Have a faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy. But with sound self-confidence you can succeed. A sense of inferiority and inadequacy interferes with the attainment of your hopes, but self-confidence leads to self realization and successful achievement.
We build up the feeling of insecurity or security by how we think. If in our thoughts we constantly fix attention upon sinister expectations of dire events that might happen, the result will be constantly to feel insecure.
Lack of self-confidence apparently is one of the great problems besetting people today. In a university a survey was made of six hundred students in psychology courses. The students were asked to state their most difficult personal problem. Seventy five percent listed lack of confidence. It can safely be assumed that the same large proportion is true of the population generally. Everywhere you encounter people who are inwardly afraid, who shrink from life, who suffer from a deep sense of inadequacy and insecurity, who doubt their own powers. Deep within themselves they mistrust their ability to meet responsibilities or to grasp opportunities. Always they are beset by the vague and sinister fear that something is not going to be quite right. They do not believe that they have it in them to be what they they want to be, and so they try to make themselves content with something less than that of which they are capable. Thousands upon thousands go crawling through life on their hands and knees, defeated and afraid. And in most cases such frustration of power is unnecessary.
The blows of life, the accumulation of difficulties, the multiplication of problems tend to sap energy and leave you spent and discouraged. In such a condition the true status of your power is often obscured, and a person yields to a discouragement that is not justified by the facts. It is vitally essential to re-appraise your personality assets. When done in an attitude of reasonableness, this evaluation will convince you that you are less defeated than you think you are.
For example, a man fifty-two years of age consulted me. He was in great despondency. He revealed utter despair. He said he Ã¢â‚¬Ëœwas all throughÃ¢â‚¬â„¢. He informed me that everything he had built up over his lifetime had been swept away.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Everything?Ã¢â‚¬Â I asked.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Everything,Ã¢â‚¬Â he repeated. He was through, he reiterated. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I have nothing left at all. Everything is gone. There is no hope, and I am too old to start all over again. I have lost all faith.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Naturally I felt sympathetic towards him, but it was evident that his chief trouble was the fact that dark shadows of hopelessness had entered his mind and discoloured his outlook, distorting it. Behind this twisted thinking his true powers had retreated, leaving him without force.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“So,Ã¢â‚¬Â I said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“suppose we take a piece of paper and write down the values you have left.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no use,Ã¢â‚¬Â he sighed. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t a single thing left. I thought I told you that.Ã¢â‚¬Â
I said: Ã¢â‚¬Å“LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just see, anyway.Ã¢â‚¬Â Then asked: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Is your wife still with you?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Why, yes, of course, and she is wonderful. We have been married for thirty years. She would never leave me no matter how bad things are.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“All right, let us put that down Ã¢â‚¬â€œ your wife is still with you and she will never leave you no matter what happens. How about your children? Got any children?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yes,Ã¢â‚¬Â he replied. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I have three, and they are certainly wonderful. I have been touched by the way they have come to me and said: Ã¢â‚¬ËœDad, we love you, and weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll stand by you.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Well, then,Ã¢â‚¬Â I said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“that is number two Ã¢â‚¬â€œ three children who love you and who will stand by you. Got any friends?Ã¢â‚¬Â I asked.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yes,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“I really have some fine friends. I must admit they have been pretty decent. They have come around and said they would like to help me, but what can they do? They canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do anything.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“That is number three- you have some friends who would like to help you and who hold you in esteem. How about your integrity? Have you done anything wrong?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“My integrity is all right,Ã¢â‚¬Â he answered. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I have always tried to do the right thing and my conscience is clear.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“All right,Ã¢â‚¬Â I said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“we wil put that down as number four-integrity. How about your health?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“My health is all right,Ã¢â‚¬Â he answered. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I have had very few sick days, and I guess I am in pretty good shape physically.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“So letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s put down as number five-good physical health. How about the United States? Do you think itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s still doing business and is the land of opportunity?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yes,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“It is the only country in the world I would want to live in.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“That is number six Ã¢â‚¬â€œ you live in the United States, land of opportunity, and you are glad to be here.Ã¢â‚¬Â Then I asked: Ã¢â‚¬Å“How about your religious faith? Do you believe in God and that God will help you?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yes,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I do not think I could have got through this at all if I hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t had some help from God.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Now,Ã¢â‚¬Â I said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s list the assets we have figured out:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“1. A wonderful wife Ã¢â‚¬â€œ married for thirty years.
2. Three devoted children who will stand by you.
3. Friends who will help you and who hold you in esteem.
4. Integrity Ã¢â‚¬â€œ nothing to be ashamed of
5. Good physical health.
6. Live in the United States, the greatest country in the world.
7. Have religious faith.Ã¢â‚¬Â
I shoved it across the table at him. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Take a look at that. I guess you have quite a total of assets. I thought you told me everything had been swept away.Ã¢â‚¬Â
He grinned ashamedly. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I guess I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think of those things. I never thought of it that way. Perhaps things arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t so bad at that, Ã¢â‚¬Â he said pensively. Ã¢â‚¬Å“May be I can start all over again if I can just get some confidence, if I can get the feel of some power within me. Ã¢â‚¬Â
Well, he got it, and he did start all over again. But he did so only when he changed his viewpoint, his mental attitude. Faith swept away his doubts, and more than enough power to overcome all his difficulties emerged from within him.
From: The Power of Positive Thinking Ã¢â‚¬â€ Norman Vincent Peale