I had never heard of tennis player Carlos Alcaraz until 3 weeks ago when he became a world superstar beating arguably the best player in history Nowak Djokovic in the Wimbledon men’s tennis final.
Watching him play in the first round was very impressive so I checked him out on YouTube, and I realised how good he was. Amazingly at the age of 20, he is ranked number 1 in the world. People say that he is a combination of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer and is the new kid on the block.
What a player
What a fascinating player he is without any obvious weaknesses, but he is incredibly humble and polite and has a great following across the world. I watched the interview following his victory to take him into the quarterfinals and his answer to a particular question impressed me and summarised in part why he is so successful at such a young age.
He was asked if he was surprised to be in the quarterfinals. I was expecting him to be humble and to say that he was and anything from now is a bonus, but he didn’t. He thought for a short while, and I believe he was trying to say just that, but he couldn’t. His incredibly strong mindset wouldn’t allow it.
A great mindset
So, after a few words skirting around the answer, he said that he wasn’t surprised, and he’d worked very hard for this and believed that he had all the skills and talent to win the tournament. It felt like I was watching a future winner and I watched the remaining games with real interest to see how far this mindset would take him.
Experts say that at the highest level in sports, mindset is the defining factor in achieving success. Novak Djokovic is the master in the area and has been for 20 years. His confidence in pressure situations is unbelievable and this has set him apart from the very best in the sport. He has won many matches over the years that he shouldn’t have won.
A pivotal game
During this final there was a game which lasted just under 23 minutes which was pivotal – it was one of the best games I have ever watched and had an amazing number of break points. As this game progressed you could see that it was becoming a crucially important game which could have a significant impact on the final result.
If Djokovic had won, the outcome could have been very different, but Alcaraz went toe to toe with the greatest player in history and won that game and eventually the match. Barring serious injury Alcaraz is going to entertain us for many years to come and I am already a fan.
There is one attribute above every other which determines your ability to achieve your ultimate potential in life and that is self-belief. Alcaraz has incredible self-belief which has been built up over years of training, competition, encouragement and overcoming adversity.
There are amazing benefits to possessing great self-belief and the good news is that this is something we can improve and develop. Improving self-belief is a gradual process that requires self-awareness, practice, and patience. Here are some strategies to help you boost your self-belief:
Recognize Your Strengths: Take some time to identify your strengths and accomplishments. Reflect on past achievements, both big and small, and acknowledge the skills and qualities that helped you succeed. Focusing on your strengths can build your confidence and self-belief.
Set Realistic Goals: Set achievable, yet challenging, goals for yourself. Break them down into smaller milestones, and as you achieve each one, you’ll reinforce your belief in your abilities. Celebrate your successes along the way, even if they seem minor.
Challenge Negative Self-Talk: Pay attention to your inner dialogue and challenge negative self-talk. Replace self-doubt with positive affirmations. For example, when you catch yourself thinking, “I can’t do this,” replace it with “I may face challenges, but I can handle them.”
Surround Yourself with Positivity: Surround yourself with supportive and positive people who believe in you and encourage your growth. Limit time spent with individuals who constantly undermine your self-belief.
Seek Feedback and Learn from Mistakes: Embrace constructive feedback as an opportunity for growth. Use it to identify areas where you can improve and learn from your mistakes. Viewing mistakes as valuable learning experiences can boost your confidence to try again.
Visualize Success: Practice visualization techniques where you imagine yourself successfully accomplishing your goals. Visualization can help program your mind for success and build your confidence in achieving your desired outcomes.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone: Take calculated risks and challenge yourself to try new things. Stepping out of your comfort zone, even in small ways, can help you discover hidden abilities and build confidence in unfamiliar situations.
Celebrate Progress: Celebrate your progress, no matter how small. Recognize and appreciate the effort you put into personal growth and improvement. Acknowledging progress reinforces a positive self-image.
Practice Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself and practice self-compassion. Treat yourself with the same understanding and empathy you would offer to a friend facing similar challenges.
Continued Learning and Skill Development: Invest in your personal and professional development by learning new skills and expanding your knowledge. Building expertise in specific areas can boost your confidence in those domains.
Remember that improving self-belief is an ongoing journey, and it’s okay to have moments of self-doubt. The key is to be patient with yourself and consistently practice these strategies to cultivate a stronger sense of self-belief over time.
Thoughts for the week
- This week look at the 10 suggestions to improve your self-belief and work on them.
- These suggestions are proven to work so maybe print these off and refer to them regularly to encourage you to continue.
- You can’t work on all of them so pick a few favourites and work on those then move to the other ones.
Well, that’s it for this week, have a wonderful weekend and keep believing in yourself.