The Dalai Lama, Self Confidence and Success

Self confidence is one of the keys to personal and professional success that I discuss in several of my books: Straight Talk for Success, Your Success GPS and 42 Rules to Jumpstart your Professional Success.  You can become self confident by doing three things.  First, choose optimism.  Believe in your heart of hearts that today will be better than yesterday, and that tomorrow will be better than today.  Second, face your fears and act.  Procrastination and inaction feed fear and rob you of self confidence.  Action cures fear.  Third, surround yourself with positive people.  Don’t let the naysayers into your life.  Hang around with people who are
positive about themselves, their careers and life in general.

On rare occasion, I like to repost a blog.  I usually pick posts that had a lot of favorable reaction.  One post, “The Dalai Lama and Self Confidence” was very popular with readers when I first posted it three years ago, so I thought I would post it here again for old time’s sake, for my new readers and because it ties nicely to the post I did yesterday on committing to taking personal responsibility for your life and career.

Take a look and let me know what you think…

I search wide and far to find information I can pass on to readers of this blog.  As I was researching self-confidence, I came across a Buddhist web site that had some interesting information.  You can check it out at <>

I particularly liked a quote from the Dalai Lama, found about half-way down the web page, so I decided to include it here.

“One can be deceived by three types of laziness:
the laziness of indolence, which is the wish to procrastinate;
the laziness of inferiority, which is doubting your capabilities;
and the laziness that is attached to negative actions, or putting great effort into non-virtue.”

I like this quote, because it drives home an important point about personal responsibility and self confidence.  The Dalai Lama doesn’t let us off the hook.  He says it’s just plain lazy to say “I didn’t do it because I didn’t think I could do it.”  He says that doubting your abilities is a form of laziness.  That’s some tough love!

And if you think about it, he is right.  All too often we let ourselves off the hook by saying, “I’m not going to try that, because I don’t think I can do it.”  This is being lazy.  “I can’t do it, so I won’t even try:” as I read these words out loud, they sound pretty lame.  Agree?  If you do, you’ll stop using lack of self-confidence as an excuse for not doing the work it takes to become a star in your life and career.

The common sense point here is simple.  Self confidence is an important key to career and life success.  Self confident people are optimistic, they face their fears and act and they surround themselves with positive people.  The Dalai Lama suggests that self doubt is a form of laziness.  He says that doubting yourself and your capabilities is a form of laziness, that he calls the laziness of inferiority.  The next time you find yourself saying, “I can’t do that,” think of the Dalai Lama.  Are you just letting yourself off the hook by not even trying?  Only you can be the judge of that.  However, I have found that more often than not when I let my doubts get the better of me, I’m being lazy.

That’s my take on the Dalai Lama, self confidence and success.  What’s yours?  Please take a few minutes to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks for reading.


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  1. I love what you said – it is quite true. Laziness and a lack of self confidence seem to go hand in hand. Thank you for your teaching. lol
    hugs, Kat

  2. Very thoughtfull post on self confidence.It should be very much helpfull

    Karim –
    Positive thinking

  3. Thanks Kat:
    I appreciate the comment.

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