Why Confidence Building Is Key to Achieving Lasting Change

Confidence is likely one of the most powerful yet least appreciated attribute that impacts human performance. Before you pass judgment that I am exaggerating, let me provide some examples.

Many have a panic attack when it comes to public speaking. I was no different. When I was in 5th grade, I distinctly remember having a class where the teacher brought in a video recorder, and we were asked to speak in front of the class about something as basic as what happened to you this morning. When it was my turn, I went up to the class and was so afraid I could not speak. I actually began to tear up out of embarrassment, and so I quickly simply sat down.

Who would have thought that I would be speaking to audiences around the globe today! And that is because confidence is something you can learn.

Self-Efficacy: Beyond Self-Esteem

My journey towards confidence was paved by small steps, a lot of praise, some amazing witnesses to model, and a constant reminder that I was good in other areas of my life, so there was no reason to believe I could not master this area.

What I have just described is the approach that is actually based on science, through the works of psychologists like Albert Bandura. It’s called self-efficacy – the belief in one’s ability to succeed in specific situations or tasks.

The funny thing is that we may be confident in certain aspects of our lives, but not in others. Sometimes, an individual may appear very confident in one situation, but when it comes to other areas, they will shy away from any involvement.

This applies to everyone, from physicians to mechanics, to someone trying to lose weight, or someone dreaming to start their own business. A lack of confidence leads to inaction, and inaction cannot lead to lasting change.

How Coaches Inspire Confidence in Others

I believe coaches have a significant impact on people’s lives, and one of the ways they help others achieve lasting results is by building self-efficacy. This approach was recognized early on by our founder Mark Hughes and reinforced by a key business coach, Jim Rohn. They focused a lot on building confidence and were, what I call, scientists of behavior change.

They may not have read a lot of research papers, but they “read” people and how to get results. They honed in on the importance of confidence and self-efficacy. A lot of the training that was conducted at the start of the company and still continues today is based on good solid techniques to bolster self-efficacy.

I return to my own experience of the power of confidence by my own coach. I go back to the story of football. There is a saying on the field at West Point by General Douglas MacArthur: “On the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that on other days, on other fields will bear the fruits of victory.”

On the field of practice, my coaches built my confidence not just for game time but for life. They praised my effort, not my skill. They structured a plan of growth that took incremental and small steps but had a vision of my abilities that was beyond my own. They applied the principles that I use today to help individuals realize they already have what it takes to be successful.

So, what is it that you are afraid to address that is the barrier to achieving a healthier and happier version of yourself?

Kent L. Bradley, M.D., MBA, MPH – Vice President, Medical Affairs Nutrition Education

Kent L. BradleyM.D., MBA, MPH – Vice President, Medical Affairs Nutrition Education

Dr. Bradley is a retired Army Colonel, graduate of the United States Military Academy and has a Master in Public Health from the University of Minnesota, an executive MBA from the University of Denver, and a medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland. He is board certified in Public Health and Preventive Medicine and holds a certificate in Corporate Governance from INSEAD.