Self confidence is one of the keys to career and life success that I discuss in several of my books: Straight Talk for Success, Your Success GPS and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success. If you want to become self confident you need to do three things. First, become an optimist. 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. Fear creates procrastination and inaction. Action leads to success and confidence. Third, surround yourself with positive people. Positive people energize you. Negative people are a drain on your energy.
Today, I’d like to return to one of my favorite topics – optimism. There’s an old saying, “Optimists are right, pessimists are too. You get to choose which one you’ll be.” I choose optimism. Optimism is a great way to jumpstart your professional success.
When I was a young guy, I participated in the Optimist International oratory contest. The topic that year was, “Optimism, Youth’s Greatest Asset;” which is hard enough for a ninth grader to say, (Think Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinnie.) let alone to write and deliver a 10 minute talk on. It was a great experience for me; one that gave me some of the confidence I needed to become a professional speaker.
Optimist International is a great service organization. Their mission is to bring out the best in kids; and to help them develop to their full potential by providing hope and positive vision. The Optimist Creed is their touchstone. It is some of the best common sense advice I’ve ever seen. I have a copy of it posted in my office. See for yourself…
The Optimist Creed
- To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
- To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
- To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
- To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
- To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
- To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
- To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
- To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
- To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
- To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
The seventh point of The Optimist Creed — forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future — is the most helpful for me. I am an active person. I am always looking for new and better ways to do my work and get across my message. I try new things all the time. Some of the things I try don’t work out as I planned and hoped. I treat these failures as learning experiences. I use them to help me to create greater achievements in the future.
That’s what optimists do; and what you should do too. Embrace your mistakes and failures. Learn from them. Treating your mistakes and failures as learning opportunities is a great way to jumpstart your professional success. I saw a sign outside a church yesterday that made this point very well. It said, “A failure is only a failure if you learn nothing from it.” Pretty good advice, huh?
The common sense point here is simple. Successful people are self confident. Self confident people are optimists. They believe that today will be better than yesterday and that tomorrow will be better today. I’m a big believer in the wisdom in The Optimist Creed. If you follow the common sense advice in The Optimist Creed you will not only become a more self confident and optimistic person, you will become a professional success. I believe in The Optimist Creed so strongly that I have created a .pdf of it that is suitable for framing. If you want a copy to hang in your office or workspace, please go to http://budbilanich.com/optimist.
That’s my take on optimism, The Optimist Creed and success. What’s yours? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us. As always, thanks for reading.