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On Self-confidence



   The following is an entry from my diary from March 1976:


   Mon, 15 Mar 76          7:05 PM

   The feeling of confidence is a great feeling! (It is a feeling 
   that is relatively new to me.)  With it comes the ability to 
   just relax, to be at ease, to take things calmly and with ease.  
   With it comes spirit and enthusiasm.  With it comes 
   friendliness and liking for people, an extrovertiveness.  With 
   it comes articulateness, words, the ability to talk.  And all 
   of this gives an insight into the stymying, stifling effects of 
   lack of confidence on a person.  With lack of confidence comes 
   shyness, fear of people, fear that they will see and expose 
   your weaknesses; fear that they will put you down, make fun of 
   you, etc..  With lack of confidence comes antisocialness, 
   reservedness, dislike of people, introversion, an inability to 
   articulate your feelings and thoughts, to express yourself.  
   Oh, how great a difference that little thing called 
   "confidence" makes!  How great a difference that one simple 
   feeling bubbling up in a soul can make!  But what causes it?  
   What causes a person to feel that simple little feeling?  How 
   can one obtain it?  That is a very elusive question!  I have 
   gone years and years and scaled mountain after mountain before 
   I came to the point where I got it.  It was a prize I just 
   couldn't get.  It always eluded me.  But one thing is clear.  
   People who have achieved very little in life may be just 
   bubbling over with confidence and other people who have 
   achieved a great deal, who are very well educated and very 
   competent, can be struggling along shackled by deep lack of 
   confidence.  It is a mystery.  It is a feeling and how you can 
   attain it is hard to say.  I was getting all A's in high 
   school, was at the top of my classes, rationally knew I should 
   have confidence in myself, yet was always held down and 
   shackled by the deepest self-doubts and lack of confidence (it 
   is a complex -- the inferiority complex -- and is hard to 
   analyze rationally).  I do think, however, that the question is 
   closely connected, not with how good a person is or how 
   intelligent or competent he is, but more with what his 
   standards for himself are, what he expects of himself.  His 
   degree of confidence is proportional to how well he measures 
   up to his standards, the extent to which he has achieved his 
   expectations, how satisfied he is with himself.  It takes very 
   little for some people to be satisfied with themselves, it 
   takes a very great deal for other people to be satisfied with 
   themselves.  The fewer goals and objectives and expectations a 
   person has for himself, the easier it is to become satisfied 
   with yourself and to acquire that feeling of self-confidence.  
   But it is a happy feeling and it will give you a big boost in 
   getting along with people and getting along in life. 


   Jan 2006


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