We like Simon Barnes in the Times quite a lot. Bloody clever bloke and he’s welcome on PlanetK2 any time he likes! His latest musings on the role of confidence in the current financial climate take a break from his usual expert stuff on sport and nature notes, but he’s on the money again. He got us thinking about a favourite topic… CONFIDENCE.

Confidence is one of those things that we talk endlessly about at K2: Robust confidence, rather than lots of confidence; being great at not losing it, rather than just having it; making it as strong as possible, rather than only thinking about it when it’s gone missing; spreading epidemics of confidence, rather than just having your own confidence… and so the conversations go on.

Sports people tend to talk a lot about confidence and whether there’s enough of it or not. Unfortunately, it seems the business world has turned into one of those pitiful football managers who claim in a lost voice, “all we need is a win to get our confidence back”. Hogwash! All you need is to start understanding what confidence is, where it comes from and how to control it, and then you’ll maximise your chances of winning again – never simply rely on a result to determine whether you think positively about yourself or not. Sure, exploit the feel good factor of getting a positive result, but never confuse success alone as a reason to up your confidence account.

The greatest sportsmen and women don’t rely on results for their confidence – they work hard on knowing what is uniquely strong about their capabilities and capacities (regardless of result) and how to exploit those hard earned strengths in the heat of battle. Confidence is never something they have or do not have because the world around them has told them whether or not they should have it!

As soon as you relinquish the right to determine your own confidence in your ability to perform, then you probably don’t deserve to be performing in that arena any longer. When the world around you has lost it’s confidence in a set of arbitrary financial indicators, it’s more vital than ever that you understand how to protect and exploit the confidence that you have in you.