The non-secret of achieving success: self-confidence
If you want to gain new self-confidence, look for old information. Old is often new.
My morning read consisted of this passage from Napoleon Hill's immortal book “Think and Grow Rich.” It is all about self-confidence. And as I head into the new year, I want to make certain that I have a full dose of it.
It dawned on me this subject probably would be the least written about coming into the new year. You will most likely receive 100 emails about how to set goals, how to have your best year ever and other secret formulas to attract wealth and fame.
It further dawned on me that none of these formulas or goal-setting instructions are worth a penny unless they are accompanied by your self-confidence — unwavering self-confidence.
It further dawned on me you probably have never read Hill's self-confidence formula. And now that the book is copyright free, I thought it would be more than appropriate to share with you now.
Here is “The Self Confidence Formula” from Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich”:
“First. I know that I have the ability to achieve the object of my Definite Purpose in life, therefore, I demand of myself persistent, continuous action toward its attainment, and I here and now promise to render such action.
“Second. I realize the dominating thoughts of my mind will eventually reproduce themselves in outward, physical action, and gradually transform themselves into physical reality; therefore, I will concentrate my thoughts for 30 minutes daily, upon the task of thinking of the person I intend to become thereby creating in my mind a clear mental picture of that person.
“Third. I know through the principle of autosuggestion, any desire that I persistently hold in my mind will eventually seek expression through some practical means of attaining the object back of it, therefore, I will devote 10 minutes daily to demanding of myself the development of self confidence.
“Fourth. I have clearly written down a description of my definite chief aim in life, and I will never stop trying, until I shall have developed sufficient self-confidence for its attainment.
“Fifth. I fully realize that no wealth or position can long endure. Unless built upon truth and justice therefore, I will engage in no transaction which does not benefit all whom it affects. I will succeed by attraction to myself the forces I wish to use, and the cooperation of other people. I will induce others to serve me, because of my willingness to serve others. I will eliminate hatred, envy, jealousy, selfishness, and cynicism, but developing love for all humanity; because I know that a negative attitude toward others can never bring me success. I will cause others to believe in me, because I will believe in them and in myself.
“I will sign my name to this formula, commit it to memory and repeat it aloud once a day, with full faith that It will gradually influence my thoughts and actions so that I will become a self-reliant, and successful person.”
Wow! What an inspirational read — 75-year-old advice that is more relevant today than the day it was written.
It further dawned on me there are probably 1,000 other self-confidence quotes from which I could learn — and that mother Google would help me find them in a millisecond.
I read about 100. Here are the best ones:
“The secret of making dreams come true can be summarized in four Cs. They are Curiosity, Confidence, Courage and Constancy; and the greatest of these is Confidence.” — Walt Disney
“If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all of the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.” — Abraham Lincoln
“Confidence is the most important single factor in this game, and no matter how great your natural talent, there is only one way to obtain and sustain it: work.” — Jack Nicklaus
“Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.” — Samuel Johnson
“Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers, you cannot be successful or happy.” — Norman Vincent Peale
“With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.” — Dalai Lama
“The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you.” — William Jennings Bryan
“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” — Arthur Ashe
“If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero
Wishing you a self-confident new year. May it bring you all of the achievement you’re hoping for and all of the success you are striving for.
Editor’s note: Jeffrey Gitomer is on sabbatical. This column originally appeared in the Dec. 8, 2014, Business Journal.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of 12 best-selling books. His real-world ideas and content are also available as online courses at GitomerVT.com. For information about training and seminars visit gitomer.com or gitomercertifiedadvisors.com, or email Jeffrey personally at email@example.com.