Confidence – Pass It On

The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes. ~William James

My ten year old son presented me with a great opportunity the other day when his first little league practice of this spring season did not go according to plan. He didn’t think he played well, and was obviously not in the best mood with his perception of his lack of talent.

Trying to be a good father, I let him know that a) it’s only the first practice, and b) since it was the first one, we were just trying to “knock the rust off”.

But, I was having trouble convincing him. It was obvious this “bad practice” had an effect on his confidence, and it was anything but positive.

My goal at this point was to try to reinstill that confidence in him. To let him know that the more we worked on his game, the more repetition we practiced, the better it would get. And that is all it would take.

I wanted to leave no doubt in his mind that if we practiced the same fundamentals, over and over again, it would work.

In baseball, and in life, having confidence is paramount to any type of success. When my son faces a little league pitcher this year, that kid on the mound is going to throw hard. He will bring it. To deal with that, my boy will need a little bit of swagger.

If he doesn’t have any swagger at all, more than likely he will be walking back to the dugout, the victim of a high velocity strikeout.

I wrote in an earlier post how difficult it might be this year to get to the same level of success that I’ve had in previous years at my job in sales. I wrote that it will probably be a struggle. And if I keep thinking that way, there is no doubt I will be correct.

My work requires me to repeatedly try to contact  potential clients. There is a ton of rejection. If I let the rejection get to me at all, I’m done. I might as well go home. And believe me, I’m not immune to that. I have had those days.

Days without confidence. Without swagger. Strike three!

Confidence in my ability to do my job is the single most important factor about the job. Without it, it just looks like I’m going through the motions. Which will not lead to success. Confidence usually comes to me from:

  1. Being prepared
  2. Consistent repetition of my most important activity (customer contact)
  3. Being positive and keeping a sense of humor when things don’t go so well

So I know what works for me. And I do my best to make sure I follow through with what works every day. Does that mean I will know how to pass what I’ve learned on to my daughter and my son? I’m not sure. It’s difficult to know exactly what a ten year old might remember, or what evaporates from his mind just minutes later.

Right now, doing the right things, rinse, and repeat, is what is going to build that very important life factor of confidence in my kids. As their parents, my wife and I also have to make sure they can see that confidence on the horizon, especially when it’s nowhere to be found.

Hopefully Daddy can remember that lesson, as well, when he’s at work. Batter up!

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