In 2005, an 18 year old man from Scotland walked onto the tennis court to take part in his first Wimbledon competition. Having impressed in the junior competitions, many saw Andy Murray as the new hope to Britain having a tennis champion. With each year, Murray was gaining a reputation for being one of the top players in the world and in 2008 he appeared in the US open final, coming runner up against Roger Federer.
Although no one could deny that Andy Murray was one of the top tennis players in the world, it was becoming apparent that he was falling short of winning the grand prize. Between 2009 and 2012 Murray reached 6 grand slam semi-finals and 3 finals. Something was going on and many were saying that when the pressure is on, Murray chokes.
The opposite of Self-confidence is self-doubt. A perpetual cycle of questioning about your ability to handle challenges that come your way. The sports world is plagued with examples of individuals with great potential but paralysed by consuming self-doubt that etched into every crevice of their mind. Rather misfortunately there is a term called ‘Steve Blass disease’, named after an American baseball player (called Steve Blass) who, whilst playing for the Pittburgh Pirates in the 60’s gradually started to deteriorate in performance during important games. Reports indicate that he performed well during practice but when the time came for him to perform in the game, he fell apart.
When looking at the importance of self-confidence think about something you want in life but for some reason you haven’t started to work towards achieving it. As you think about it, how much easier would it be when you remove self-doubt in your ability to handle what life throws at you. Self-confidence is important because it allows your mind to be clear to whatever happens to you in the moment. When self-doubt creeps in you start thinking excessively, sometimes about the outcome, sometimes about why you might not be good enough. With high levels of self-confidence your mind is clear, allowing a much more powerful part of your brain to function.
Self-confidence is important to you because you have a certain goal you want to achieve, a certain persona you want to adopt and you feel a higher level of self-confidence is going to make that a reality. For a moment I’d like you to consider this; Self-confidence is already inside you. Not in the form of a specific spot in the brain or a particular muscle in the body, but as a series of processes that go on inside you where confidence is the result. By understanding the importance and the vast power high levels of self-confidence gives you, you will assign the time to really nurture it and allow it to blossom long enough to see the effect on your world it provides.
As millions watched, Andy Murray led a nail biting match up with his old foe Roger Federer over who would be crowned the Olympic Mens tennis champion. Excitement was building with Murray leading but having lost to Federer a month earlier at Wimbledon and being so close to victory before, many weren’t certain Murray could hold his nerve. That soon ended when Federer’s forearm shot hit the net for Murray to be crowned champion.
A few weeks later in front of a packed out crowd, Murray led the way to become US open champion.
Andy Murray self-confidence had finally triumphed over his self-doubt.
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