I can relate to Colin Powell's quote and thought I could share a few tips from some failures over my fairly long career to date!
Now all you have to do is (a) prepare and (b) put in the work!
We all have times when we are a little uncertain.
It could be because you are in a slump, it might be a tough negotiation coming up, you might be giving a talk in front of an audience or you might have a job interview.
"If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right."
Whatever the situation, there are things that you can do to help settle the nerves, project an air of confidence and at a minimum put your best foot forward. Of course the biggest and best thing you can do is to prepare, do your homework, know your material and think through how you will handle any tough questions. Doing the work is not a guarantee of success, but not doing the work is pretty much guaranteed to be a disaster!
"The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence."
Beyond the obvious, there are things that you can do to bolster your confidence:
Be well rested. Partying hard the night before a tough event is not recommended. (Party after for sure!)
Give yourself lots of time to be where you need to be, without the stress of missing or almost missing your event.
Wear clothes that make you feel good! Better yet treat yourself to something new for the event!
Get a haircut, a manicure, a pedicure ... whatever works for you.
If it's a speech practice a lot ... in front of a mirror, in front of your partner etc. If it's a negotiation or meeting of some kind practice answering the tough questions that you might anticipate.
Pump yourself up by remembering all of your similar successes.
Do not focus on any other issues or problems immediately prior to this event.
Try to avoid any negative people in your life immediately prior to this event.
Talk to as many of the positive people you know leading up to the event.
Smile! Think of good things that make you smile ... we always feel better when we smile!
"Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same."
Now ... go get 'em!