Self-belief is a core principle within mental toughness (labeled as Confidence in the MTQ 4C’s framework) because it reinforces your positive view of your own capability and increases your desire to extend your comfort zone. Building self-belief also reduces the power of your own internal mental obstacles in limiting your performance.
As a Mental Toughness Coach I’m keen to help you generate and sustain your own self-belief through emphasising the positives and reducing or removing the negative influences.
These two short paragraphs reproduced from Sir John Whitmore’s coaching guide ‘Coaching for Performance: Growing People, Performance and Purpose’ reinforce the importance of self-belief and a supportive environment.
“Since self-belief is key to the manifestation of potential and performance, it is imperative to build a track record of successes. Nothing succeeds like success.
For people to build their self-belief, in addition to accumulating successes, they need to know that their success is due to their own efforts. They must also know that other people believe in them, which means being trusted, allowed, encouraged and supported to make their own choices and decisions. It means being treated as an equal, even if their job has a lesser label. It means not being patronised, instructed, ignored, blamed, threatened or denigrated by word or deed. Unfortunately, much generally expected and accepted management behaviour embodies many of these negatives and effectively lowers the self-esteem of those being managed.”
In the first paragraph Whitmore refers to potential and performance, which also form part of Timothy Gallwey’s relevant definition of performance from his Inner Game series, namely:
Performance = Potential – Interference
Here, Gallwey states that we can improve our performance by stretching ourselves to expand our potential or by removing our internal or mental obstacles such as fear of failure, self-doubt, or feeling overwhelmed.
So, in summary, building self-belief is a critical part of becoming mentally tougher and performing at a higher level. This is two-fold;
- Internally being able to draw strength from your own successes and also remove your own mental obstacles
- Externally choosing to live and work in a positive and supportive environment that helps reinforce the same.
Becoming self-reliant through self-management and development is the best way to achieve this but sometimes you also need external help to get you there.
For more on mental toughness and building self-belief contact us.