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Building Real Self-Confidence Part 2

By John P Hickey

We know that you can build the feelings of self-confidence by how you hold yourself, look and act. But the real battleground for self-confidence is in the mind. Self-confidence is all about what you think, your attitudes and what you believe to be true. If you do not get your thinking right, nothing else will last for long. The two areas all work together; the physical, and the mental, however, your thinking is the key to real self-confidence.
Have you ever thought about what you think about? Seems like a funny question, however, the vast majority of people never really think about what they are thinking about. They carry around negative and angry thoughts and wonder why they are not happy.

They spend their time thinking about all that could go wrong in life and wonder why they are fearful and anxious. They think about how much work and effort it will take to succeed and wonder why they cannot get going on their goals. Ask yourself, "What do I think about most of the time?" Most likely, you will be surprised by the answer.
One of the differences between those who are success-minded and those who struggle to get their dreams focused and started, is how they think, not what they do. It has often been the case that some have read books or received some learning about success and yet never seem to achieve. They do all the "right" stuff but it does not seem to work as well for them as it does for others. That is because they are looking for what they do to be the key and what really matters is what they think about.

I have seen this in coaching people who wish to venture out into something they never have done before. Some will discover their dream, make a plan and approach it with the thought that they cannot fail and they will achieve this. No doubts and no questions. These people always, yes I said always, succeed in what they do.
There are also those who discover their dream and become excited about it. However their approach is, "I hope this works. Nothing ever really turns out for me the way I want it to." These people will always fail. Why? Because they have decided that they will fail before they even start. They have nothing to lose because they have invested nothing to win. When they fail they simply say, "I knew this would happen." Not only did they know it would happen, they planned for it to happen and they made sure it did happen.
Self-confidence is knowing that you will achieve that which you set out to do. It is not saying, "Oh, this is a piece of cake" or being arrogant and prideful. You know that there is a lot of work involved; it will not be easy or quick. However, you know that you will succeed and you will stay with it till you do. It all comes down to what Henry Ford once said, "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right."

Any study of success will find that the first and most important thing to get in order is your thinking. You cannot achieve all that needs to be achieved if you are thinking about failure. Success comes from filling your thought with what you want to achieve, how you can achieve it and what you can learn to move you closer to the goal. As Earl Nightingale said, "Every one of us is the sum total of his own thoughts."
Thinking is a deliberate act. You must chose what your thoughts will be and then work to keep them in line. The mind that is allowed to just run in any direction it wishes will always run down to the negative. It is our nature to think the worse and to allow fear to control our thoughts. Success-minded people work at keeping their thought positive and focused on the goal at hand. The human mind is a powerful force and only those who learn to use it for the good and to control their thoughts for the achievement of their goals will succeed.

We must always remember that out of all the things in the universe, the Creator gave us control over only one thing. He did not give us control over time, the weather, nature or other people. The only thing you have control of is you and your thoughts. Self-confidence give us the courage to take that control and become the master of our thoughts rather than our thoughts being the master of us.
"Confidence on the outside begins by living with integrity on the inside." - Brian Tracy

Several year ago I had a young man come to me for coaching. He was having a struggle in his career and personal life and felt he was "stuck in a hole" as he put it. We sat down to talk and the first thing he said to me was, "The one thing I don't want to hear is any of that positive thinking crap." I told him that in that one sentence he told me why he is struggling so much, that he will keep struggling in life and that he has no intention of changing that. Believing that I should not waste his or my time when no change will happen, I asked him to find a different coach.
Nothing is a more perfect kiss of death to success than a negative attitude. Negativity robs us of self-confidence and gets us to believe that we cannot succeed. Anyone who holds on to a negative attitude knows all too well that they never seem to move forward or achieve the level of success they desire. You just can't win with what Zig Ziglar called "stinkin-thinkin".

A positive attitude builds and strengthens self-confidence on an explosive level. When you feel good about yourself, your life and the world you live in, you know that success is there to be had. You get along with others and that is a key to any success. When people like you they want to help you and will present you with opportunities that others with a less pleasing attitude will miss.
If you have a position open and there are two people who have applied for it. One is very qualified and able to do the job. The other is talented but has not had the same amount of experience as the first. The first person however is negative and critical of others. The second person has a positive attitude and works well with everyone. Who will you pick? Of course the second - every time.
Success-minded people with positive attitudes believe in doing the impossible. They know that just because something has not been done before does not mean it cannot be done. In fact, they find the challenge fun and exciting. Because of that, they tend to find answers. I agree with American poet, Theodore Roethke when he said, "What we need is more people who specialize in the impossible."

