or 12 years old. Looking back, I wonder if she realized that she would be the named best player in the open era and have earned more than 22 Grand Slam titles!  Not to mention all of her other unimaginably successful endorsements and businesses. Maybe not down to those exact details, but she did work every day believing her day would come, and believing it was possible.

It’s that unwavering belief in ourselves that allows us to dream big and persevere.

When it comes to our long-term objectives it’s important that we “proceed as if success is inevitable” (my favorite quote, BTW), hold on to our dream, and then relinquish control of the outcome. You, like Serena Williams early in her career, have little to no control of the scale of your future success. There are many unknowns:

  • What will the competition be like?
  • What setbacks will you have?
  • What obstacles will get in your way?
  • Will you be good enough?

When we dream BIG, we must assume our desired result will happen, and then let the worry and doubt surrounding the outcome go.

Proceed every day as if your success is inevitable.

If we attach our daily efforts to our own personal Olympics, the chasm is too great to cross. We get discouraged, risk getting injured or worse, we quit. Let’s say Serena Williams wanted to be #1 in the world when she was 12 years old. But she lost consecutively that year, and suffered an injury at this time as well. On top of that, maybe the naysayers were prolific since her father was a coach and she did not play traditional junior tournaments. Injury, losses, and negativity could be a lot to bear for Serena Williams, and could definitely take its toll on motivation and progress.

So what keeps US in the game and fighting past setbacks, defeats, and those who intentionally or unintentionally, discourage us?

We must believe our dream is possible, and then let it go.

One of the main characteristics of long-term objectives is that we have little to no control. When a young person wants to win a gold medal in the Olympics (let’s say in a decade or so), she has little or no control whether or not she will make it to the Olympics… nonetheless win a gold medal.

  • She believes and practices every day like it’s possible.
  • She sees herself on the podium, receiving the gold medal.
  • She feels the width of the ribbon around the back of her neck as she bows to receive it and also feels how heavy it is as it hangs around her neck.
  • She hears her National Anthem, feels her hand on her heart with tears of joy in her eyes.
  • She holds her congratulatory bouquet over her head, waving at all the fans holding her country’s flag, finally catching sight of her parents in the stands who are jumping up and down screaming, so proud and filled with love and joy.

It’s time to start seeing ourselves today as we want to be in the future.

  • What is it like once you’ve arrived?
  • How does it feel?
  • Who is there to celebrate with you?

Create victory in your mind and visit it as often and as heartfelt as you’d visit a friend in need.

However, in your day-to-day activities, focus on what you have control over to make progress and let the outcome go. By taking control of your actions, you’ll gain confidence in those small successes which in the long run add up to a big victory and more confidence in your ability to succeed.

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