Lesson 5

Hammering out the Rock 




In this section, I want you list a number of words that describe feelings that are most representative of your day to day personality and if they are of a worry variety, place them in the left column.  If they are feelings or thoughts that provide you with confidence, list them in the right column.  If you have a problem coming up with some words to describe your feelings, feel free to take some from the bottom of this page.



Subjective Inventory List

Items that produce:

Worry                          Confidence

1.___________________________________               1._______________________________



2.___________________________________              2._______________________________



3.___________________________________              3._______________________________



4.___________________________________              4._______________________________



5.___________________________________              5._______________________________



6.___________________________________               6._______________________________



7.___________________________________              7._______________________________



8.___________________________________              8._______________________________



9.___________________________________               9._______________________________



10.___________________________________             10._______________________________



Examples:    angry, accepting, happy, sad, boisterous, anxious, worried, doubtful, positive, affirmative, lonely, isolated, happy, excited, powerless, powerful, self-assured, doubting, frightened, fearful, fearless, motivated, listless, discouraged, depressed, deserving, tenacious, composed, focused, distorted, cluttered, disorganized, lazy, hard-working, prepared, giving, taking, effective, useless, pathetic, shy, outgoing, desperate, clear-minded, rattled, tense, calm, relaxed


*Now that you have created your list, count the number of words on the Worry side and compare them to the Confidence side.  If your worry side is more filled up, then we have some work to do!  But on each side, make a star to the adjective or word that is most revealing about you.  Place the top three for worry and mark the top three for Confident.  We will now move on to the next phase of this section.

Defining Confidence: On Your Own Terms


In the first part of this section, your task was to write down your feelings of confidence and when you experienced them.  Now I need you to write down your personal definition of what confidence means to you.  No answer is right or wrong; feel free to elaborate on what you truly feel.


My definition of confidence:


Now that you have done this part of the assignment, I would like for you to take a look at a few of the scientific definitions of confidence and the members of its’ contributing family.   These are just a few of the many terms that help to define this multidimensional construct and many are directly related.  All of them help contribute to our understanding of what Confidence is…… and what it is not.

Definitions of Confidence / Competence


  1. Global Confidence: a universal or general belief that a person can do something or achieve whatever is desired

When a person has a general belief that he or she can do something or achieve whatever they are going after, we consider this a global or general overall confidence.  However, it really doesn’t apply to specific situations and perhaps isn’t as psychologically durable as other definitions of confidence.

  1. Confidence:the strength of one’s conviction that one can be successful in an endeavor

In this definition, confidence is specifically looking at the strength of one’s conviction.  This could be considered their measured inner willpower or belief system.  It also is suggesting that they can be successful in an endeavor but it fails to say under any and all circumstances.   Although this is a bit stronger characteristic than simple general or global belief, the key aspect is that one is striving to be successful indicating a level of execution but is still a bit vague in that realm.

  1. Sport Confidence: the belief or degree of certainty individuals possess about their ability to be successful in their sport (Vealey, 1987)

Sport confidence was a definition first created by Dr. Robin Vealey of Miami University in Ohio and was directed as to the certainty that an individual has about his or her ability to achieve success in their particular sport, whatever their sport or activity was.

  1. Self-efficacy (Situational Specific Confidence) The strength of one’s conviction that one can successful execute a given behavior at a specific point in time to produce a desired result. (Bandura, 1977)

The definition of self-efficacy was established by Dr. Albert Bandura to indicate several key points of confidence that were not to this point in time conclusive or durable enough to explain all of the aspects that effectiveness and confidence had to offer. His definition remains one of the pivotal teaching points in discussing an individual’s ability to be efficacious, or meaning that one can be successful in a specific context to produce a desired outcome.  His definition was supported by four key areas:

  1. Mastery experiences.Bandura felt that performance success was the most salient aspect of building a reliable and lasting self-confidence. By successfully demonstrating effectiveness in doing a task created the most impactful sense of accomplishment. For instance, in obtaining a win in an athletic contest, the victory is a strong source of performance achievement because the athlete or team was successful in a specific endeavor.  The carryover feeling creates a sense of high efficacy or strength value that they accomplished what they set out to do.
  2. Social Modeling or Vicarious experiences. This was meant to illustrate that by observing or modeling oneself after another’s success could help to instill a belief that one could do it as well.  Many times we look at our peers or friends having success and based on how they did it, we also come to the conclusion that we can do it too.  It is associated with the “Why not me” attitude that often creates a tipping point for people who are on the edge of being successful but just needed a bit of a push or edge to move past the uncertainty.
  3. Verbal and Social Persuasion. This is a form of being aroused by a pep talk or some form of self-persuasion to motivate oneself to accomplish a task. Oftentimes, the belief that a coach or boss has in us is greater than the belief we have in ourselves.  By virtue of their persuasion and feedback provides one with information to overcome performance doubt and to persevere and become successful.
  4. Physiological Feedback and Emotional arousal. These are somatic or emotional states that one can create to get someone “up” or ready for action. Many times, a crowd cheering can generate some positive momentum for a team just by the level of noise and excitement that is generated within that theater of action.
  5. Competence:the ability to do something successfully and efficiently. Competence can reveal itself in a number of ways.  There is physical competence which means that one has mastery over a physical task and can consistently repeat that motion or skill set.  There is psychological mastery of competence.   An example of this would be of how one figures out to be a chess master or an engineer.   Psychological competence also refers to one being able to navigate socially and personally via emotional intelligence and cognitive strategies and to make adjustments accordingly.
  6. Effectance Motivation: an individual feels compelled to engage in mastery attempts in order to have an effect on their environment (White, 1959)

Effectance motivation was one of the first professional pieces to describe how people engage in activities to achieve levels of success and to drive them to higher levels of personal and environmental gain.

  1. Perceived Ability:the sense that one has the ability to master a task resulting from cumulative interactions with the environment
  2. Perceived Competence: the sense that one has the ability to master a specific task resulting from achieving a degree of mastery in that area of performance production
  3. Movement Competence:  an individual’s sense of being able to execute a specific behavior to produce a desired result
  4. Movement Confidence: An individual’s feeling of adequacy in a movement situation (Griffin, Keogh, Maybe, 1990)
  5. Positive Self-Perception: the ability of the individual to interpret a situation as a growth building activity, regardless of the situation or severity of the negativity that has occurred. Consistent with the idea that failure is a temporary condition and that successful performance is imminent.
  6. Psychological Hardiness: the ability to endure a negative situation and be resilient to the harmful effects of failure and to turn it around into a positive.
  7. State Level of Confidence: a level of confidence that is based on the situation and reactivity of the performer. It is a varying level of confidence in a “right now” moment of execution.
  8. Trait Level of Confidence: A level of confidence that is more durable and stabile and predicts a consistency over a period of time.
  9. Perceived Control: the ability of a person or organism to create a feeling of order over the environment or factors.  Perceptions of control have been bracketed into either a personality trait or a learned cognitive function.

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