Playing Favorites By Marshall Goldsmith There’s a reason I devote...
I once asked a marathoner friend—who was not quite an elite runner but who was dedicated to his training and was someone who other amateur runners paid attention to in a race—how many miles a week he had to log in order to meet his goals.
“It’s not about mileage,” he said. “It’s about developing speed so you’re confident you can outrun anyone when it matters. Speed instills confidence. The confidence creates more speed.”
I knew that confidence was essential in skill sports like golf or baseball. Sports history is filled with athletes who lose their confidence and overnight can’t find the fairway or throw a curveball over the plate. But I’d never thought that it mattered in long-distance running, which struck me as an exercise in brute force endurance rather than athletic skill. But I take my friend’s point. When you have speed and believe you can call on it at will, you’re creating a positive feedback loop that creates more speed, and thus even more confidence.
That’s the beauty of confidence — It is the product of all your other positive virtues and choices, and then it returns the favor by making you even stronger in those areas.
As a general rule, if you have motivation, ability, and understanding, lacking confidence is unfortunate, almost inexcusable, because you have earned the right to be confident.