- How to Build Confidence - World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov
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How to Build Confidence - World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov


Two of the greatest chess players of all time, Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov, took their seats around the chess board. The World Chess Championship of 1990 was about to start.

The two men would play 24 games to determine the champion, with the one with the greatest score being crowned World Chess Champion. The match would last three months in total, with the first 12 games taking place in New York and the remaining 12 games in Lyon, France.

Kasparov got off to a good start, but quickly began to make errors. During the first part of the competition, he lost the seventh game and let other triumphs slip away. The match was tied at 6-6 after 12 games. Mr. Kasparov had lost confidence and been uneasy in New York, according to the New York Times.

It would take everything Kasparov had to keep his title of world champion.

"Kasparov Chess" is a chess game created by Garry Kasparov.

Josh Waitzkin was a juvenile chess prodigy who won many US Junior Championships before the age of ten. Waitzkin and his father met Garry Kasparov and discussed chess along the way.

"Playing Chess with Kasparov"

Josh Waitzkin was a chess prodigy when he was younger, winning many US Junior Championships before the age of ten. Waitzkin and his father got the opportunity to meet Garry Kasparov and discuss chess strategy with him along the road. They learned how Kasparov handled with particularly difficult matches, such as the 1990 World Chess Championship encounter against Karpov.

In his book, The Art of Learning, Waitzkin tells the story (audiobook).

Kasparov was a fearless chess player who thrived on confidence and enthusiasm. My father authored a book about Garry called Mortal Games, and we both spent a lot of time with him in the years leading up to the 1990 Kasparov-Karpov match.

My father once asked Garry how he would handle his loss of confidence in the next game after Kasparov had lost a huge game and was feeling dark and weak. Garry said that if he were feeling confident, he would try to play the chess moves he would have made. He'd pretend to be assured in the hopes of inducing the state.

Over the board, Kasparov was a bully. Garry fed on the fact that everyone in the chess world feared him. Garry's opponents would wither if he got angry at the chessboard. So, if Garry was upset but puffed up his chest, made aggressive plays, and appeared to be the embodiment of Confidence, opponents would be disturbed.

My father once asked Garry how he would deal with his lack of confidence in the next game after Kasparov had lost a significant game and was feeling dark and weak. Garry said that if he were feeling more confident, he would try to play the chess moves he would have made. He'd act confident in the hopes of inducing the state.

Over the board, Kasparov could be intimidating. Garry thrived on the fact that everyone in the chess world was terrified of him. Garry's opponents would wither if he fought the chessboard. So, if Garry was upset, but puffed out his chest, made aggressive plays, and appeared to be the embodiment of Confidence, opponents would be shaken.

He would keep the position for another ten years.

"You Have to Fake It Until You Make It"

It's tempting to think of performance as a one-way street. We frequently hear about a physically brilliant athlete who struggles on the field or a bright student who struggles in class. The common narrative about underachievers is that if they could just "get their heads straight" and establish the right "mental attitude," they would be able to perform at their best.

There's no denying that your mindset affects your performance in some way. However, this link is reciprocal. Your activities can be both the cause and the outcome of a confident and happy mindset. The connection between physical and mental performance.

When you demonstrate your ability, you gain confidence. This is why Garry Kasparov's strategy of playing as though he is confident can lead to true confidence. Kasparov's opinions were being influenced by his deeds.

These aren't just airy self-help ideas or feel-good concepts. The link between behavior and confidence is scientifically proven. Amy Cuddy, a Harvard body language expert, has demonstrated via breakthrough research that merely standing in more confident stances can boost confidence and reduce anxiety.

Cuddy's study participants saw real physiologic changes in their hormone production, such as higher testosterone levels (which are connected to confidence) and lower cortisol levels (which is linked to stress and anxiety). These findings go beyond the well-known "fake it until you make it" strategy.

How to Boost Your Self-Belief

When my friend Beck Tench first started her weight reduction journey, she kept asking herself, "What would a healthy person do?"

When she was in a restaurant, she thought to herself, "What would a healthy person order?" What would a healthy person do with that time if she was sitting around on a Saturday morning? Beck didn't feel like a healthy person at first, but she reasoned that if she behaved like one, she would eventually become one. She had lost almost 100 pounds in just a few years.

While confidence is admirable, if you're faced with dread, self-doubt, or uncertainty, let your actions cheval your beliefs. Play as if you're at the top of your game. Work as if you're in the driver's seat. Talk to the person as if you're confident in your abilities. You can induce a brave mentality by taking bold acts.
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