Shaking Confidence

Where does confidence come from?

And how do you get it back?

Many a boxer has never come back to full form after a knockout. His swagger has faded. His style and demeanor in the ring have changed. His self-belief has crumpled. His confidence got shaken.

Such ran the commentary leading up to Manny Pacquiao’s title bout with Brandon Rios on November 23, 2013. Pacquiao had lost his previous two fights, with the last to a knockout by Juan Manuel Marquez. Though everyone rested his odds on Pacquiao for an easy win, no one had seen him fight since the knockout—and no one had ever KOed him in the past.

Pacquiao won handily on points, yet the fight went a full twelve rounds and no one considered his performance up to its former standard.

Pacquiao had become a different fighter.

I’ve tripped and tumbled more than once on a run—causing significant injury in two cases. Even after many fall-free subsequent runs, still I occasionally need to talk myself out of fear.

After a tough professional turn, I had a hard time stepping up to the podium for a speaking engagement, doubtful that I had much of worth to impart. I found my value and felt better during the presentation, but I doubt I’d given my best performance.

Lost confidence doesn’t return quickly or easily.

Have you lost confidence? How did you resurrect it?