This TED Talk really caught my eye. If I have any skill (according to this speaker, self confidence is a skill), it is in self confidence.

I gave my first tear jerking speech at 13 years old. It was a book report on D-Day. I didn't even read the whole book, but I was able to convey the experience of the book because of my confidence in my ability to do so. I can crack the mic every morning and put a smile on my listeners faces because of my confidence in my ability to do so.

Dr. Ivan Joseph in this speech defines confidence as:

The belief in our ability to accomplish a task no matter the adversity.

Since he's won a national championship in collegiate soccer, he's had parents and kids beating down his door wanting to play for him. What does he want out of his potential players? Speed. Sure. Strength? Sort of. Self confidence? Absolutely.

He considers it the most important trait of his potential championship players.

He also gives some great tips on how to enhance your self confidence, if you feel you are lacking in this department.

1. Practice your skill. Repeat.

You can't be confident if you don't believe you are competent, and competence comes from repetition.

2. Avoid Negative Self Talk.

James Cameron mentioned this in another blog post I wrote about how to get other people to pay for your dive to the wreck of the Titanic. He said,

Don't put limits on yourself. Other people will do that for you. Don't limit yourself.

Instead, use positive affirmations. If you don't say it, and you don't believe it, no one else will.

3. Create Self Confidence in Others Through Praise

When he sees a player of his making a mistake, he praises someone else for doing it properly. Not in a "do it like they do" way, but rather without letting the others know they were doing wrong. He praises good behavior before chastising bad behavior.