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The Confident Mind

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The Confident Mind

A Battle-Tested Guide to Unshakable Performance

Custom House,

15 min read
9 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

The key to success is confidence – and confidence is thinking the right thoughts at the right time.

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Many people wish to be better at something, for example sports, work or school. Often, however, an invisible force – a lack of confidence – limits their improvement. Building on decades of experience mentoring athletes, students, executives and others, performance psychologist Nate Zinsser offers an easy-to-follow recipe for boosting success by building confidence. To do so, you need to understand confidence, think constructively about your past, present and future performance, and strategically maintain confidence in the face of internal and external obstacles. This will help you bring your A game to life.


Five common misconceptions hinder people in building confidence.

Five common misconceptions can get in the way of building confidence. First, many people believe that you either have confidence or you don’t.Yet you develop confidence, or gain more, by practicing it. Second, some individuals falsely believe that confidence is an all-or-nothing trait. The truth is that most people don’t feel confident across the board. Many will be confident only in some areas and less so in others.

The third misconception is that confidence is a static state of mind. In reality, you must continually cultivate confidence, otherwise it will fade. Fourth, some people erroneously believe success and recognition breed confidence. In fact, success can reduce confidence by creating pressure.And fifth, many think that making mistakes reduces confidence. Remember, if you view failure as a chance to learn, your mistakes will positively contribute to your confidence.

Developing confidence requires accepting the four pillars that affect all human performance.

Four pillars affect all human performance. Accepting that you can’t change these realities and using them to your...

About the Author

Nate Zinsser is director of the Performance Psychology Program of the US Military Academy at West Point. He also consults with people and organizations seeking a competitive edge.

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