The skill of self confidence | Dr. Ivan Joseph | TEDxRyersonU

Transcriber: Jaime Ochoa
Reviewer: Elisabeth Buffard In my past life as a soccer coach, once you won a national championship, everyone wants to come play for you. Really not true. Once you paid them
$ 25,000 a year in scholarships, everybody wants
to come play for you. And parents would always
come to me and they'd say: "Okay, my son or my daughter
wants to come play at your university, what is it that we have to do? You know, what are you looking for?" And being the Socratic
professor that I am, I say, well, what does
your son or daughter do? What do they do really well
that we'd be interested in? And typically their answers are,
well, they've got great vision. They're really good. They can see the entire field. Or, my daughter is the fastest player,
there's nobody that can beat her. Or, my son's got a great left-footer. Really great in the air
and can hit every ball. I'm like: "Yeah, not bad; but to be quite honest with you, those are the last things
I'm looking for. The most important thing? Self-confidence." Without that skill, and I use
the word skill intentionally, without that skill, we are
useless as a soccer player.

Because when you lose sight
or belief in yourself, we're done for. I use the definition
of self-confidence to be the ability or the belief to believe in yourself,
to accomplish any task, no matter the odds,
no matter the difficulty, no matter the adversity. The belief that you can
accomplished it, self-confidence. Some of you are saying,
"Great, I don't have it. I'm so shy. I'll never do that, bla, bla, bla." And you start to drag
all the way down here. But, I use the word skill because I believe it can be trained. And I'll show you a couple
of ways in which we do.

Hopefully I won't run out of time. I don't use any slides because my speech always goes
here, or here, or here. So we'll see which way we get to. The easiest way
to build self-confidence: there's no magic button. I can't say: "Hey, this plane
is going down, who can fly? Put your hand up." "I can, I'm confident!" (Laughter) Repetition, repetition, repetition. Right? What does Malcom Gladwell call it,
the 10,000-hour rule? There's no magic button. I recruited a goalie from Colombia,
South America one year. Big, tall 6'3" man.

You know, he had hands like stone. I thought he was like Flipper. Everytime I threw him the ball,
down, onto the ground. I was like, oh my god,
we're in trouble. Simple solution: get to the wall, kick a ball against
the wall and catch it. kick the ball against
the wall and catch it. His goal was 350 a day
for eight months. He came back,
his hands were calloused, the moisture on his hands
were literally gone, he is now playing in Europe. Magic? No. Repetition, repetition, repetition. The problem is, we expect
to be self-confident but we can't be unless the skill, or the task we're doing, is not novel, is not new to us. We want to be in a situation where we have so
much pressure in that and what I mean, cause
pressure builds diamonds, we want to be in a situation where "hey, I've done this
a thousand times".

I did my speech, and I practiced in front of a mirror:
bla, bla, bla, bla, bla, bla. Hey I'm sounding good. And then I went
in front of my kids, and my wife. I said, oh gosh,
I got a little nervous. Then I'd get in front of Glenn Gould, Oh my goodness,
I am a little more nervous! By the time I get to the ACG, where 2,500 people,
can't say anymore, right? Twenty-five hundred people, where twenty-five hundred
people are there, I won't have a single
ounce of nervousness because of my ability to practice. Right? Over, and over, and over, again. The problem with repetition is: how many of us bail
after the first bit of failure? How many of us bail after
the first bit of adversity? Edison was on that video, and it depends who you ask, there's anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 tries
to build that light bulb. 1,000 to 10,000. J.K Rowling should be on that video. Do you know how many publishers
she took her Harry Potter book to? I believe the number was 12 or 13…

I am pretty confident but
after two or three noes I'd be like: "damn it!". After six or seven,
I'm like: "maybe not!" Definitely after nine or ten I'd be looking to be a soccer coach or something else besides an author. (Laughter) Right? I mean, twelve times somebody said no. But, practice, practice, practice,
and do not accept failure. Maybe it shouldn't be repetition, maybe the answer
should be persistence. Because we all repeat something but
very few of us really will persist. So that's one way
to build self-confidence. Get out there. Do what you want to do
and do not accept no. The other one is self-talk. We all have a self-talk tape
that plays in our head. Anybody go shopping and
put on a pair of pants this week? If you're a woman, the first thing that always comes: "damn I look fat in these pants!." And if you're a man,
it's the opposite: "Oh god, I got no muscle,
I'm so flabby!" Right? We all have this tape
that plays in our head.

As a student,
if they asked me the question, it was like: "Oh, gee please professor
don't pick me, I don't know the answer." I'd look down. Right? If you're in the b…when I,
let me tell you something, and the VP of business adminis.
here, I shouldn't repeat this, but when they hired me
as an Athletics director, I sat in an architect's meeting, and I am as dumb as a post when it comes to anything to do
with numbers and angles. And they are like: the fundibulator valve of the architectural, uh, what do you think doctor Joseph? Uh, let me look into that for you
and get back to you.