A positive attitude does not only make others feel better and enjoy being around you, it will make you feel better and like being around yourself. It is just a fact that positive people are healthier, happier and get more done. When you see each day as a gift you tend to appreciate that gift and use it for the best. Positive people are grateful for all they have and for the ability to achieve their dreams. This builds the confidence needed to go after those dreams, no matter how impossible they may be.
"Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not one has better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on one's ideas, to take a calculated risk - and to act." - Andre Malraux
Success-minded people love a good quote. Reading any of my books, articles or blogs and you soon discover that I love a solid, meaningful quote. It is the wisdom of others passed down like fine treasures. English writer, Isaac D'Israeli put it this way, "The wisdom of the wise, and the experience of ages, may be preserved by quotations."
Quotations can be great self-confidence builders. It is like getting a pep talk from Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon Hill or countless other greats of our world. Here is an exercise that will prove to help build self-confidence and excitement in your day. Each day collect three meaning quotes. Things that you read that speak to you and encourage you. This is not hard to find, social media is filled with them. Try this for a week and see if it does not make a difference in how you think and feel.
Here is the catch to it all. Yes, there is always a catch. Quotes, as with all truth, does not make a lot of difference if you do not really believe them. Let's look at a few simple and common quotes. Each in its own way presents a simple but profound truth that when applied and believed can transform your life.
"What the mind can conceive and believe can be achieved." - Napoleon Hill
"You were born to win and the seeds of greatness are inside you." - Zig Ziglar
"Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it to completion." - St. Paul

I am sure you have heard all these many times before and may even have them written down so you can review them from time to time. But ask yourself this: "How would your life be different if you really believed these words?" You see, many of us know all the right sayings and have heard and given great advice, but not many really believe it for a fact.
Self-confidence is the belief that you can succeed in life. It is not that you hope to succeed. It is not that you will succeed if everything works out right. It is not that you will succeed if you get the help you need. It is the belief that you will, in fact, succeed. You may not know how or when right away, but you know you will.
I am sure that you have heard or been asked the powerful question, "What would you do if you knew you could not fail?" That is more than something to stimulate your thinking or motivate your actions, it is a real and very important question. Your ability to answer this question will determine how you achieve your destiny.
If you knew you could not fail, how would you act? If you knew you could not fail, what would you attempt to achieve? If you knew you could not fail, what would you be thinking about all day? If you knew you could not fail, how would you communicate with others? What would your life be like if you KNEW you could not fail?
Here is why this is such an important question. If you believe that you could not fail to achieve your goal you would act and move with confidence. You would do what you may have thought impossible because you know now that it is not impossible. It is like the old U.S. Marine slogan: "The difficult we will do right now. The impossible may take a little while."
Here is an important fact. Take a minute to prepare yourself for it. Deep breath and sit straight up. Now read this out loud. "I can believe that I cannot fail because it is the truth." Get it? Read it again, this time with conviction. Believe it because it is a fact. For those who truly believe that they cannot fail, there is success every time. Why? Because if you believe you cannot fail you will never stop trying. If you believe you cannot fail you will always be learning and moving forward. If you believe you cannot fail you will be encouraged every day because you know if brings you closer to your goals in life. It is easier to stop a speeding train with your bear hands than to stop a person who believes that they will achieve their goals.
This where faith is a vital part of success-minded people's thinking. As a person of faith, I believe that I was created for a purpose. God had no quota to fill and I am not just a biological happening. It was God's intent that I be here at this time to fulfill a part of His great plan for all of creation. Now, if the Creator of the universe created me for a purpose, don't you think He has every intention to see that I fulfill that purpose? I do believe that and I believe that if God is for me, nothing can stand against me.
Be a success-minded person and live to achieve. Know and believe that as a success-minded person you can be confident that you will achieve your dream. What are the characteristics of a success-minded person? Simply, they are these: They do their best, have good manners, love God, discover the unknown and change their world.

To read more from John Patrick Hickey or to get his books, training and book him to speak to your church, business or group, visit our website at or