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quickpoint: He Can Who Thinks He Can

Marden He Can Who Thinks He Can

WE ALL POSSESS some confidence, but we all could use more of it. Confidence is about managing your self-doubt in order to do what you need to do to achieve your long-term goals.

Confidence is a matter of mindset and belief and is reinforced by action. A chief characteristic of confident people is resilience—the ability to bounce forward in the face of struggle or disruption. Our thoughts matter.

As the old saying goes, success breeds success. As we act in spite of our doubts, we build the confidence to carry on. Doubt creates even more paralyzing doubt. It is a vicious cycle you want to avoid. Fear and doubt are countered by positive thoughts and a belief that we will succeed if we try.

Confidence can morph into arrogance. And we want to avoid that because it limits our potential. It puts a lid on our growth. What helps us to prevent arrogance is teachability. Teachability is the understanding that there is always more going on than we think. Curiosity suppresses arrogance.

Orison Swett Marden, author, and founder of SUCCESS magazine writes this about defeating fear and doubt in his 1908 book, He Can Who Thinks He Can:

How long will it take a person to become successful who puts themselves in an atmosphere of failure and remains in it until he or she is soaked, saturated, with the idea? How long will it take a person who depreciates themselves, talks failure, thinks failure, walks like a failure and dresses like a failure; who is always complaining of the insurmountable difficulties in their way, and whose every step is on the road to failure, how long will it take them to arrive at the success goal? Will anyone believe in them or expect them to win?

The majority of failures began to deteriorate by doubting or depreciating themselves, or by losing confidence in their own ability. The moment you harbor doubt and begin to lose faith in yourself, you capitulate to the enemy. Every time you acknowledge weakness, inefficiency, or lack of ability, you weaken your self-confidence, and that is to undermine the very foundation of all achievement.

Be sure that your success will never rise higher than your confidence in yourself. The greatest artist in the world could not paint the face of a madonna with a model of depravity in his mind. You cannot succeed while doubting yourself or thinking thoughts of failure. Cling to success thoughts. Fill your mind with cheerful, optimistic pictures, pictures of achievement. This will scatter the specters of doubt and fear and send a power through you, which will transform you into an achiever.

No matter how poor or how hemmed in you may be, stoutly deny the power of adversity or poverty to keep you down. Constantly assert your superiority to environment. Believe in yourself; feel that you are to dominate your surroundings. Resolve that you will be the master and not the slave of circumstances. This very assertion of superiority; this assumption of power; this affirmation of your ability to succeed, the attitude that claims success as an inalienable birthright, will strengthen the whole person and give great added power to the combination of faculties which doubt, fear and lack of confidence undermine.

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