Don’t Believe In Yourself? That’s “Lin-Sanity”! | 10 Confidence Builders

Sometimes we say we do when we don’t. Or say we don’t when we might. Other times we wonder if we do or should or can. Getting a grip on sustainable self-belief can make us crazy.

It seems that every success story we hear boils down to how the person always believed s/he could:

  • Overcome the odds
  • Seize their big moment
  • Get recognized
  • Reach the top

Their self-belief is what sustained them when they were down and nearly out. It was the one internal force that fueled their momentum and prevented any idea of quitting.

I don’t know about you, but there are days when believing in myself is no problem. Then (ugh) there are those seemingly endless other days when nothing is clear, self-doubt takes over, and my optimism goes underground.

Unfortunately, the success that we’re after often feels elusive. The more our vision of it waivers, the more difficult it is for us to dig deep when the going gets tough.

Keep reaching.

Jeremy Lin has become  an inspiration to legions of fans.

Lin is an American pro basketball player for the New York Knicks with an economics degree from Harvard (and a 3.1 GPA) and parents originally from Taiwan. At 6’3″ Lin had enough height to play serious basketball; he performed exceptionally in high school, allowing for the belief that he could play professionally.

Here’s what happened: Lin

  • Did not receive a college athletic scholarship
  • Was not drafted into the pros after college
  • Eventually got a partially guaranteed contract the Gold State Warriors
  • Was then waived both by the Warriors and then the Houston Rockets in preseason
  • Was picked up by the Knicks as a back-up player for 2011-12

Through all the ups and down, the being shuffled around, and the disappointments, Lin kept playing and getting better. He got to demonstrate both his talent and his belief in himself when the Knicks finally put him in a game.

At the time Knicks’ coach Mike D’Antoni said, “He got lucky because we were playing so bad.” That was Lin’s moment and he seized it. The Knicks won that game and the next six under Lin’s on-floor leadership.

D’Antoni said that Lin has a point-guard mentality and “a rhyme and a reason for what he is doing out there.” (How’ s that for helping to boost self-belief!)

The adoration of Knicks fans for Lin gave birth to the term “lin-sanity.” What Lin has done seems “insane,” given his bumpy ride which included sleeping on his brother’s sofa in NYC waiting for his moment.

Consider these lin-sights

Jeremy Lin didn’t just believe in himself, he kept working at becoming a better player.

Believing in ourselves also means believing in things that matter to achieving our goals the right way, as Jeremy Lin did:

  1. Work hard, keep getting better, increase confidence
  2. Stay committed to your goals, no matter the obstacles
  3. Make your success about something more than yourself like the team
  4. Cultivate humility during the ups, courage during the downs
  5. Seize every moment to participate–always be prepared and ready
  6. Focus on the job at hand, block out distracting noise
  7. Accept success and failure as having equal value to improving
  8. Take one day at a time, don’t over analyze or project into a future you can’t control
  9. Ignore the labels you can’t do anything about
  10. Lead when you’re needed and facilitate the success of others

Why not you?

Jeremy Lin is just like you. He’d come close to finding a place in his hoped for career and then watched it slip away. So he tried again until a set of unexpected circumstances gave him a chance to shine.

Lin’s story isn’t about “celebrity” careers. It’s about yours too. It doesn’t matter what line of work you’re in. There’s a level of achievement that you want too. Attaining it starts with your belief that you can and will.

If it can happen for others, I can happen for you. And it will, when the time is right and you’re prepared and ready. Please don’t give up.

Photo from STEVESD via Flickr

Success: The Prize for Conquered Fears | Watching LeBron James

Hoopla always masks the grind. No matter what career we’re in, we need to accumulate the right balance of knowledge, skill, and experience to position ourselves to succeed.                                                            

Success, in its own way, is a fight for something we desire. We want to outdo so we aren’t outdone. There are standards to be met or, better yet, exceeded. Some days we know we’re making the grade and others when we’re not sure. 

Intellectually, we know we “have it” to succeed, until, of course, the demon of self-doubt and fear of failure sabotage our thinking. 

Mastering the skills and knowledge of the job isn’t the issue. Overcoming our internal fears of failure are the dragons to be slain. 

The bigger they are…. 

The more dramatic the fall. You don’t have to know anything about professional basketball to understand the performance questions and criticism that will dog LeBron James of the Miami Heat for months to come. 

Think of LeBron like any “golden boy/girl” where you work. He comes to the job with a string of high school court achievements a mile long. He’s already a highly visible, celebrity before he starts work, with a lucrative Nike contract in hand. 

He first played for the Cleveland Cavaliers where he greatly improved the team’s record.  When he didn’t think the Cav’s organization would get him to his ultimate career goal, an NBA Championship, he left to join the Heat, a team which had signed two other superstars, increasing his chances for a Championship ring.     

As a career management strategy, moving to a better “staffed” organization with a stronger brand made very good sense to LeBron. Wouldn’t most of us do that if given the chance?   

However, LeBron didn’t just make a career move; he created a tsunami of criticism and expectations by what he did and said. He made promises, both implied and stated, that he could deliver multiple Championships to Miami, even though he had no prior track record for that kind of success. 

Knowing what we know now, all of LeBron’s hyped up declarations ultimately seem to have stoked, unconsciously I suspect, his own inner fears about his ability to deliver. Arrogance can do that and we’re not immune. 

And so it goes 

LeBron and the Heat got to the NBA Championships this year. But they didn’t win. 

LeBron’s fourth quarter scoring was pitiful, averaging fewer than three points in each of the first five games. It didn’t matter how many points he scored in the first three quarters. It’s the fourth quarter that matters when you’re a superstar. 

Commentators were all over LeBron saying, “He disappeared in the 4th quarter” and “He seems to check out when everything’s on the line.” 

There were plenty of armchair psychologists examining LeBron’s performance. They talked about how he evidenced a loss of confidence, insufficient aggressiveness, and confusion about how to handle the defense. Stress can awaken even our deeply buried fears. 

At an interview during the playoffs, a commentator asked LeBron, “What are you most afraid of in life.” His answer was, “Not being able to succeed.” 

What we’re really made of is tested when the heat’s on. That’s when our mental toughness is called on to silence the fear noise in our heads. 

Royce Jeffrey writes in the “Bleacher Report:”

“LeBron is tragic in that he clearly has issues with ego, anxiety and failure.  All of this weakness encapsulated in a frame of magnitude and muscle reminds us all that real strength comes from within.”

 A word from the wise

Royce Jeffrey shares this quote by Robert Schuller,

 “Nobody who tries to do something great but fails is a total failure.  Why?  Because he can always rest assured that he succeeded in life’s most important battle—he defeated the fear of trying.”

Our success, yours and mine, is the outcome of conquering obstacles. Humility is our best companion. And overcoming fear of both success and failure is our greatest challenge. LeBron will conquer his in time. Let’s do the same.

Photo from Keith Allison via Flickr