#1770 Confidence, Defined

A Sense of Certainty About…

In our last +1, we chatted about one of my new, all-time favorite mental toughness books: The Confident Mind by Dr. Nate Zinsser.

I loved the book so much that I immediately encouraged Michael and our executive team to get it. The first three chapters in particular are mind-bogglingly good.

In his great book, Dr. Z walks us through the science of how to forge a Heroic self-image through self-talk and affirmations and building what he calls a psychological bank of memories and experiences.

It’s truly phenomenal.


In that last +1, we briefly chatted about the VERY FIRST quote in the book AND THE VERY LAST QUOTE in the book.

As we discussed, Sun Tzu says: “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.”

Dr. Z calls that winning the “First Victory.”

I promised we’d chat about HOW to do that.


Let’s get to work.

We’ll start by defining confidence.

Dr. Z tells us: “So my operating definition of confidence (one that will actually help you perform well), is this: a sense of certainty about your ability, which allows you to bypass conscious thought and execute unconsciously.

Break it down with me:

  1. a sense of certainty—that feeling of having complete faith…
  2. about your ability—that you can do something or that you know something…
  3. which allows you to bypass conscious thought—so well you don’t have to think about it…
  4. and execute unconsciously—so you perform it automatically and instinctively.”

He continues by saying: “Confidence is that feeling that you can do something (or that you know something) so well you don’t have to think about how to do it when you’re doing it. That skill or knowledge is in you, it’s part of you, and it will come out when needed if you let it.”

That’s from the Introduction: “What Confidence Is and Isn’t.”

Want Dr. Zinsser’s definition of confidence?

There it is.

I repeat: Confidence is “a sense of certainty about your ability, which allows you to bypass conscious thought and execute unconsciously.”

As we’ve discussed MANY times, etymologically, the word confidence comes from the ancient Latin word confidere which means “to have full or INTENSE trust.”

In other words: to have CERTAINTY.

If you look up the word CONFIDENCE in a thesaurus, you’ll find TRUST as the #1 synonym.

Look up TRUST in a thesaurus and you’ll see CONFIDENCE as the #1 synonym (followed by, for the record: belief, faith, freedom from suspicion/doubt, sureness, certainty, certitude, assurance, conviction, credence, reliance).

Dr. Zinsser’s primary point throughout the book is the fact that you will ONLY have a shot at performing at your ABSOLUTE BEST *if* (important qualifier!) you are able to turn off the voice of doubt.

You do this by learning how to cultivate the INTENSE TRUST/CERTAINTY that you have what it takes to dominate.

Of course, the book is all about helping us do precisely that.

We’ll talk more about that soon.

For Today…

Pop quiz…

What’s the definition of CONFIDENCE?


What’s one thing you KNOW you can do to boost yours TODAY?

Get on that.

Here’s to your First Victory.

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