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  • Writer's pictureJack Mullaney

Instead of Seeking Confidence, Take Ownership

I used to think that confidence came from preparation. If I just studied more, or trained more, confidence would ensue. As Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor once said, "A surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence."

There is a lot of truth to that approach. But it doesn't cover the whole process.

At times, despite my best preparations, things would go south in the moment of performance. It was at this time that my thoughts turned to the future, and fear would wash over me as I dreaded the possibility of a poor outcome.

“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves," American writer Fulton Oursler remarked, "Regret for the past and fear of the future.”

To be confident in the heat of the moment, you can't simply own what comes before a performance. That only gets rid of one thief. You have to own what comes after.

When you understand failure is part of the process - that the path to success runs straight through it - you own the result of a performance, regardless of what it is. Employ its teachings as you return to the preparation stage, and you've taken ownership of the full cycle.

When you no longer feel the thief of regret nor the thief of fear, you've owned the process, and confidence will ensue.

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