(Laughter) Right? I was in a, oh god god, please don't
ask me, please don't ask me. We all have this negative
self-talk that goes in our head. Guess what? There's enough people that
are telling us we can't do it. That we're not good enough. Why do we want to tell ourselves that? We know for a fact that
thoughts influence actions. We saw it there with the video
Sheldon, Dr. Levy showed. We know that our
thoughts influence actions, why do we want to say that
negative self-talk to ourselves? We need to get
our own self-affirmations. Muhammad Ali, what was
his self-affirmation? I am the greatest! Who else is going to tell you? There need to be quiet
moments in your bedroom, quiet moments when
you're brushing your teeth. That we need to reaffirm: "I am the captain of my ship
and the master of my fate!" That is my affirmation. I came from a school
of one thousand people, I lived in a town of one thousand
people for fifteen years; there's no reason that I should be
in charge of an Athletics department, building maple leaf gardens.

pexels photo 5647214

But I am the captain of my ship
and the master of my fate. If I don't say it,
if I don't believe it, no one else will. How do you build self-confidence? Get away from the people
who will tear you down. There's enough of that. Muhammad Ali, I am the greatest!
There is no one better than me. There's a difference between
hubris, and ego, and false pride. It's just reminding yourself
in quiet silent moments, I put it down on a list, it's right beside my mirror, right? about all the things that
make me who I am. Because I make enough mistakes, and the newspapers will recognize it, and people around me
will recognize it; and they'll tear me down, and pretty soon
I'll begin to believe it.

There was a time when
my confidence was really low. There was a time when I took this job when I came from Iowa, I don't know if I could do it. I had to bring out
my self-confidence letter. A letter I wrote to myself
when I was feeling good. Ivan, congratulations on
getting your PhD before 40. Congra…I am 40, under. (Laughter) Congratulations on winning
a national championship. Good job on raising three good kids
and marrying the right woman. I wrote a letter to myself, it was my own brag sheet. My own letter about
the things I was proud of. Because there are moments, and we'll all experience them
in our career, in our lives, in our job hunting,
in our relationships; when we are not feeling good about who, and what, and where we are. And I had to bring out that letter
and read it time and time again, for a period of about two weeks,
to weather me through that storm. It was important. Stop the self-talk,
the negative self-talk. If you watch you'll see some athletes
that have a little bandage, or a little brand around them. Lance Armstrong is a perfect one.

What's his self-affirmation? Livestrong isn't a brand,
it was to remind him of who he was. Live strong.
Then it became a brand. He would move that from
one arm to the next arm, when doubt and fear
came into his mind. Live strong, put it on there, let's go. We'll all have it, we place it. Two ways to build self-confidence. I'm worried about my time I'm gonna tell you of one way you can build
self-confidence in others. We are coaches and educators, we are teachers, we are people who will create value in the world; and in doing that, we are critical
by the nature of what we do. I am a coach,
I want you to score a goal. The ball went over high.
"Dang it!" The ball went high! "Thank you coach, I know that.
Feedback tells me that." So what do we do? I need you to put your elbow here, I need you to put
your knee over the ball, I need you to follow through.

Boom. Land. Great. Notice, I never made it
as a professional. (Laughter) What can we do? We fix mistakes. When I'm fixing that mistake: "Johnny, this is terrible, you need to bend your knee,
you need to do this, this." What have I done to Johnny's
self-confidence? Bend your knee,
then do this, then do this. Next thing you know,
Johnny's crushed. Ignore what Johnny does wrong and find Bob or Sally
or Freda over here. Great goal Freda, I love how
you kept your knee low, you followed through,
and you landed like this. Great job! Johnny: "Oh?" Great! Johnny's not demoralized. His confidence isn't shot, and what I've done is,
I've built up Freda's. Imagine how we could change
the way we parented kids. Instead of: "get that glass off the counter,
what's wrong with you?" (Laughter) If we catch the mother, good. Great job! Great job. Thank you Alice for taking
your glass to the counter.

It sounds simple but
we forget about it. Or as educators,
or as somebody as a team, if we manage to praise the positive behaviour that
we wanted to reinforce. We forget it.
It sounds so simple. Catch them when they're good. We forget it. It's simple. Here's what they did. There was a study
in Kansas that did this. They did video, and we all do video. And we show the video of them
doing the run of the play: "Um, this goal happened because
the basket wasn't protected, we didn't rotate here, right? We needed to do this
and then cover the slot." And, if that's the baseline, improvement of the Kansas
State team went like this. Then, they said they ignored all of that and they just showed them
the times they did it right. The times they did it perfect. That presented no goals,
spoke to the same points, improvement went like that. It changed and revolutionized
the way we as coaches interact with our student athletes. We can apply that to the business world, we can apply that
to our student group works, we can apply that
to our management teams.

Easily: catch them when they are good. Last and certainly not least. My son is really good at this. Self-confident people interpret feedback the way they choose to. I ask my son who is
by the far a terrible, terrible athlete, gets it from his dad. (Laughter) The game's… How's the game? Oh great! I scored three goals,
I got two assists. I'm like: "I did not see him
touch the puck!" But he has his own perception of how he did! (Laughter) I love it! (Laughter) Right? I'm the…I'm that guy! I'm like: "I remember when I was taking when I met my wife,
it was in the commons.

"Paulie, would you like
to go to the movies? Ladies? Tingly, tingly, tingle." (Laughter) And she goes: "Ah, no." I asked her again. Cause I think that she just
hasn't seen me in the right light. (Laughter) Maybe, that's not the wrong shirt on. Right? Cause I'm interpreting that
the way I want to interpret it. Finally I asked her out again. She gave me this one comment, right?
Or, she sent it to her friend. Cause that's the way
you did it back then. "She wouldn't date you unless there was the last person on Earth, hell was freezing over, there was a small chance
we had to save the planet Earth. Some people, it's like,
there's no chance. I'm like: "You're saying
there's a chance." (Laughter) Right? Because that's how
I'm gonna interpret it. If I could give you
one thing to take from this, it is: no one will believe in you unless you do.

Listen to the words of that video, here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes. We're supposed to be different, folks. And when people look at us, believe in yourself. Thank you. (Applause).

As found on YouTube

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