“Confidence comes from discipline and training.” ~ Robert Kiyosaki
One of the most difficult challenges set before each of us is believing in ourselves. While we are taught all our lives to set goals and work towards them, there are negative elements thrown at us from an early age that undermine our self-reliance, our determination and our faith in personal achievement.
Schoolyard bullying was rough. Your ‘peers’, even though you didn’t recognise what a peer was back then, could be harsh critics. Every new piece of clothing, every little difference in behaviour, every achievement that put you up front in the class – it could all draw jealous teasing. Their lack of confidence being used as a weapon to tear down your own.
As a teenager, a new element is introduced: being regarded as ‘still just a child’. You’ve developed new skill sets, you’ve begun seeing the world as a bigger place with big possibilities and you’ve started to lay the path that will take you down the road into your own future. You’re optimistic and full of energy, yet unproven but undaunted, nonetheless.
Unfortunately, teachers and family still see you as a child (truthfully, in most ways, you really are, but what you sense in yourself is far from childish). Their inability to see you as more than you were is expressed as over protection, unrecognised growth and a disregard for independent direction. Their inability to accept your development as a capable and self-possessed young adult, possibly with talents and vision that surpass their own, is yet, again, an external lack of confidence that can undermine your own.
Finally, adulthood. Now is the time that both schoolyard insecurities and familial failure to acknowledge your achievements hits the hardest. You have fully developed skill sets, detailed knowledge and a direction fuelled by passion. Somehow, though, the teasing and jibes are worse than when you were a child – coworkers and ‘peers’, people with little faith in themselves, lash out at success that’s not their own. Your family clings to the memory of your childhood, unwilling or unable to see you as the capable individual that you know you are now.
How, then, are you to have the confidence to achieve success?
By emphasising your strengths, not their weaknesses.
Throughout this post, the details that have jumped out at you the most have probably been those that centre around what you relate to: your experiences with family, friends and peers. If you remove them from the equation, what are you left with?
Your optimism, energy, self-possession, skills, knowledge and passion.
All the tools you need for success, already yours. They’ve been there the entire time and they are what should be the backbone of your belief in yourself, because the negative elements can’t be, will never be. Learning to recognise your abilities and worth, for you, is an art in itself. Once you start to do it, however, you’ll be able to properly head down that path you’ve chosen for yourself.