The secret to success: Believing in yourself and self-confidence

What do you think is the secret to accomplishing something really great? And what is the basis behind success? Sure, there are many factors, like having the right skills or knowing the right people. But all these mean nothing if one other special element is not in place--which on the road to success must come before all else. I shall tell you about it in this article: The secret to success is to believe in yourself. For when you believe in yourself, no matter what obstacles you encounter, you will prevail.

And there is a reason for this, in fact language itself gives us a clue: The words "belief / believe" literally mean "to love and trust, all around, from all sides." When you believe in yourself, you surround yourself, or rather, you encircle yourself with your own love and trust--so much that there is no opening in this trust.

And that is a crucial point. For as soon as there is a "crack" in this circle of trust, doubt can and will enter. Doubt splits apart; in fact, the word doubt originally meant "two" as in "split in two" (see Step 6 in The Steps of Essence). And it is doubt that leads you to think you have failed, and subsequently give up.

But when you fully believe in yourself, and thereby surround yourself with all-enclosing love and trust, no doubt can and will enter your mind. Instead, you are "confident," which literally means to go “with trust.”

Then, if things go badly in life, as surely they will from time to time, your belief, that love and trust you place in and around yourself, and the confidence that results from this will carry you forward.

But maybe you don’t yet feel that confident yet, so here are a couple of key ways to "build self-confidence" and learn to trust yourself:

  1. Plan your actions according to your skills. If you plan too far beyond your skill-level, you may struggle; if you plan below your skill-level, you may get bored. Instead, set it up so that the task at hand is just slightly challenging, but you will still be able to master it. If so, working towards the goal will be rewarding in itself, and by meeting the challenge you subsequent prove to yourself that you can do it and thereby build your confidence. (see “Flow moments” in Step 3 of The Steps of Essence). Congratulations, you have grown as a person! Once you are comfortable with this level, set up increasingly harder tasks or goals.
  2. Psychology teaches us to always reinforce positive outcomes, and play down negative ones. This really is a key to gaining confidence: Always celebrate and reward good outcomes! Take heed of bad ones (more below), but never punish yourself for them.

Now let’s look at the flip-side, being overly confident.

You also have to guard yourself against a sort of "blind faith" that extends from believing in yourself to believing that anything you do is correct and the only way to success. As just pointed out, things will not always go your way--that is a fact, and you have to acknowledge this. Now, I just told you to believe in yourself and keep on going; but if something you do "fails" repeatedly, should you keep doing it? (Check back for an upcoming article on overcoming failure.)

Einstein thought that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. I would not go quite as far. Of course, if something was clearly the wrong thing to do, you don’t want to do it again after the first time. But some things are much more subtle, and you will not notice them until they fail repeatedly.

So here is some advise: If something fails once, it may be a fluke. If it fails twice, it may be coincidence. If it fails three times or more, there may be pattern.

That’s what you need to look out for: bad patterns, which may even be scattered over your whole life. In the worst case, this may be a limiting life-thread (see Step 1 and Step 2 of The Steps of Essence, also see "Authentic Authorship"). In those cases, there may indeed be something wrong with what you’re doing.

Take heed of it and check if you can improve the way you go about it.

And it’s precisely your belief in yourself that will enable you to do this! It’s OK to make mistakes, as long as we learn from them – all wise men make mistakes, they just don’t make them twice.

What you must learn is to distinguish between believing in your-self (or some greater goal or vision for your life) and taking some way as the one and only way to express your-self or reaching a greater goal. This is to distinguish between a “What” and a “How.” In ThThe Steps of Essence, I therefore make the distinction between a Life Vision (the What) and the respective Missions that bring it to life (the How) (see Step 3 for Vision, and Step 5 for Missions).

So trust yourself! Believe in yourself! But heed the warning signs if your ways are failing. Learn from your mistakes and have the courage and wisdom to make adjustments to your path. Overall, once you know your Vision, these are but minor tweaks to the path of this ship called Life. There always are infinite paths that lead you to and from the same place— your-self.

Be true! Be Happy! And have a great life!
Hanns-Oskar Porr

Copyright © 2010 Hanns-Oskar Porr

Adapted from Be True, Be Happy and The Steps of Essence

Be True, Be Happy: Simple Secrets for a Happy and Meaningful Life.
by Hanns-Oskar Porr

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Comments

Well's picture

I agree with you. But sometimes, when you look at certain things like laws for instance, you prefer to avoid loosing your time, when they against you. But who knows?

What do you think the difference is between blind faith and believing in miracles? I have seen a few miracles.

Thanks

Hanns-Oskar Porr's picture

Thank you for this. Your comment "I have seen a few miracles" inspired me to write a new post called "Seeing Miracles All Around You" (see here).