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Build confidence by ditching the label

Ditching the label is the moment that things will begin to change for you.

The problem with giving yourself a label is, in your head you start to think, feel and act like someone in that role should.

Being confident, scoring the last minute winner, being the highest earner, lifting the trophy, playing for your country and being the name on the lips of every supporter. It is something that every player wants but so few players ever experience.

But why?

Now there are a number of reasons why, but one of the biggest that you may not realise and that can be holding you back from playing with confidence, belief and consistency is you are currently playing out the role of the label that you believe you have in the team. 

Star man, potential, substitute, backup and journey man, these are all labels.

You would associate different thoughts and actions to these different labels. Agreed?

The problem with giving yourself a label is in your head you start to think, feel and act like someone in that role should.

For example, take a player who labels himself and sees himself as a sub.

Whilst at training you will begin to act and think like someone that won’t be getting a game. Intensity and concentration levels drop, staying back doesn’t happen, you become easily frustrated and confidence is sapping by the day.

Whilst you act like a sub your chances of becoming the top man in your team are dropping each day.

Just because you do not get game time at the weekend that does not mean you have to act out the role that the label of sub gives you. You can still train with the aggression and certainty of a starter.

I have used the example of a substitute here but for any label you give yourself you will have preconceived thoughts about how you should think, act and feel. Quite often these thoughts and beliefs have come as a result of your environments such as your mates and social media timelines.

Ditching the label is the moment that things will begin to change for you.

You are now probably asking yourself if you don’t have a label how should you act?

Act in a way that is true to yourself and what you stand for. Regardless of where you are currently, always show up as the true you.

Look around and see how those who are currently where you want to be are conducting themselves and start from there.

If your goal is to play for your country your actions and obsession should be greater than someone who is content with just being a professional footballer.

You may not currently be at the club that you want to be or playing for your country yet but dropping any label you have currently given yourself means you can create a freedom and train and conduct yourself like someone who is going to make the difference in a game and who is going to play at the very top level.

There are so many different labels you may attach to yourself and paths you can take but only one will ever feel right for you, your own.

You are confident of showing up as yourself, right?

Act in a way that is true to yourself and what you stand for.

By John Johnstone 13th September 2018

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