Napoleon Hill on Self Confidence

I’m a big believer in the importance of self confidence.  I did a talk about it recently at The National Conference on Work and Careers.  I believe that there are three things you need to do to develop your self confidence:

  1. Choose optimism.  Believe good things will happen and then do the work to make those good things happen.
  2. Surround yourself with positive people.  Jettison the negative people in your life.
  3. Face your fears and act.

This formula works for me, and has worked for a number of my career mentoring clients.  The other day, I came across Napoleon Hill’s ideas on self confidence.  In case you don’t know, Napoleon Hill is the author of Think and Grow Rich, probably the most well known book on success ever written.

Here is what Napoleon Hill has to say about self confidence in Think and Grow Rich.

Self-Confidence Formula by Napoleon Hill

1. I know that I have the ability to achieve the object of my definite purpose in life; therefore, I demand of myself persistent, continuous action toward its attainment, and I here and now promise to render such action.

2. I realize the dominating thoughts of my mind will eventually reproduce themselves in outward, physical action, and gradually transform themselves into physical reality; therefore, I will concentrate my thought, for thirty minutes daily, upon the task of thinking of the person I intend to become, thereby creating in my mind a clear mental picture.

3. I know through the principle of autosuggestion, any desire that I persistently hold in my mind will eventually seek expression through some practical means of attaining the object back of it; therefore, I will devote ten minutes daily to demanding of myself the development of self-confidence.

4. I have clearly written down a description of my definite chief aim in life, and I will never stop trying, until I shall have developed sufficient self-confidence for its attainment.

5. I fully realize that no wealth or position can long endure, unless built upon truth and justice; therefore, I will engage in no transaction that does not benefit all whom it affects. I will succeed by attracting to myself the forces I wish to use, and the cooperation of other people. I will induce others to serve me, because of my willingness to serve others. I will eliminate hatred, envy, jealousy, selfishness, and cynicism, by developing love for all humanity, because I know that a negative attitude toward others can never bring me success. I will cause others to believe in me, because I will believe in them, and in myself. I will sign my name to this formula, commit it to memory, and repeat it aloud once a day, with full faith that it will gradually influence my thoughts and actions so that I will become a self-reliant, and successful, person.

Back of this formula is a law of nature that no man has yet been able to explain. The name by which one calls this law is of little importance. The important fact about it is—it works for the glory and success of mankind, if it is used constructively. On the other hand, if used destructively, it will destroy just as readily. In this statement may be found a very significant truth, namely, that those who go down in defeat, and end their lives in poverty, misery, and distress, do so because of negative application of the principle of autosuggestion. The cause may be found in the fact that all impulses of thought have a tendency to clothe themselves in their physical equivalent.

Source: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Collector’s Edition. Pgs. 86 & 87.

I hope you enjoyed Napoleon Hill’s thoughts on self confidence — a key to creating the life and career success you want and deserve.

Your career mentor,


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