Tag Archives: basketball

Practice Confidence Everyday

“Confidence comes not from always being right, but not fearing to be wrong.”

Point to Ponder:
Do you often…
Over-think things? People-please? Hold on to defeats? Strive for perfection?
Undersell yourself? Play it safe? Doubt yourself?

Action Item:
This week, avoid people pleasing, over-thinking, perfectionism and self-doubt.
Practice letting go of your mistakes, speaking up, and taking risks.

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Having grown up in a very small town, I had the fortunate experience of playing every sport available to me. I’d like to think I was pretty good, but because I was 1 out of 140 students in my entire high school (9th through 12th grades), the competition was limited.

I loved sports — especially basketball. And while I was very confident in my ability, there were times when I would get into a shooting slump and my dad (a basketball coach) would tell me, “You are shooting to keep from missing rather than shooting to score,” or “You are playing to keep from losing instead of playing to win!”  He was right, I was playing timid and without confidence.  As soon as I would get my head straight, I’d get out of my slump, play aggressive, be a team leader and have fun.

I am so thankful I had the opportunity to compete in team sports because I really do think athletics taught me some of my most valuable life skills — confidence and teamwork being two of them. However, I’d be lying if I said that I am confident all of the time.  In fact, I get a nervous stomach when I speak in public, teach an iGnite class, or hold an iGnite team meeting because…I fear saying the wrong thing, I fear not being liked and I fear not being perfect! Okay, there. I said it… and now I want to go throw up.

I recently began reading the book The Confidence Code, which I am suggesting for our summer read. I am only on page 22 and it already looks like a marked-up text book, filled with notes, underlines and highlights. It’s written by two female journalists and specifically covers women’s confidence, self-assurance — why we lack them more than men, and why that lacking keep us from speaking up, fully believing in ourselves and striving for everything we desire.

Because I am only on page 22, I have no idea what the solution is; however, what I can share with you are a few mind-blowing findings I’ve stumbled across thus far:

  1. Regardless of power, prestige, or position, every woman is guilty of: over-thinking, people pleasing, and an inability to let go of defeats
  2. Perfectionism: We assume somehow that we don’t have the level of expertise or knowledge needed and therefore we over-prepare, hesitate or simply don’t try. And women are only confident when we feel perfect.
  3. We Undersell Ourselves: We often keep our thoughts (which we decide can’t be that impressive) to ourselves.
  4. ‘Safe’ Syndrome: Rather than take a risk to experience victory, we stay in the safe zone to avoid defeat.
  5. Self Doubt and Setbacks: Men do experience self-doubt, but they shrug it off, have the ability to get restarted more quickly and don’t let setbacks linger as long. Women tend to dwell and examine those doubts in excruciating detail, which is paralyzing.

I can with confidence, say that I experience ALL of these myself to some extent!

Let’s face it, we women are emotional and complicated creatures as a result of many things — estrogen, how we were raised, life experiences, society, etc. I am certainly not suggesting that we should take the place of men, because I do think we are designed to play necessary key roles, but we must be aware of when our self-doubting, self-limiting and self-defeating tendencies arise so we can call them out and press on!

Confidence — what a loaded word. It’s complicated, but it’s ours to have and keep if we want it. By practicing confidence everyday, we will crack “the confidence code” and unlock our potential and ability to experience the many prizes that await us in life.  What do we have to lose?!


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WEEKLY JOURNAL: Are You Nutty, Energetic and Enthusiastic?

You can do anything if you have enthusiasm

“Nobody gets anything done unless they’re a little nutty, have great energy and enthusiasm.”
– Coach Bill Self

Over the weekend while channel surfing for brainless entertainment, I ran across an unexpected inspirational story. It was an episode of 30 for 30, an ESPN documentary series. We own a 30 for 30 DVD set, so I am familiar with and always enjoy the sports stories; however, what grabbed my attention with that this particular film was set in Austin.

To summarize, the story goes as follows: In 1891, the legendary James Naismith invented the game of basketball, wrote the basketball rulebook and founded the University of Kansas basketball program — which is one of the most storied college basketball programs in history. Then, in 2010 Dr. Naismith’s original rules went up for sale at Sotheby’s auction house and a dedicated Kansas Jayhawk fan by the name of Josh Swade passionately began raising money to bring the prized possession back to it’s original home, Lawrence Kansas. It quickly became evident to Swade that the small donations he was receiving wouldn’t be enough to reach a seven-figure goal so he immediately reached out to major Jawhawk donors. To make a long story short, Swade traveled to Austin to meet with an Austin businessman, who is also a University of Kansas graduate, in hopes that the alumnus would provide the generous financial donation. All in all, the alumnus accepted the challenge and won the hard fought bidding war. The James Naismith original basketball rulebook was purchased for $3.8 million and now resides at the University of Kansas basketball arena, in the Allen Fieldhouse.

To most of us, including myself as a sports fan, that is a ridiculous amount of money for a sport rulebook.  I mean, it bid higher than the original copy of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Lincoln, which sold before the rulebook for $3.3 million! However, in addition to Josh Swade’s relentless passion, what gave the story greater value was a quote from the current Kansas Jayhawk coach Bill Self as he referred to Josh Swade’s successful efforts: “Nobody gets anything done unless they’re a little nutty, have great energy and enthusiasm.”

Let’s face it, going to such extreme financial and time measures to occupy the rulebook was nutty, but it is also crazy cool that one person’s energy and enthusiasm could accomplish so much! Afterall, who am I to judge someone’s passion or how they choose to spend their time or money, especially when it is not hurting anyone?

Question: What are you a little nutty, energetic and enthusiastic about in your life? Is it your family, career, philanthropy, faith, travel, empty-nesting, friendships, marriage, an intimate relationship, a hobby, history, entertaining, shopping, a new project, or your health and wellness? Regardless of how you think others will respond or react, go for it and don’t look back. This is your life and what better way to live it than with nuttiness, energy and enthusiasm. It’s the iGnite way of life, and we support you 150%!


Point To Ponder:
What would you strive to do if you knew you couldn’t fail or be judged by others?


Action Item:
Listen to your heart and do something that you have hesitated to do in the past because of others’ concerns and opinions.

By Neissa

Neissa Springmann