The Difference Between Degrees and the Destination
Confidence is NOT a destination. It is a location. It’s actually a town in California and has a population of about 50 people. But when it comes to our personal ability to have confidence, it’s not a destination.
Happiness is also not a destination. Preparedness is not a destination. Grateful, graceful, generous, and gritty are all NOT destinations.
A recurring theme we’ll see throughout our mindset training is that these attractive traits don’t just show up one day after wishing for them.
There’s no confidence light switch you can flick on. Nor confidence genie you can wish for.
We’ve been sold a lie that character traits were gifts that have been given to us, or they are simply on layaway waiting to be picked up. We’re taught to dream about how great it would be to own one of these traits one day.
You can catch yourself in this faulty line of thinking when you say to yourself, “I will be ________ when…”
“I will be confident when...”
“I will be happy when...”
“I will be generous when...”
There’s an old saying when it comes to being generous, “If you can’t give one dollar when you have ten, you’re not going to give away a hundred thousand when you become a millionaire.” Generosity is cultivated over years of giving what you can where you can, not just in money but also in time and care for others.
These other character traits are no different.
If we want to grow our character in positive ways, we have to realize it happens in small degrees. We aren’t born full of confidence. We don’t arrive at confidence after boarding the confidence plane and doing a layover in Dallas-Fort Worth.
We gradually become more or less confident, more or less happy, more or less generous, with each day and the actions we perform.
We cultivate our mindset traits. Like growing plants in a garden, we reap those rewards of their growth when we give them our focus and care.
Each day, you can make the decision to sow more seeds of confidence.
Recognize that people you admire who inhabit these traits came about them by working on them. Some of the most confident professional athletes or musical performers you can think of are also the hardest workers in their industry. They practice and prepare more than anyone else.
They are not immune to losing their confidence. Even the best still have their moments of fear and questioning of their own ability. But the best of the best, have built a foundation of character traits and routines that keep them at the level they pursue even through losses and failures.
One of the best examples of confidence in professional sports is exhibited by arguably the best NFL quarterback of all-time Tom Brady. As a lifelong New York Giants fan, and subsequent New England Patriots hater, it’s not easy for me to say that.
Tom Brady just recently won his 7th Super Bowl Title in his 10th Super Bowl appearance. It was his first with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in his first season with them, after spending 20 seasons in New England.
Most believed Brady couldn’t possibly win with a brand new team, a team that hadn’t reached the playoffs in 12 years! Many also believed Brady’s 43-year-old body couldn’t possibly handle another season. Add onto this an offseason and preseason completely thrown off by the COVID pandemic, and you can make a daunting story of why this shouldn’t have worked.
After the Buccaneers won the NFC Championship to punch their ticket to the Super Bowl, head coach Bruce Arians was asked what Tom Brady had brought to this newly successful team. He said, “The belief he gave to this organization that it could be done. It only took one man.”
You can be that man or woman that brings belief into your life, business, or organization where it’s needed. Belief starts with a belief.
It’s ok to want a certain level of confidence before you take the leap to open your own business, or go on that interview or audition...But you have to acknowledge and utilize the confidence you’ve already built.
Let the degrees of confidence you’ve already built inspire you to have more confidence.
Don’t let the destination of confidence put some kind of imaginary moat between you and your goals.
Think and move in degrees, not in destinations.