You are down by 16 points with 3 mins to go in the 4 quarter. You have played the worst game of your life. You have thrown 4 interceptions. Not only that, but the world is looking on and judging you. What do you do? Do you fold up like a flower without sunshine? Or do you dig deep and remember the last time you were down 16 to nothing and you came away with the victory? Quarterback Russell Wilson did just that on Sunday to win the AFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers. With 3 mins to go in the 4 quarter, Wilson was having his worst game to date; he had thrown 4 interceptions. The commentators were saying they had never seen Wilson play this bad. I started to route for them. I was routing for the underdogs, the Packers, because the Seahawks were the Super Bowl champions; but I hate to see a team embarrassed in front of millions. I have heard of quarterbacks who were tagged as not being able to win the big games. But this is where confidence separates the true champions. Confidence and the spirit of never giving up. Even though Wilson had already thrown 4 interceptions to Kearse, he had confidence in him to give him another chance and he caught that winning touchdown and held on to that ball like his life depended on it. If you allow the facts like you just threw 4 interceptions, and you let negative thoughts snap your positive energy; you will loose. But like Wilson tearfully declared after pulling off a stunning overtime victory, he had the confidence in himself and in his team that they could win.
I saw this same scenario play out on a sales team that I was a part of. We were a team of about 40 outbound reps in a call center. The top sales persons on the team were selling about 40 units per day. Then a new girl was hired. She started banging out 40 units by noon!. Management thought she was cheating and started to check her sales to make sure she was not sandbagging leads. She calmly declared that she was not cheating; but that she was confident. She said when she picked up the phone, she had confidence that she was going to close the sale, and she usually did. I started paying attention to what she was doing, and I too started selling 40 units by lunchtime!.
Confidence is usually the result of prior successes. As a sales manager, confidence should be the first skill you coach to. If your team is not confident, that they cannot win. You have to exhume past victories to give energy to present day activities. Why did Wilson feel that he could win?; because he won before. He knew that if there was time on the clock, his team had a chance.