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Confidence is a  choice

When Jason Dufner, the 2013 PGA Championship winner, was asked what contributed to his great play during the final round, he poignantly responded, “I decided I was going to be confident and put my best foot forward and play aggressive and try to win this thing.” Dufner also added that he was not going to play scared. Clearly, his attitude produced magnificent play on Sunday as Dufner fired at all pins and swung away with his driver like it was a simple muni course rather than the supremely difficult Oak Hills Country Club.

Dufner gets it. Confidence is a choice. This is one of the most powerful mental game ingredients I can share with you. No matter how many bad shots you just hit or how many easy putts you just missed, you can still choose to be confident.  Regardless of outcome, you can always be confident, but that mental skill is supremely difficult.

Another story that illustrates the importance of this mental skill relates to the great Tom Watson. Most golf fans will remember his remarkable chip-in on the 17th hole at the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, where he went on to victory. However, on the seventh hole, he missed a putt from 2 feet. Watson didn’t lose confidence in his putting, he merely told himself that even great putters miss an occasional easy one.

Sport is no different from business when it comes to maintaining your positive attitude. You will always face obstacles and difficulties in your business life. When those hardships appear, it is so easy to lose your confidence, and your belief in your abilities. But winners, like Dufner and Watson, choose to be confident regardless of the situation or past disasters Here are a few suggestions for you to remain confident in every business situation:

1.Have a planned statement. A good statement is: “I choose to be confident.” This always helps me when times get difficult. Figure out a planned statement that will spur your confidence when times turn sour.

2.Recall a time when you were very confident. Every time you feel your confidence soaring, record it in a book. Write down why you are confident and what it really feels like to you, because everyone is unique in this regard. When you feel your confidence sliding, just glance at your log to get a quick jolt of confidence.

In his book “Man’s Search for Meaning,” the famous philosopher and self-help guru Victor Frankl wrote: “The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.” You always have the choice of possessing a good or bad attitude and the freedom to change your attitude in an instant. If you make the correct choice to remain confident regardless, then your chances greatly increase of performing your best in every situation.

Dr. Gregg Steinberg is the author of the best selling business book, Full Throttle, He speaks around the country to business about developing mental and emotional toughness. Please check out www.emotionaltoughnessuniversity.com and get your free emotional toughness e-book and check out a bunch of free videos and articles. For the month of May, if you use the promo code iggy199 you can get the on-line course for half off.