Confidence is silent. Don’t say it if you can’t back it up.

August 21, 2015

When you tell everyone you’re the best, just be prepared: That statement comes with consequences.

Because even if you only said it to kick yourself in the ass and elevate your own game, you definitely just elevated your opponent’s game. So you’d better be able to take your performance to the next level, because if you don’t, your opponent is going to have the greatest game of his career. And he’s taking the rest of his team with him.

You just took the target off your back and slapped it right on the front.

There’s a difference between effective confidence and mindless trash talk. Every time I talk about this, someone points out that MJ was the greatest trash talker of all time (which he would dispute, pointing out Larry Bird deserved that honor). But they both knew their legendary trash talk wasn’t meant for the other guy; it was another way for them to heighten the pressure they put on themselves. Because once you’ve told others how bad you’re about to mess them up, you’re gonna have to deliver on that promise.

And they always did. Few athletes can consistently do the same.

I understand the need to show public confidence, especially when you’re the guy everyone else is looking to for leadership. But the greats don’t have to say it out loud; they show it with results. Watch the top NFL quarterbacks: You will not hear Aaron Rodgers or Peyton Manning or Tom Brady brag about superiority…they’ll just play and give others credit, and let you decide for yourself. Do they believe they’re the best? Absolutely. But they say it to themselves, not to you. And when they no longer believe it, they know it’s time to go.

When you back yourself into a corner, it’s usually because of something you promised and didn’t deliver. Control what you say and how you say it. Because if you don’t, the other guy is waiting to prove you wrong.

Confidence is silent. Let your end result do the talking, and if you have to talk, let it lead to your end result. --TG