Director of Athletics Dr. Ivan Joseph's Self-Discovery Lesson on Practicing the Skill of Self-Confidence

personal best

What daily practices help you become your personal best?

Only you can become an expert at valuing yourself. Believing in yourself is a process. Earning it may not give you applause or acknowledgement from outsiders, but having a healthy self-worth will provide you with the strong foundation to perform in all areas of your life. Hence, for the next 52 weeks, I will share with you what I call, Record Worthy Practices – i.e., practices that will help you become your personal best.

To start the series off on the right foot, I am featuring Dr. Ivan Joseph.

As the Director of Athletics at Ryerson University in Toronto, Dr. Joseph leads the university’s sports community of 12 varsity teams, more than 20 multi-tiered intramural leagues, several sports clubs, and other extensive offerings.  He shows the participants how to be their personal best athletically and mentally, both as individuals and as a group.

In his former role of recruiting student athletes, he was often asked what skill he was most searching for when looking for potential members to his teams; was it speed? Strength? Agility? In Dr. Joseph's TEDx Talk, he answers this question, explaining how self-confidence is not just the most important skill in athletics, but in our lives!  Watch Dr. Joseph’s talk here:

Last year, after watching Dr. Joseph’s uplifting talk about practicing the skill of self-confidence, I reached out to him.  During our conversation, I asked him to identify what he does every day to help him be his personal best.  He identified his Record Worthy Practice in the following way:

“I am no different than anyone else and will at times have self-doubt and fear creep into my mind. When this happens, it is usually accompanied by negative self-talk. I am very intentional in reframing those thoughts with a physical cue. It could be a clap of the hands, a deep breath, or a snap of the fingers; any gesture will do.  After the physical cue, I insert my positive comments/self-affirmation into my internal dialogue. It needs to be practised; but after a while ... just like any skill, it becomes automatic.”

Thanks, Dr. Joseph, for sharing how you practice the skill of self-confidence on a daily basis. You remind us that, like any skill we want to become automatic, the skill of self-confidence needs to be repeated constantly.  That way, over time and through repetition, the skill of self-confidence will become our ingrained and automatic response to life’s ups and downs.  (See how I just repeated the term “the skill of self-confidence” several times?I did this to show you how simple Dr. Joseph’s idea is to use :))

Dr. Joseph offers a further way for strengthening our self-confidence.  He suggests that we can also practice self-confidence by “getting away from the people who will tear you down.” We are social beings; we don’t live in isolation. Our surrounding environments influence our personal growth and development. That is why we each need a supportive network around us; this nurturing is key.  In Dr. Joseph’s case as Director of Athletics, he fosters a social environment that raises each team member up.

Thank you, Dr. Joseph, for being such a confident leader and for teaching us an important life skill to help us perform at our personal best. Practicing self-confidence really is a Record Worthy Practice in my books!

believe in yourself quote

How do you practice self-confidence on your personal journey? Can you relate to Dr. Joseph’s experience?  What do you struggle with in maintaining self-confidence? What obstacles get in the way from preventing you from achieving your personal best?

Thank you for reading and for your presence at this beach retreat. You Rock! I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the Comments section below.

See you at the beach!