All About Self Confidence

One day last week I saw three quotes that go to the heart of my thinking on self confidence.  I saw one posted at a conference center where I was attending a meeting.  I saw the other two on line.  They were so perfectly aligned with my thinking that I captured them to use for today’s post.  Take a look…

  • "The pessimist sees difficulties in every opportunity.  The optimist sees opportunities in every difficulty.”  Winston Churchill
  • “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.  You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.  Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”  Mark Twain

Self confidence is one of the keys to success that I discuss in my latest book, Straight Talk for Success.  If you want to become self confident you need to do three things.  1) Become an optimist.  2) Face your fears and act.  3) Surround yourself with positive people.

You can see why coming across the three quotes above on the same resonated with me. 
Winston Churchill always had a way with words.  I love the way he juxtaposes the words difficult and opportunity.  He’s right.  If you’re an optimist, you’ll choose to see the opportunities in difficulties.  And when you see opportunities you’ll become more optimistic.

Any time I write about optimism, I mention the Optimist Creed.  It’s a great life guide.  I like it so much that I’ve created a .pdf of it that you can frame and hang in your workspace – just like me.  If you want a copy, please send an e mail to with the words “Optimist Creed” in the subject line.

Eleanor Roosevelt is right too.  When you “do what you cannot do”, you gain self confidence.  Even if you fail, you gain self confidence because you were brave enough to look your fear in the eye and act anyway.  Failure is seldom fatal.  You almost always get a second chance.  So go for it.  Do what scares you – you’ll be better off for it.

Finally, Mark Twain makes a sad but true point.  There are many people who will belittle your ambitions.  As he says, these are small people.  People who belittle and criticize others usually lack self confidence and lead mediocre lives.  They will do what they can tear down others.

Great people on the other hand, realize that there is plenty of room at the top.  They willingly share what they know.  They don’t belittle other people’s ambitions.  They encourage them.  These are the kind of people you want in your life – as a partner, a friend, or mentor.

The common sense point here is simple.  Self confidence is an important key to success.  Self confident people share three traits.  They are optimistic.  They face their fears and act.  They surround themselves with supportive people.  The three quotes in today’s post – from Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt and Mark Twain – eloquently reinforce these points.

That’s my take on self confidence and success.  What’s yours?  What are some of your favorite self confidence and success quotes?  Please leave a comment sharing them with us.  As always, thanks for reading.


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  1. Hi Bud
    I wholeheartedly agree with you, Winston, Eleanor and Mark.
    One of my principle of self confidence is that you’re as confident as you need to be to live the life you’re living. To live a bigger life or be more in life you need to develop your confidence so that you can deliver against what’s required.
    And of course, it’s the stretch where your confidence develops – that’s why confidence works in the same fashion as muscle tissue. It develops in response to the level of performance required of it.
    It’s all about the stretch.
    Thanks Bud.

  2. Thanks for the comment Steve.
    I like the idea of “stretch” and your point
    “To live a bigger life or be more in life you need to develop your confidence so that you can deliver against what’s required.”
    This is great stuff.
    Have a good weekend.

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