Confidence, what does this really mean? One interpretation is a strong belief that you have done enough of something to succeed or fail in a task. The other may be a non-descript belief that you will be good at ‘something’ because you have done that ‘something’ or that action similarly a few times well. Unfortunately, these beliefs can and typically do, end up biting many golfers in the rear! I know this may not be what we want to hear but hear me out. It’s okay to have confidence, but maybe we should exam this a bit deeper!

“I was so confident on the first tee that I was going to play well today. I had a great warm up session, my two days of practice leading up to the event were great. My coach said I looked great and I had a lot of confidence over the ball before hitting a shot or putting the ball into the hole.” We have all been there! This is where confidence may not be the right belief system. Perhaps self-efficacy would make more sense? Why? According to Dr. Albert Bandura, professor emeritus at Stanford University, self-efficacy refers to a belief in one’s power to produce given levels of performance allowing for affirmation of capability. Confidence is merely lexical preference. Self-efficacy is more rooted in a process that builds both the capabilities and the belief system over time, years of successful and failed practices and performances, building resilience through overcoming adversity with persistent effort.

Self-efficacy is perhaps why we see the “GOAT” performers on top of the podium most often. The greatest of all time are not merely confident in their abilities, they have developed a deeper understanding of their capabilities over time. They have a strong belief system regardless of errors, mistakes, missed shots, missed putts, out of bounds drives, that allows them to understand that these things happen.

The belief in their training, experiences and ability to perform based on the industrious efforts to improve through the ups and downs, attaining their goal of winning or succeeding at a given tasks Their belief system isn’t rooted or reliant on mere confidence, but a deeper, mastery-driven emotion – self-efficacy! They rely on belief in their training, in their experiences and in their ability to perform through the ups and downs to attain their goal of winning or succeeding at a given task.

So next time you are struggling with confidence, ask yourself, why? Is it confidence? Or is it your lack of strong belief in your abilities because you know you may not have prepared enough or practiced enough for your ability to match the challenge you faced? This is what we call the Skill-Challenge Ratio. Players over-estimate their abilities and underestimate the challenge of the task at hand. It is important to understand that being good or great at something requires training through failure and adversity. If you believe strongly in yourself and doing all the things necessary to become your best, the outcome will take care of itself!  By building more self-efficacy, the daily yo-yo of confidence will decrease and your chances of success will increase!

Enjoy Your Journey!

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