A USA TODAY article entitlted “Idol Outcome Looks Like a Toss-Up” starts with “All season long, American Idol judges have told Lee DeWyze, “Have confidence.”

They like him – arguably more than Crystal Bowersox, whose “indie, coffee house” vibe may not result in the huge sales and fan following that’s their priority.

But the judges keep asking him, “Do you believe you can win this thing?”

The point? Before convincing others; we ourselves must be convinced.

If we don’t think we’ve got what it takes to come out on top, why should other people?

My book What’s Holding You Back: 30 Days to Having the Courage and Confidence to Do What You Want, Meet Whom You Want and Go Where You Want http://amzn.to/aniG4l – (which Jack Canfield says is “a must read for anyone who wants to be more poised, polished and poweful at work, at home, in social settings, at school, and in sports.”)
claims that confidence is the key to just about everything.

Talent’s important. Intelligence is important. Appearance is important.

But we all know smart, talented, attractive people who never fulfill their potential.

Why? Because they’re their own worst critic. Because their doubts get in the way of their success.

If I were coaching Lee right now, I’d suggest that the single best way to give himself confidence for tonight – a night that could set his SerenDestiny in motion – is to mentally prep himself to OWN the stage.

The key to confidence is to TOWER, not cower.

Instead of walking out with his shoulders hunched over, (which leads to a meak, weak posture that keeps us tentative and hesitant) . . . . he needs to lift his shoulders up and roll them back. Aaaah, that feels better already.

Then, instead of clasping his hands in the “cover up” fig-leaf position (which will keep him unsure and insecure and make him want to hide) – it’s better to hold his hands like he’s holding a basketball. This will “open” him up and make him feel more natural and relaxed.

Then, instead of standing with his feet close together (which will keep him off-balance, literally and figuratively); it’s smart to stand with his feet shoulder-width apart – in the athlete’s stance – so he feels “well-grounded.”

Then, in the moments right before his performances, instead of filling his mind with performance-ruining doubts, (“What if I get pitchy and go off-key? What if if forget the words?”) – it’s crucial to mentally pump himself up with determination and gratitude.

It’s important to fill his mind with “I LOVE my audience. I am so GRATEFUL to be here. I am going to take advantage of this opportunity by singing my heart out so I connect with every single person watching and they rise as one into a heartfelt standing ovation.”

If Lee TOWERS instead of cowers, and fills his mind with DETERMINATION rather than doubts, he will enter the “zone” of peak performance and exude the confidence that will result in a win for him and a win for everyone lucky enough to witness his bravura performance.

Who are you pulling for in tonight’s American Idol final?

What’s your advice on how Crystal and Lee can turn panic into poise and perform with confidence?