Self confidence is one of the keys to personal and professional success that is part of my Common Sense Success System. I discuss it 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.
Yesterday I blogged about a book called The Help. The Help is a lot of things, but above all, it is a story about hope and self confidence. This past weekend, I saw two movies that are also about hope and confidence. Hope is a powerful component of self confidence. Self confident people are hopeful. They look forward to the future with great expectations, knowing that if they work hard enough, good things are likely to happen.
Precious is a tough movie to watch. It is the story of a 350-pound illiterate teenage girl. She is pregnant for the second time. But as she says at one point in the film, “I never even had a boyfriend.” Her father abused her sexually and is the father of her children. She is verbally and physically abused by her mother. Nobody likes Precious. She is obese and has little or no self confidence. But a couple of people give her hope.
When he school Principal learns that Precious is pregnant, she helps her get into a special school. There, one of the teachers helps her learn, and a social worker helps her deal with her home situation. With their help, she blossoms. This is a hopeful movie. It shows how a teacher and social worker help build Precious’ self esteem and give her the courage to live life on her own. At the end of the movie, Precious is walking down the street with her two children, determined to get her GED and go on to college.
Precious received a 15-minute standing ovation when it was shown at Cannes. I wanted to clap when it was over too.
The Blind Side is another movie about hope. It is the true life story of Michael Oher, a professional football player for the Baltimore Ravens. He was a very large black teenager living on the streets when he was welcomed into the home of a white conservative suburban family. Sandra Bullock plays the mother – and she is great in the role.
Michael and the family both grow over the course of the film. He eventually gets a football scholarship to the University of Mississippi where he becomes and All-American player and a first round draft choice in the NFL. It too, is a hopeful story. It shows how one person, or one family, can make all the difference in another person’s life. Michael Oher had great athletic talent that would have been wasted were it not for someone showing him some compassion and giving him some hope.
As these two movies show us, hope is powerful. In The Audacity of Hope, President Obama (written before he became president) says…
“The audacity of hope. That was the best of the American spirit, I thought – having the audacity to believe despite all evidence to the contrary that we could restore a sense of community to a nation torn by conflict; the gall to believe that despite personal setbacks, the loss of a job or an illness in the family or a childhood mired in poverty, we had some control – and therefore responsibility – over our own fate. It was that audacity, I thought, that joined us as one people.”
This Thanksgiving I choose hope. I am thankful for many things, but I am most thankful for my powerful self confidence. It gave me the hope to start a consulting business 21 years ago and the hope to expand my business via the internet. I choose hope. I choose to be audacious, moving to a new business model when many people my age are retiring. I urge you to be audacious and choose hope. Hope begins with being aware of and thankful for all you have. It helps you move forward by building on those things for which you are thankful.
I also urge you to do whatever you can to give hope to others – your family, your friends, your co-workers, people at your place of worship, strangers. Hopeful and kind words can make a difference in the lives of people around you.
The common sense point here is simple. Successful people are self confident. Self confident people are optimistic; they face their fears and act; they surround themselves with positive people. Self confident people are hopeful. They look to the future realizing that they have control over their destiny and choose to accept the responsibility for creating the successful life and career that they want and deserve. Choose hope for yourself this Thanksgiving. Give hope to as many people as you can.
That’s my take on the importance of hope. What’s yours? Please take a few minutes to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us. As always, thanks for reading.