Self Confidence Is the Foundation of All Success

Self confidence is one of the keys to personal and professional 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 other day, I read an online newsletter written by Sharon Melnick.  She made several interesting points about confidence.

• Confidence with help you be flexible.  You will consider all alternatives and options.
• Confidence will help you follow through on ideas that you might otherwise talk yourself out of.
• Confidence will help you be persistent – and hold on you your vision for your life.

She’s right.  Confidence is the foundation of all success.  Without it, you will have a difficult time succeeding.  You have to be optimistic, face down your fears by taking action and surround yourself with positive people

Elbert Hubbard, the author of “A Message to Garcia” ( one of the best essays on personal responsibility ever written has some great things to say about facing your fears.

“The greatest mistake you can make is continually fearing that you will make one.”

Read that again.  Those 14 words are powerful!

If you let your fear of making a mistake stop you from taking action, you will never take any action and your fear will ruin your life and chances of success.

In 1988 I was ready to start my coaching, consulting and speaking business.  I was afraid.  I was worried that I wouldn’t succeed.   I had always worked for large companies.   I wasn’t sure I knew exactly what to do to run a successful business.  Nevertheless, I looked my fear in the eye, quit my job and moved forward.  21 years later, I’m still at it.

Fear is persistent.  It doesn’t go away.  It will wait for one of your weak moments and then it will strike.  If you let it get the best of you, you’ll never move forward. 

Fear most often manifests itself in procrastination.  When I find myself procrastinating, I always ask myself, “What are you afraid of here, Bud?”  Identifying my fear always help me defeat it.  Once I identify what I am afraid of, I can take positive steps to move forward through my fear and on to success.

Make a list of your doubts and fears.  Decide what you can do to overcome them.  Then act.  Take at least one positive action – not matter how small — every day to overcome your doubts and fears.  Even if these actions don’t work out as well as you hope, you will be on the road to overcoming your fears. 

Remember procrastination feeds fear.  Action cures fear.  The choice is up to you.  I choose action.

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people are self confident.   Self confident people don’t let their fears get in the way of their success.  They identify their fears, and then they take specific actions designed to help them move past them.  Action is the great antidote to fear.  It puts inertia on your side.  Once you are moving forward, you are likely to continue moving forward.  It’s the first step that is the hardest – and scariest.  If you want to beat your fears, you need to take the first step, and then keep on going.

That’s my take on fear and self confidence.  What’s yours?  Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.  Also, please share your personal stories of triumph over fear.  As always, thanks for reading.


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  1. Remember the book, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” ? Well, I remember the title more than I remember the content of the book.
    Whenever I’ve felt fear, I’ve allowed myself to feel it, accept it, and then do whatever it is I need to do to move on.
    I like how you said that fear doesn’t go away. It’s true. We just have to learn to ‘deal with it,’ which you mention, take action, action, action.

  2. Laurie:
    Thanks for your comment.
    As you point out, a good book title sometimes says all there is to say. “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” is one of those.
    I agree with what you say, about accepting fear. You have to be willing to accept — embrace it even — before you can act on you fears. Great point!
    Thanks again,

  3. Writing down the fear is a good idea because many times we get into circular thinking with our worrying and the effect is an exageration of the fear. By clearly writing down what we’re afraid of, some of the power is taken from the fear.

  4. Great idea Success Warrior! Thanks.
    Would you like to write a guest post on this subject?
    Thanks for your comment and your insight…

  5. I would enjoy that. Thanks for the offer. I’ll be in touch.

  6. Success in any endeavor consists of a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day. It is the accumulative weight of our self-discipline and judgment that leads us to either excellence or mediocrity.

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