As a Kansas City Chiefs fan I’m thrilled, and amazed, at the level of confidence and intensity they possess.
This blog post was triggered by watching the Chiefs 5th consecutive UGLY win. Teams they should have beaten fairly easily all ended up taxing Kansas City’s will to win. This observation helped me gain some insights into intensity and the role confidence plays in it.
One of the things that has been consistent in the past two years, possibly three, is that when the Chiefs are behind in the score, their focus and intensity increase and their performance becomes exceptional. Some of the plays they pull off astound veteran professional football players.
This intensity belies a level of confidence that few possess. Absent confidence, the doubts they would experience would virtually assure mistakes. That’s true for all of us…as is the fact that these levels of confidence and intensity are available to all of us.
The Chiefs focus on what they need to do to succeed, not on what might go wrong. Patrick Mahomes, the quarterback, doesn’t question whether he should throw the ball or run. If he did, he’d experience doubts.
Instead he focuses on the circumstances he’s seeing with an eye to making the play. Similarly, the receivers don’t doubt their ability to make tough catches. If they wondered “Can I make this catch?,” more than likely they’d miss. By intensifying their focus on catching the ball, the catches they make significantly outnumber their misses.
The Chiefs players aren’t the only ones who employ this mindset. Professional golfers focus their attention on where they want the ball to land. They don’t allow their focus to drift towards the obstacles in their way. By intensifying their focus on where they want the ball to land they minimize the likelihood of hitting a sand trap, water hazard or tall rough grass.
I was fortunate to experience something similar in an over-30, recreational softball league. We had one exceptional player on the team. The rest were mediocre in terms of skill. I was the anchor, the least athletic person on the field. Yet we had an undefeated season. The game I recall most vividly is one in which we were down 14 runs at the end of the first inning and came back to win 17 to 15.
There were two things that drove this success, the same things that drive Kansas City Chiefs’ success, confidence and intensity. The fact that we were down 14 runs didn’t matter to us. It didn’t seem insurmountable because we were confident that we could overcome this deficit. That confidence enabled us to intensify our focus and make plays and get hits that we might not otherwise have accomplished.
The other elements that helped my team and helps the Chiefs as well, is that we really liked one another and we were, as the Chiefs say, “playing for one another.” Neither they, nor we, play for personal glory, we were playing so that our teammates could enjoy another win.
My purpose in sharing my personal experience is to demonstrate that confidence and intensity are available to all of us…regardless of skills or abilities. Right field is where non-professional teams put their weakest player. Care to guess which position I played? Yet I played on an undefeated team.
So what does this mean for you?
When you experience challenges in your life, and we all do, realize that you have a conscious choice in how to deal with it. You can nurture the doubts that will inevitably surface or you can choose to intensify your focus on the things that you need to do to deal with the situation.
The more frequently that you choose to intensify your focus, the more adept you’ll become at dealing with life’s challenges. Life becomes easier and more enjoyable as you realize that you are well equipped to deal with anything that comes your way.
For our kids
When your kids experience doubts, fear or anxiety, let them know that they have a choice. Help them understand that when they nurture doubts, they invite problems. When they choose to focus on what they want to occur, they increase the likelihood of its occurrence. Your kids will thank you for making their lives so much easier.
Feel free to share this blog with those whom you feel would benefit from this message. It’s an easy way to say “I love you. I’m thinking of you.”
I love hearing your thoughts and experiences, please share your insights in a comment.
If you’d like to enjoy great confidence, check out our Confidence Self-Study programs (opens in a new link).
If you’d like to enrich the lives of others by teaching them to be more confident, check out our Teaching Confidence Instructor Certification program (opens in a new link).