Recently, I interviewed as a guest on a podcast where the host and I talked about catalyst moments.  As an entrepreneur, my catalyst moments included buying a company during the Great Recession and leading my team as a business leader during COVID-19.

One of the questions the host asked me was about my thought pattern. What is my thought pattern during times of uncertainty? How am I able to know that this time is the right time? I responded by saying that I have a lot of self-confidence. I prepared prior to these moments. I worked hard and thought about the outcomes, as much as I was able. However, I have found that the catalytic moment is often found when you are not thinking. You must be able to believe in yourself and maintain the confidence necessary to keep the momentum moving forward.

Confidence as a habit is easier said than done. In a COVID-19 landscape, confidence is coupled with uncertainty and fear. It is difficult to know what will happen next month — or next week. How can we plan ahead if the industry we’re in is struggling? How do you create a habit of confidence in good times, and trying times, alike?

Focus on the positive.

My best, and worst, trait may be that I am sometimes naively optimistic. I try to always focus on the positive and not sweat the negative.

One of the best ways to stay focused on the positive is by practicing an attitude of gratitude. Reflect upon the obvious aspects of life you’re grateful for, as well as those that may be overshadowed throughout the day. Simple gestures, like someone offering to hold the door open for you or noticing your favorite flowers are in bloom.

The small details add up to the big picture. The more you’re able to practice gratitude, the more you will be able to gradually adjust your mindset. It will be easier to remember that this too shall pass. However, the passing of the difficult moment will be one where you reflect upon the little, great memories that you were able to make during this time.

Embrace grit.

One of my favorite TED Talks is Angela Lee Duckworth’s “Grit: The power of passion and persistence.”

Many people believe that many traits are key to becoming successful. Some of these include determination, perseverance, and positivity. However, one of the greatest predictors of success is not necessarily having a high IQ or even working hard. It’s having grit.

Grit is the combination of persistence, passion, and resilience. Persistence allows you to keep going even when the going gets tough. Resilience is toughness. The ability to bounce back up once you get knocked down. And passion is fairly self-explanatory — it’s the desire to achieve your dreams.

Having grit will allow you to maintain courage. It’s the will to keep trying and do better than you have before. Showing grit in your personality shows that you won’t give up until you exceed your goals.

Grit also gives you the chance to grow and growth ultimately comes from a bit of struggle. When you try and fail, the key to success is how you react when things don’t go your way. You are able to learn from your mistakes with a growth mindset. If at first you do not succeed, make the effort to try again. You’ll grow a bit more confident in doing so, as grit is the inner will to do and be the best that you can.

Remember: a habit of confidence is infectious.

Believing in yourself is critical, but so is reflecting a positive outlook on others. If you are confident, those around you will see that optimism shine through. They too will retain this type of attitude and be able to persist when the going gets tough.

Having that kind of grit, optimism, and confidence allows everyone to work together as a team. When things are great or change is tough, it becomes easier to look at the bright side, stay focused, and keep your mind on areas of life where you’re grateful. Moreover, this allows you to turn difficult times into positive ones.

I believe that your outcomes are the sum of your input. What you get out of life is what you put into it. If you are able to create a habit of confidence and put in lots of optimism, good things will come out.