Developing self-confidence

Success does not just happen. Those who stroll into it simply stumble out of it when they refuse to grow in it. This is because true success is never only about what we achieve. It is about what we become in the process. On the journey to true greatness, process is as important as outcomes. The end does not always justify the means.

To become successful, it is essential that you believe in yourself. Self-confidence does not mean you are invincible or have no limitations. It is about discovering areas of your strength and capacity, developing them into an organized and focused line of action that follows a blueprint you have designed for yourself. This implies a belief in your ability to succeed in spite of your limitations. This is what makes obstacles become stepping stones.

Achievement is a function of three critical elements. It begins with a vision developed through the employment of the imagination. This is followed by resolute faith in the achievability of the vision, no matter how intimidating it may be. The third factor has to do with focused pursuit through massive action. Dreams are good. They are the raw materials for greatness. However, without faith and action, dreams do become nightmares that can haunt one for a lifetime.

Those who struggle with an identity crisis cannot truly succeed. Why? Such people pursue greatness just to make a point to the rest of society. They are driven by competition rather than contribution. This is why you have a lot of billionaires who are lonely, isolated and unhappy. Some have been known to commit suicide! At the end of having so much money, they are still asking themselves, “Is this all there is to life?” It is difficult to define who you are without first resolving the crisis of WHOSE you are. For in knowing the Maker, you can decode the product because its purpose is defined in the Maker. The connection between you and your Maker bolsters your confidence in your ability to overcome all odds and fulfil the purpose He had in mind when He created you. Self-confidence that is engendered in the power and consciousness of this connection makes it possible for you to identify and collaborate instead of competing with others, superiors, subordinates, contemporaries, who may be relevant to your pursuit.

Self-confidence engenders faith that conquers fear. People with a healthy self-esteem confront crisis not because they have a death wish but because they believe that crisis is the veil that opportunities wear! Without self-confidence, dreams and achievements remain a mirage.

To develop self-confidence, you must conquer your greatest fears. Every single person on earth at some point will manifest any or all of seven basic fears. There are more fears but these seven largely control the factors of our success. We were literally raised in them even if we were not born with them! Were you told ghost or fairy stories growing up? Did you have an exposure to fetish environments? Were you kicked around a lot when growing up? Have you ever experienced the loss of an associate, contemporary or close family member? Have you ever been faced with lack? Have you lost property to thieves? Have you ever been in a hospital environment? Have you ever been sexually harassed or molested? All of these experiences only help to fuel our fear and stifle our faith. Several industries are built around these fears. In fact, it would not be out of place to say that every business succeeds to the degree that it can help people overcome a certain fear.

The first fear to overcome is the fear of criticism. Too often we are bothered by what people think or may be saying about us that in our attempt to debunk their prejudices or live up to their expectations, we have no time to develop the real US! For many of us, our lives are ruled by people’s opinion. What we wear, what we eat, where we live, where we go, where we work are decisions we take to escape or minimize criticism. We dread speaking in public not because we don’t have something to say but because we are afraid we may not say it well and this could lead to people not applauding us or appreciating our efforts.

If you have been around someone afflicted with illness for a considerable length of time, you will dread ill-health. Any little symptom in your body will tend to be interpreted as leading to a major ailment. If not dealt with, this fear could actually produce psychosomatic diseases where your body is manifesting symptoms that pathological investigations may not find evidence for!

The fear of old age could happen if you have aged, senile folks around you, especially if they live alone and any of them has developed any of the geriatric infirmities like senility, Alzheimer’s disease and the like. You project into your future and hope that none of those things happen to you.

Phobia for failure can also take a toll on the individual’s self-confidence. We all love to succeed. That is why we strive for higher goals and pursuits. When our plans seem to fall flat on our face, many people cannot handle that. So they spend so much time trying to avoid failure. Yet, the reality of life is that the story of true success is not complete without several chapters of failure. Unknown to many however, the fear of failure is actually a fear of success. We are sometimes so intimidated by the possibilities inherent in our dreams that we could feel unworthy of such laudable outcomes. In order to give ourselves a self-compensating alibi for non-achievement, we simply tell ourselves that it is not likely to succeed anyway, so why try? The Law of Equivalent Advantage posits that every venture in life that has a possibility of failure also has the inherent possibility of success. More often than not, we are fixated on the failure prospects than we are on the positive alternative; hence the fear of ever pursuing it at all.

Have you ever read or been told tales of ghosts and other creepy creatures of the imaginative labyrinths of some local folklore? Do you remember how, as you were growing up, some adults conjured those surreal images in whipping you into line whenever it appeared that you were acting contrary to instruction? If you grew up in the atmosphere where masquerades are regarded as the spirits of ancestors who only pay august visits to the earthly realm once every year, the awe in which the locals held the masquerade and the myths built around it were enough to instill fear in you. The situation becomes amplified if you were involved in any way in the worship of some homestead or communal idols. Through such eerie experiences, you unknowingly contacted the fear of the unknown, a realm from where you believed that, irrespective of the labour you put in, outcomes were largely a function of the satisfaction of those ancestors who have to smile on you before your ventures can be expected to succeed!… continued

Remember, the sky is not your limit, God is!


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