I was watching the Odell Beckham interview press conference when he was being questioned about his trade to the Browns. It was your standard set of questions you would expect when a sports star is traded suddenly. The morning sports show personnel were questioning each other about whether or not they bought into ODB being traded to the Browns. They went back and forth giving their reasons why they agreed or disagreed.
When they showed an interview clip of ODB, one thing really stood out to me. When he was asked how he felt about being traded to the Cleveland Browns from NY so suddenly, he gave one of the smoothest answers I’ve seen a sports star give.
ODB paused, his body language was steady, he spoke slowly and calmly. You could feel the emotion in his voice that his answer was sincere and not pre-empted. He acknowledged the NY fans, the team, the organization and was respectful. He said it was because of them taking a chance that he had developed into one of the most competitive receivers in the league.
Mr. Beckham said he called his mom to talk it over with her. He mentioned he was grateful for his time with New York, but was embracing the opportunity to do something special in Cleveland. He appeared to be present to the moment and his answer flowed very well.
You can analyze all you want what and how he felt, but the important point he showcased for the world to see was that no matter where he was in life at this time, even if it was unexpected, he was cool, calm and comfortable with himself. He radiated confidence through his body language, voice tonality and words.
That short answer spoke volumes about his character and how he conducts himself on a regular basis. I do not know ODB personally, but if I had to guess I would say he seems to be very confident. He didn’t waiver in his answer and he wasn’t condescending toward any side in the matter.
If you want to be a confident person, watch how some of the great sports stars communicate themselves when they are asked tough and unexpected questions. Confidence isn’t just a posture or a feeling that you are better than any one else. It is the ability to authentically show vulnerability and stay connected to the truth of who you are. It doesn’t matter what others think about you, it is more important how you feel about yourself. The greatest test of character is the test that you least expect.
It’s easy to look and play confident when things are going well and life is going according to plan. It’s that moment when everything gets shaken up, even for a second to two, your vulnerability is exposed for the world to see. When you are connected to the truth of who you are, you can be more confident in any situation. Confidence is not perfection, it is a state of handling your emotions.
Practice asking yourself the tough questions you may be afraid to ask. What are your answers and how does that speak to the life you are living right now? If you don’t like or agree with the feedback you receive, spend more time to figure out your truth. Truth is not as elusive as some may think, but it does change. The more effort you put in, the more you will discover about yourself and mature as a leader in your own life.