This Article is About
self confidence
tiger wood
having a great time
tough times
health problems
What Is Self Confidence
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What is Self Confidence

One definition of self confidence is a realistic confidence in one's own judgment, ability and power. Since the word confidence is in the definition, we need to define that term too. One definition is: full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing. So what is self confidence? It must be trust in yourself, your abilities, your special talents and your trustworthiness.

When I look at Tiger Wood, the great golfer, I see a person with waning self confidence. He is just as talented and strong as he ever was. He had a great win a week or so ago that gave him encouragement for the Masters. But though he shot better than the average bear, it was not good enough for the Masters.

What hit Tiger in the stomach to lower his self confidence? He went through a sad divorce which separates him from his ex-wife and children. He probably feels the eyes of the public looking down on him. He let himself down in his mind and he is “punishing” himself with every swing. He keeps trying to regain that old form. What he needs is to regain that old self confidence.

Here we have an example of a person who had tremendous self confidence with great accomplishments turning into a person who no longer produces the way he use to. We keep thinking that he will be back to his old game any day now. Let’s hope that he gets back to his old form.

In contrast to Tiger is Phil Michelson. He has had some tough times. His wife has been battling cancer. He has health problems too. But here is playing better than ever and when he goes around the course he is always smiling, just having a great time. Adversity has blessed him more than hurt him. Life is polishing that stone.

What is self confidence? It is what gets you out of the bed in the morning. Robert Lewis Stevenson, the great writer, said that he never had a well day in his life, a day when he felt like working. But he also said that if he didn’t get out of bed, nothing would be accomplished. This tells me that a person with self confidence has goals that he knows he or she can accomplish no matter what the circumstances.

When a self confident person decides to do something, nothing can stop him from doing it. Think of the entrepreneurs in this world. Talking of self confidence! They get an idea in their noggin and hell and high water can not stop them from pursuing it. What they don’t have to accomplish a goal, they go after. Time stops for them. They just keep plugging away until they have succeeded. We call that drive. Some just call it Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs.

My wife has Alzheimer’s disease. Her brain functions are changing. Have you seen a cattle guard? It is a set of rail that keep cattle from crossing into another field. Someone learned that if you paint stripes on a road where you don’t want the cattle to cross, the cattle will think it is a cattle guard. Well everything looks like a cattle guard to my wife. A step down looks like the Grand Canyon to her. It is a step she hesitates and sometimes refuses to take. She no longer has confidence in her judgement and her ability to pass over small obstacles. Like those without self confidence, she sees obstacles that are not there.

We all have things that hold us back, as they say. We may not apply for a job because we lack experience in some area. We may not take a tough college course because we are bad at math. We don’t ask that pretty girl for a date because we know for sure that she would say no. We don’t make long-term plans because we might not be able to complete them because we don’t have enough money? What is self confidence? It’s moving ahead and damn the torpedoes.

Excuses lead to procrastination. (I’ve been going to write an article on procrastination for years. Still can’t find the time to do it.) Pretty weak joke but excuses push achievements out the window and they lead to procrastination. Yes, Harry! You can build your own canoe!

I know only one way to gain self confidence and I’m not talking about going to a therapist, although that may be a good idea for some of us. Do something! Something you have not done before. Something that looks difficult.

I told my kids and now I tell my grand kids, and if I’m still kicking when my great grand kids are old enough, I’ll tell them too: Learn how to do difficult things, things that others can not do. So all of my kids have doctorates and any of them can go into a business for him- or herself and some have.

So go ahead and take that course in Quantum Mechanics, Internet Marketing, Economics or Basket Weaving. Turn it into a business.

Fly Old Glory!

Street Talk

Great article John. People have to learn to deal with failure and use it as ammunition for the next challenge.

  about 9 years ago

Great article...people have to let go of their past or find a way to accept can't be changed.... Folks living in the past will never more forward..

  about 1 decade ago

It's sad,isn't it Kevin. I still like your fish which look like a bass to me. Folks get their self confidence knocked out of them by parents, teachers, siblings, friends and even strangers. It is hard for a young person to shake off criticism, even harder for some adults. I seen teenagers all the time who have been "damaged" in this way. Thanks, Keven! See you at WAU! John

  about 1 decade ago
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