Why Confidence is Overrated – and What’s Even Better

By: Jim Murphy

Why Confidence is Overrated – And What’s Even Better


  1. Confidence is such an empowering feeling but the limitation is that it relies on past and future outcomes that we can’t control. Confidence can also lead to carelessness and even complacency. It’s very powerful to be confident and everyone wants it, but you’re really missing out if you don’t have the one thing far more in your control and much more powerful.
  2. Full engagement, the synchronization of heart, mind and body, where you’re fully present in the moment, with no concern for self… well, that’s the magic.
  3. Maximizing your performance consistently requires a fully engaged life. To live a fully engaged life means you need to develop your whole self, focusing on learning and growing even more than what you can get from your efforts.

NOTE: Six weeks left before the first ever Inner Excellence Retreat open to the public! (August 18-22, 2023). Click here for more details. Limited space available. ❤️___________________________________________________

“My mindset is so simple. I just wanna get better. I wanna get better and I wanna work with great people.” – Bradley Cooper, actor

The reason most of us want more confidence is because we want a good result and we want to feel good while we perform. So the desire is not so much for confidence, but what confidence can bring: good feelings and good results.

The constraint that confidence has (for most of us) is that it’s based on the past and future and things out of your control. Generally we’re confident when we’ve had success in whatever we’re doing; our confidence is directly tied to past results and consequently, future projections. The problem is, what do we do when the past hasn’t been successful, or when you’re trying to achieve something you’ve never done before?

Or perhaps you’re in the middle of a game or performance and you do everything right but get an unwanted result? What then?

We try to stay present, where our best performance is possible, but our hearts are torn between past results and future desires.

It’s a great mistake to rely on outcomes to feel good (perhaps not THE great mistake* I talk about in the book), but maybe a close second.

What if you could feel good, AND get your BEST results, AND not rely on the past and future and things out of your control?

Well… yay! ❤️❤️❤️ You can.

With Inner Excellence we get confidence from:

  1. Focusing on the process/routines and only what we can control.
  2. Being fully engaged in the moment.
  3. Making learning and growing (getting better) the main pursuit.
  4. Past outcomes (we re-live good memories rather than relying on good outcomes).
  5. IX Principle #1: Everything is here to teach me and help me, it’s all working for my good.
  6. Remembering that no matter what, you were created for glory (infinite, inherent worth).
  7. And to share in the glory, we must share in the suffering (we know that passion literally means to suffer; to share in the glory, we need passion, the willingness to suffer).

Perhaps this will help:

The main goal in any performance is to fully experience the moment rather than focus on what you can get from the moment.

This can be very hard to do. This is why Inner Excellence clients have had extraordinary results.** Because every day they’re learning how to do this, working on getting better at fully experiencing their lives, not obsessing about what they can get out of it.

They know…

  • that the best possible life has one foot in joy (that deep sense of well-being, freedom and gratitude, independent of circumstances) and one foot in suffering.
  • that to gain wisdom, trouble and hardship are mandatory, so although it’s painful, they embrace it.
  • that they must be willing to fail if they want to be great, and the higher the goal, the farther they must be willing to fail.
  • that they don’t know what’s best for them in performance and life, to get their desires met or to face adversity and difficulty so they can learn and grow.
  • that the heart is the key to everything they do, and so training it to love most what’s most empowering is their driving desire…

…so that in those moments when the mind says yes to facing fears and possible failure and the heart says not here, not now… they can continually remind the heart of the Truth, of what’s still possible, and be patient while the heart transforms…

It’s so easy to get caught in The Trap–chasing happiness–the quest for positive, temporary feelings based on what’s happening.

So much more powerful and freeing is to focus on learning and growing… to become a certain type of person… the type who lives fully and loves greatly… the type not mastered by their ego (and all the concern for self–and anxiety–it brings) but the type who is willing to fail, the type of person who knows that to become someone she’s never been before, she may have to face feelings she’s never embraced before.

This type of person is a wholehearted one, the one with an undivided heart. Purity of heart, as Kierkegaard told us, is to will one thing. A heart constrained by contradictory desires (eg. instant gratification vs discipline) is a heart divided. The solution is to make your top priority the pursuit of fullness of life, to will one thing, so you fully experience the moments of your life, not the accolades, trophies and Instagram posts flashing the photo ops of the past and future.

Let me share with you one last thing, a chat I had this morning.

Chandler Blanchet, 2023 Latin American (golf) Tour Player of the Year won the Tour Championship on Sunday. We talked about his mindset in the playoff. Amazingly, in perhaps the biggest match of his career, walking down the fairway he was thinking big picture, about his life’s purpose.

“I was walking to my ball with a big grin on my face. I thought, “This is incredible. I’m playing with two great competitors. We get to share this moment with the crowd and have an amazing battle. This is what I’ll remember most, this moment, not the trophy. This is my purpose, to learn and grow in fullness of life and share it with others (and I get do do it right now).”

Let me know how it’s going for you!

Love Jim

*The Great Mistake is chasing happiness.

**The majority of Inner Excellence clients since we started have their best year ever our first together, or best year in their last five years.


Know anyone that could use more confidence? Invite them to (or gift them) the Inner Excellence Retreat coming up August 18-22, 2023. Attend the retreat for $750 rather than the normal price of $12,000. ?


As you know, the Inner Excellence audiobook is available on Spotify, Apple Books, Barnes and Noble, Google Play and multiple other websites. Check it out here on Spotify (Audible still to come). You might start with the 3 pro athlete case study interviews at the end of the book.

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