Self Confidence and The Power of Positive Thinking

Self confidence is one of the keys to success that I discuss in “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.

The November issue of SUCCESS Magazine arrived in my mailbox last week.  Geez, it’s still September, and I have the November issue of SUCCESS.  That’s great, because I love this magazine.  If you read this blog regularly, you know that I recommend it highly.  If you’re not a subscriber, go to and do so.  You’ll be happy you did.

The new issue has a feature on Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, author of 46 books including “The Power of Positive Thinking.”  Positive thinking seems to have worked for Dr. Peale.  He lived to be 95, and is one of the best known thinkers, writers and speakers on success.

Every month, the inside back cover of SUCCESS Magazine has a great feature: “Turning Knowledge into Power: 10 Actions You Can Take Right Now.”  In the November issue, the Number 3 action is:

“Gotta Believe!  Norman Vincent Peale said people become remarkable when they begin to truly believe in themselves.  What is your mind telling you?  Write down three negative thoughts you tend to replay in your mind.  Now what is the positive replacement for each?”

There is so much here, that I almost don’t know where to begin, so I’ll start with the title of the feature.  I love the idea of turning knowledge into power.  As the pencils my dad would occasionally bring home from his job at American Bridge said, “Knowing Is Not Enough!” 

If you want to become self confident and successful, you need to use what you know.  In this case, it means using the knowledge that positive thinking will make you more self confident and successful.  It means, eliminating negative self talk. 

The Optimist Creed says, “Promise yourself to talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.”  This includes you!  In fact, it has to start with you.  When you talk health, happiness and prosperity to yourself, you’ll be on the way to being healthy, happy and prosperous.

I like the idea of identifying your negative self talk – the negative thoughts you tend to replay in your mind.  You’ll make progress toward defeating these negative thoughts simply by identifying them. 
And, if you follow up and put the other part of the SUCCESS tip – write replacement thoughts, or affirmations – for each negative thought, you’ll be bound to become more self confident and successful. 

When I was writing “Straight Talk for Success,” my plan was to use it, and the ideas inside, as a platform for moving my business from a high travel, on site coaching and consulting model to an internet based model. 

Like most things in business and life, this was not as easy as it sounds at first.  I found myself letting negative thoughts like “Why are you working so hard to do this?  You might never succeed.”  Once I identified these negative thoughts and self talk, I created the following answer: “I’m doing this so I can stay home more, reach and help more people, and as a way to keep learning and growing as I move into my 60’s.  I will succeed because I am willing to do the work necessary to create my success.”

At the beginning of 2008, I set a goal of realizing half of my income from my writing and on line work.  As we are beginning the last quarter of the year, I am very confident that I will reach this goal.  That’s what positive thinking – and a willingness to do the necessary work — can do for you.

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people are self confident.  Self confident people practice positive self talk.  They, “Talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person they meet” – including, no especially, themselves.  Optimism will help you harness the power of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s ideas on positive thinking.  Along with a willingness to face your fears and act, and a conscious decision to surround yourself with positive people, optimism will help you develop your self confidence and put you on the road to career and life success.

Those are my thoughts on the power of positive thinking, the ideas in SUCCESS Magazine and The Optimist Creed.  What are yours?  Please leave a comment sharing them with us.  If you want a copy of The Optimist Creed that you can frame and hang in your workspace, please send an email to with the words “Optimist Creed” in the subject line.  As always, thanks for reading.


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