Self Confidence, Preparation and Career Success

Brian Tracy is a great guy.  He has lots of great advice on how to create the life and career success you want and deserve.  He and I share the cover of a book called Speaking of Success.

Brian is also a generous guy.  I’m one of his subscribers.  The other day, I received an email from him in which he offered a self confidence assessment – for free.  You can access it here…

I suggest you not only download and complete the self confidence self assessment, I suggest that you head over to and subscribe.

Self confidence is an important key to creating the life and career success you want and deserve.  If you want to become self-confident, you need to do three things.  First, become an optimist.  Learn from and then forget yesterday’s mistakes.  Focus on tomorrow’s achievements.  Second, face your fears and take action.  Action cures fear.  Procrastination and inaction compound it.  Failure is rarely fatal.  Do something, anything that will move you closer to achieving your career success goals.  Third, surround yourself with positive people.  Build a network of supportive friends.  Jettison the negative people in your life.  And just as important, find a mentor to help build your confidence and guide you along the way.

Let’s talk about someone who personifies self confidence.  Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III is a hero.  You remember him.  In January 2009 he safely landed a US Airways Airbus A320 with 155 passengers and crew on board on the Hudson River.  And then walked the cabin – twice – to make sure no one was on board before he left the aircraft.  Everybody survived.  This was a rare care where failure on Sully Sullenberger’s part could have been fatal — but it wasn’t.  It’s a pretty amazing story.

Even more amazing is that Doreen Welsh, one of my high school classmates was a flight attendant on that flight.  She was the next to last one person of the plane that day.  Doreen is now a professional speaker.  She talks about that day and her role in the drama.

When I watched the news coverage that night, I didn’t know that Doreen was on that plane.  I do remember thinking, “There’s a man (Sullenberger) who is totally confident in his skills as a pilot.”

In addition to being an optimist – you have to be to land a plane on a river; facing the fear involved with being responsible for the lives of lots of people in a crisis situation; and making use of the supportive people around him – air traffic controllers and ferry crews — I believe there is one other thing that contributed to Sully’s confidence in his ability to safely land that plane on that river: preparation.

At the time of that incident Sully Sullenberger had been a pilot with US Airways since 1980.  He had trained pilots, helped streamline passenger service, led efforts to improve safety at airports, aided the National Transportation Safety Board in investigating accidents and co-wrote a technical paper with NASA on crew decision-making errors.  Before joining US Airways, he was a fighter pilot.  He graduated from the US Air Force Academy.

He is the former safety chairman of the Air Line Pilots Association, and is a visiting scholar at the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management at the University of California, Berkeley.  The research center studies natural and man-made disasters from floods to airplane crashes.

I wouldn’t want to be on a plane that had to ditch in a river, but if I had to be, I’d want Sully Sullenberger to be the pilot.  He was as prepared as anyone to do the job.

He was prepared because of his training, over 40 years of flying experience, and his outside work and continuing education.  From what I can tell, Sully Sullenberger knows as much or more about flying, decision-making in stressful situations and airplane accidents as anybody.  He was prepared to do something incredibly difficult when the time came.  He acted in a calm and confident manner.

We can all take a lesson from Sully Sullenberger.  No matter what you do, the more prepared you are, the more confident you will be in your ability to handle routine matters and the occasional crisis.

An early mentor used to always tell me, “Bud, preparation makes up for a lack of talent.”  In Sully Sullenberger’s case, preparation enhanced his prodigious flying talent.

The career success coach point here is simple common sense.  Successful people are self-confident.  Preparation enhances self-confidence.  When you anticipate and mentally rehearse what you’ll do when you find yourself in a difficult situation, you’ll have the confidence to act swiftly and surely when you find yourself in that situation.  Just ask Sully Sullenberger.  You can’t prepare for every possible contingency, but you can identify likely problems and opportunities and prepare for them in advance.  Doing so will not only improve your confidence, it will improve your performance under pressure and lead to your career success.  Download and complete Brian Tracy’s self confidence assessment.  See how confident you are.  Then work on improving your confidence level.  This will prepare you to be more confident and put you on the road to the life and career success you want and deserve.

That’s my career advice on self confidence and preparation.  What do you think?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment.  As always, thanks for reading my daily musings on life and career success.  I value you and I appreciate you.


PS: If you haven’t already done so, you can download a free copy of my latest career success book Success Tweets Explained.  It’s a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail.  Go to to claim your free copy.  You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.


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