Yes You Can Become a Success

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, and 3) surround yourself with positive people.

I was watching the NBA All Star Game last night – no shortage of self confidence there.  Did you see LeBron James’ dunk at the end of the game, or Shaq’s between the legs pass and give and go with Chris Paul?  Wow!!!

During halftime, the NBA did a piece on its community service program, NBA Cares, complete with a video message from President Obama – a huge basketball fan.  Since it’s President’s Day in the USA, I’m going to devote this post to President Obama and self confidence; especially optimism.

When he began his campaign for US President, few people gave Barack Obama a chance to win.  Besides the fact that no black man had ever been elected president, he had a lot of things going against him.  He has a funny name.  Worse yet, his middle name is Hussein.  Many people thought he was Muslim.  He was young.  He was a first term senator from Illinois.  Most people thought that Hillary Clinton had the Democratic nomination locked up.

However, Barack Obama believed that he could become president.  His optimism gave him the will to campaign hard in Iowa, where he was a surprise winner in the Caucuses.  It sustained him through his defeat in the New Hampshire primary and through the rest of the long and tough primary campaign and the subsequent campaign against John McCain.  “Yes we can” was one of the slogans that he repeated over and over.  Yes we can is an optimistic slogan, strong and affirmative.

He said those same words, “Yes we can,” several times as he addressed the huge crowd in Chicago on election night.  President Obama switched gears that night.  He went from using “Yes we can” as a campaign slogan to a rallying cry for the USA.  It is clear that even in these troubled times, he is bringing a sense of optimism to his role as President of the US.

I’m sure that Barack Obama has private moments when he lets his anger show.  However, in public he is unflappable.  His demeanor reminds me of the first point of the Optimist Creed.  “Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.”  He handled the personal attacks during the campaign with grace.  He has met the first big challenge of his presidency – the economic stimulus plan – the same way.

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people are self confident.  Self confident people are optimists.  President Barack Obama is a great role model for optimism.  He believes that together we can defeat the problems that we face as a country.  Follow his lead in your life and career.  Choose “Yes I can” as your personal slogan.  Become an optimist, face your fears and act, surround yourself with positive people.  If you do, you’ll can the self confidence necessary to become a personal and professional success.

That’s my take on Barack Obama, optimism and personal and professional success.  What’s yours?  Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.  If you want a copy of the Optimist Creed, go to  Thanks for reading.


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  1. You already possess everything you need for success. All you need to do is make your potential actual, one day at a time. You do this by pursuing your goals and embracing excellence as your ideal. Pursuit of your goals and a genuine commitment to excellence is compelling as each step offers an opportunity for growth, learning, maturity and self-improvement.

  2. Thanks for all of your comments. They are right on, and really helpful.

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