Friday, 14 March, 2008

How to Develop Self-Confidence

It happened on a fine sunny day that I got into a bike of one of my friends. He started off at a rather high rate of speed on the busy road. He was going a little faster than I thought reasonable, and I reminded him that, we had plenty of time and suggested that we take it easy. Actually, I was so worried and tensed with his driving (as I usually do when I got into any one’s bike like his) that I started yelling instructions “Slow down, be careful, watch it, etc., and started holding and pressing his shoulders tightly”. I was causing a lot of disturbance not only to his concentration but also to the passersby.
“Don’t let my driving worry you,” he replied. I said, “I am aware of the fact that you are good at driving but I fear a lot”. He said, “Even I used to be filled with all kinds of insecurities myself, but I got over them. I was afraid of everything. I always went around with a feeling that something bad was going to happen, and it made my life miserable. I had always felt inferior and lacked confidence. This state of mind reflected itself in almost every part of my life. But now, I live with a feeling of confidence, not only in myself but in life generally.”
I was so much irritated that, I replied, “Just stop lecturing buddy! One must not wait for something bad to happen, and the confidence you are talking looks to be over confidence and not self-confidence. And added, still I am unmarried and I don’t want to take any kind of risk like losing my life or limbs in any accident due to such reckless driving as I always been a firm believer of the fact, Prevention is better than Cure.” He felt hurt, but still, he asked whether I can spare some time to discuss. I replied, “Even I want to talk to you and prove you incorrect”.
We drove to a local park near by that day and started a hot debate on self-confidence. He had taken out a small card from his wallet and gave it to me. It read, “If you have faith in yourself, nothing shall be impossible to you” on one side and on the obverse side it read, “Faith is life and Doubt is death”.
He said, as you know that I am into marketing business, I drive around all day to meet my customers. While driving, I have discovered the thought processes that were mostly negative thoughts viz., fear and defeat which had incidentally resulted in bad sales to the company. But since I have been using this card given by my boss, I have learned to think differently. The old insecurities that used to haunt me are just about all gone, and instead of thinking of fear, thoughts of defeat and ineffectiveness, I think thoughts of faith and courage.
I said, the quotations are really praise worthy but frankly speaking, I am not convinced. As far as I remember, we were here to discuss about your reckless driving and about self-confidence, but what you spoke is completely irrelevant. Could you please define what Self-Confidence does mean to you? I asked.
“To my belief”, he said, “Self-Confidence is nothing but having faith in your own abilities! It is that reasonable confidence in your own powers that will turn you successful and make you happy.” And added, “A sense of inferiority and inadequacy interferes with the attainment of one’s hopes, but it is the self-confidence leads to self-realization and successful achievement”.
But, what I found in you is Over-Confidence and not Self-Confidence, I interrupted. He smiled and continued, buddy as I already told, I have developed a sense of positive attitude by eliminating the most troubling inferiority complex from my mindset. I have realized my abilities and potentials by filling my mind with affirmations of the presence, and developed courage to face any challenging situation. It would appear like over-confidence to everyone but, I am sure that it is not. Believe me, lack of self-confidence is one of the great problems besetting people today. He added. Everywhere, one can encounter people who are inwardly afraid, who suffer from deep sense of inadequacy and insecurity and doubt their own powers. And thus, due to deeply rooted mistrust within ourselves, we kick many-a-opportunities at our own doorstep.
And this small card had worked wonders for you I asked habitually. Again, he smiled and replied. It is not just this card which made me realize about my strengths, but the realization itself that I had after reading it. It is true that I no more have feelings of inferiority and am enjoying success and happiness. Feelings of confidence depend upon those thoughts that occupy our minds. Think defeat and you are bound to feel defeated. But once you practice thinking confident thoughts, you will discover a strong sense of power with in yourself to overcome any difficult situation.
Well said, but practicing this isn’t a difficult thing, I questioned. He quoted Emerson, “They conquer who believe they can. Do one thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.” And he added, it is never an impossible task to practice. Try to make a true estimate of your ability and practice to fill your mind with the thoughts of faith, confidence and security. This will not only expel all thoughts of doubt, all lack of confidence but also lead you towards having a firm belief in yourself. For attaining this state of mind, you need to read self-help books and sometimes your own experiences might help to a greater extent.
In my conclusion, I have nothing to say but to thank my friend for his wisely advise. Though, I have lost the card which he gave me, still I am practicing the most powerful concepts of Self-Confidence. Hope, this article would help you people in discovering your own abilities. All the best!!

Thanks and Regards

Srikanth Chintakindi.

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