More from The Little Book of Confidence

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

Last week, I mentioned The Little Book of Confidence by Susan Jeffers.  I like this book so much, that I am choosing to highlight it again in this week’s post on self confidence.

In a section called Handling Fear, Dr. Jeffers has this to say:

  • Your secret fear. At the bottom of every one of your fears is simply the fear that you can’t handle whatever life may bring you.
  • Trust in yourself. All you have to do to diminish – and alter your relationship with – fear is to develop more trust in your ability to handle what comes your way.  You develop trust by taking action.
  • Feel the fear…and do it anyway.  Often we think “I’ll do it when I’m not so afraid.”  But in reality, it works the other way around.  The “doing it” comes before the fear goes away.  The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it.
  • Action makes the fear go away.  Once you have done something you fear a number of times, the fear of that situation goes away.  And then its time to further expand the comfort zone and move on to the next situation you fear.
  • Each step takes you forward.  When you fear doing something, and do it anyway, you not only eliminate that particular fear, you get a big bonus – you do a lot towards building your self confidence.

I love the logic here.  We all have fears.  Some of us take action, some of us don’t.  Dr. Jeffers describes a positive, upward spiral.

  • Feel your fear.
  • Trust yourself.
  • Take action — even if you’re fearful.
  • Action reduces fear.
  • Reduced fear leads to enhanced self confidence.

On the other hand, if you let fear paralyze you into inaction you can end up in a negative, downward spiral.

  • You feel your fear.
  • This fear leads you to not trust yourself.
  • You take no action, because you don’t trust yourself.
  • Your lack of action intensifies your fear, or it creates a self fulfilling prophecy – “see I really can’t do that, so I won’t even try.”
  • This intensified fear and/or self fulfilling prophecy leads to reduced self confidence.

So it’s all up to you – and it hinges on Dr. Jeffers’ second point – your ability and willingness to trust yourself.  If you trust yourself, you’ll take action and begin the positive, upward spiral.  If you don’t trust yourself, you won’t take action – and you’ll begin the negative, downward spiral. 

It’s your choice.  I choose to trust myself.  I hope you do too.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website for more common sense.  Check out my other blog: for common sense advice on leading people and running a small business.

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 to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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