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Which is first: Confidence or Success?

Posted: February 11th, 2014 by Bill Dance

A few days ago, a friend e-mailed me and was pestering me with a question that was as round-and-round as the which-came-first-the-chicken-or-the-egg dilemma.

Knowing that my credo has always been: Confidence is the best lure in your tackle box; he tried to lead me into the circular argument by asking: “Which comes first confidence or success?” he pondered. “But can you have confidence without having some degree of success. For example hitting a baseball for the first time lights a child’s eyes and instills confidence, as does successfully landing her first bluegill. So could not/does not some degrees of confidence have to come first…?”

Again, I didn’t get into the round and round. I told him, I think to succeed we must first believe we can do something! “I can do that!” or “This is something I can do!”

To accomplish that goal, we must have the confidence in our ability that we can hit that baseball or catch that bluegill! When we started Bill Dance Outdoors, we had the confidence that it would work or at least we hoped it would work, and success followed!

Heck, I don’t know, maybe the yolk came before the rooster, the hen and/or the baseball?

Regardless, repeated success (everyone gets lucky now and then) does not come without confidence.

And oh yeah, don’t overlook the power of preparation and a work ethic.

Famed pitcher Nolan Ryan once said, “I can’t control the weather, the umpires or the emotional state of the other team. But I can control one thing. I can be better prepared than the hitters I face that day.”

We anglers are the same way. We certainly can’t control the weather or fishing conditions. And we can’t control the willingness to bite of a bunch of bass. But we can be prepared. We can have everything in line. We can know how and when to make adjustments. And we can have the tackle and equipment (tools of the trade) we need to get the job done, no matter what is thrown at us on any particular trip.

So never forget the simple Boy Scout rule: be prepared (hopefully for success).

Military leaders will certainly agree on the need for preparation, a common saying among them is this:

“The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.”

Now, hopefully, you won’t bleed on many fishing trips, though it’s always wise to dodge those treble hooks! I’ve had a few get me! Feeling like a pin cushion on the ride home is absolutely no fun!

But seriously, remember a key to building confidence and eventually success is simply to always be ready.

Early success can create confidence; and confidence, preparation, success…and well, it all adds up to, hopefully, a lifetime of memories experienced in the great sport called fishing!

Catch one for me!

Bill Dance



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