Fear Is The Enemy of Self Confidence

Today is Monday, so this post is on self confidence.

As you know, all self confident people have three things in common.

• Self confident people are optimistic.
• Self confident people face their fears.
• Self confident people surround themselves with positive people.

The other day, I saw a great quote from Samuel Johnson.  “Courage is the greatest of all the virtues. Because if you haven’t courage, you may not have an opportunity to use any of the others.” 

This quote gets at the reason why self confidence is the first point in my career and life success model.  I believe that without self confidence it is impossible to succeed in your life and career.  Mr. Johnson refers to courage as “the greatest of all the virtues”.  It takes courage to face your fears and deal with them.

Tomorrow will mark the 36th anniversary of my graduation from Penn State.  March 25, 1972 is indelibly etched in my mind.  In my mind, it marked the end of my time as a boy and the beginning of my life as a man.  I remember that day very well.  As I sat in Rec Hall with the other zillion people who were graduating with me, I remember thinking “What happens now?  I did OK in school, how am I going to do in the real world?”

My emotions were a mixture of excitement and fear.  Fortunately for me, the excitement won out over the fear.  I decided that day that I had an unlimited future ahead of me, and that I was going to live every day to the fullest.  I knew what I was going to do for the next year.  I had signed on to be a VISTA Volunteer.  I was going to do a year of service before I began my “real” career.  Interestingly, that year of service changed my life.  I moved in a whole different direction than I would have predicted on my graduation day.

March seems to be a month of major change for me.  In March of 1988, I left my job with a Fortune 50 company and struck out on my own.  That was scary.  However, I can clearly remember thinking, “You’ve always said you want to be in business for yourself, Bud.  You’re going to be 38 years old this year.  If you don’t do it soon, you’ll never start a business.” 

My need to be true to myself was stronger than my fear of the unknown and the uncertainty of becoming an entrepreneur.  Looking back on the past 20 years, my only regret was that I didn’t do it sooner.

What do you fear?  Is it holding you back in your life and career?  Take my advice and the advice of Samuel Johnson, gather up all the courage you can muster and deal with your fear.  I bet you find that you will succeed.  At a minimum, your self confidence will grow because you faced one of your fears and took action.

That’s the common sense message for today.  Action is the antidote for fear.  Fear can paralyze you into inaction.  However, if you can find the courage to deal with your fear, you’ll not only build your self confidence.  You’ll create a foundation for your future success.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website www.BudBilanich.com for more common sense. 

I’ll see you around the web and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to www.FirstGiving.com/TheCommonSenseGuy to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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  1. I think fear is what puts us back apart from accomplishing what we truly want in life. Fear shows just how unprepared we are before the jump. But what truly concerns us is that once we fail we may never be able to recover again. And this will haunt us forever in our lives… hence the fear.

  2. Jonats:
    As Mike Ditka, famous American Football Coach, says…”Failure isn’t fatal.” I think that the fear of failure often keeps us from trying.
    I agree with you that a failure can haunt us for the rest of our lives — but only if we let it.
    That’s why I suggest that action cures fear. I have found that the consequneces associated with the failures I have personally experienced weren’t nearly as bad as I thought they would be.
    Thanks a lot for your comment. I really appreciate you taking the time to do so.
    All the best,

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