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Why Confidence Is Essential For Success

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In the highly-competitive world of sports agency, Molly Fletcher is a name that stands out. In her 20-year career, she represented some of the biggest names, trailblazing the male-dominated industry to become the President of Client Representation.

Today, the former sports agent also adds the titles of 5x published author and keynote speaker to Fortune 500s all over the world.

And on this week's Motivational Mondays, we continue our conversation with Molly as she shares how we all can thrive by applying a few simple rules.

PLAY TO WIN INSTEAD OF PLAYING TO "NOT LOSE"

Mindset is everything, and it applies to day-to-day life just as much as it applies to athletes. Molly points out, "the best-of-the-best don't play not to lose—they play to win." It may seem like a subtle difference, but the impact is massive.

To explain this concept, Molly reflects on her early years as an athlete. She recalls going onto the tennis court thinking to herself, "God, I hope I don't lose." So she then would play with the mindset of playing not to lose versus playing to win. Focusing on the negative and what might go wrong creates a mindset of holding back, and it can impact how you show up when it's time to perform and deliver.

Citing an example of one of her favorite players and former clients, John Smoltz, Molly expresses, "He didn't step on that mound not to lose; he stepped on that mound to win. He didn't step on that mound to go, "God, I hope maybe I'll just get a couple guys hitting singles and doubles today, and then I'll be fine.""

No, instead, Smoltz stepped onto that mound to strike them out, to send them back to the bench as fast as he could, period. Molly says, "That's the mindset I think we all need."

INTROVERTS VS EXTROVERTS

Sometimes it seems that those with the loudest voices and most prominent personalities are the ones to get all the breaks and opportunities in life. However, Molly sets the record straight about introverts who, in their way, can be equally as effective in reaching their goals, albeit in a quieter sense.

Referencing the book "Quiet" by Susan Cain, Molly praises the work as a guide to giving a new perspective on the power of being an introvert in "this very loud world where extroverts at some level — the world would say, have an advantage."

As suggested in "Quiet," Molly advises us to be who we are, encouraging that there is room and opportunity in this world for both introverts and extroverts. Molly stresses that our unique gifts as individuals make up who we are and distinctly give us our competitive advantage. Molly says, "That's your competitive advantage; nobody else can be exactly who you are. So lean into that." Be the authentic you and don't try to be someone else.

That said, introverts and extroverts also share a common denominator of overcoming challenges of managing change, and navigating through uncomfortable personal or professional moments.

When we shift our thinking to embrace being uncomfortable, it allows us to be innovative in our resolve, and that helps us grow and evolve. According to Molly, "We all have to sort of feel that discomfort, recognize when we need to lean into it and go for it."

THE DYNAMIC DUO: CONFIDENCE AND CURIOSITY

Many people struggle with confidence in their personal or professional lives. Luckily confidence can be built up over time, and for Molly, it's an essential tool for maneuvering through life without fear of not being able to handle the unknown.

She recalls a moment on the beach with her mother and three then-infant daughters to drive this point home further. As her girls played, she and her mother discussed the girls' future, and Molly asked her mother, "Mom, what do you think is the one most important thing that all of these girls have when they leave and walk into the world?" 

Her mother replied, "confidence." She said, "Molly, they are confident they can navigate a lot of things." That advice immediately was incorporated into Molly's parenting style for her daughters, raising three confident girls over the next 18 years.

Confidence allows us to manage fears and expectations effectively, so they do not debilitate us but rather fuel our curiosity about limitless future possibilities. So it is the combination of confidence and curiosity that Molly believes can make us unstoppable. When asked about the key traits she looks for when making hiring choices, great energy, confidence, and curiosity top her list.

Skills are teachable, but personalities are usually set by adulthood and are hard to change. So Molly assesses potential new employees by making mental notes of a personality checklist, asking if they show up with good energy? Are they positive? Are they a half-full type of person? The answers to these questions can determine a lot. 

She explains, "I think there are so many things from a skill perspective we can teach. So if there's a skill gap, but I love their energy, I love their passion, they're insatiably curious, they want to continue to learn and grow — those are the kind of people that I'll pull onto the team in a heartbeat." 

Molly's personal insights come with the experiences and the success to back them up. Still, her most significant contribution to the conversation is the idea that greatness is within each of us. Once we adopt a positive mindset, good energy, confidence, and genuine curiosity, we've given ourselves the tools to become a game-changer.

NSLS members, be sure to listen to the bonus episode on how you can get better at saying “no” to make the most of your energy.

LISTEN TO THE BONUS EPISODE


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