The Acquisition of Self-Confidence

“I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.”

William Ernest Henry


We each play a pivotal role in the development and outcome of our lives. Our thoughts, words, actions, and habits are all cardinal pieces to our puzzle of success; however we choose to define that term. A quote, that has been arguably associated with many of history’s greats for world and societal change- ranging from Loa Tzu to Margaret Thatcher, states “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, and your values become your destiny.” This quote resonated with me profoundly because it reaffirmed my core belief, which is we are a product of our thoughts, and our thoughts alone. Our self-confidence or self-deprecation determine our self-view and, as a result, gradually oozes out of our pores into the spaces of our external society. Thus, providing society with a blueprint of how we wish to be perceived and treated. Therefore, if we have the power to possess such an impactful part in our experience of reality, then we are truly the masters of our lives. Our core beliefs about ourselves, our abilities, and our worth, dictate our destiny.

I believe that one of the greatest boxers to ever grace the ring, Muhammad Ali, is a prime example of how our world can change through the process of our thoughts and words. Ali in his career peak stated, “I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was. I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.” Ali exemplified the power of belief, regardless of his outside circumstances he refused to adhere to what his eyes saw, and committed himself to the picture of success and power that was imprinted along the internal walls of his mind.

Belief in self and self-confidence are interchangeable descriptions that have the capacity to transform the life of its possessor. Dr. Ivan Joseph, former Head Coach of the Ryerson Rams men’s soccer team – who is associated with helping the Rams to post their highest team results in their history, defines self-confidence as the “ability to believe in yourself to accomplish any task, no matter the odds, difficulty, or adversity.” Dr. Joesph also provides three beneficial tips towards building one’s confidence in self and abilities, they are summarized below:

  1. Repetition: Remember practice makes perfect. A situation or ability can not be novel, there has to be a level of comfort associated with a task or skill in order for true mastery to take place. (See: Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule).
  2. Execute Positive Self-Talk: Thoughts influence actions. You have to be your biggest advocate, affirm yourself through your words. Tell yourself how great you are. Tell yourself how success you will be. Tell yourself how powerful you are. Write a letter to yourself declaring your greatness, and remind yourself of all or your past accomplishments. Highlight your value, what has worked for you in the past, and your overall awesomeness. Lastly, remove yourself for negative spaces.
  3. Interpret criticism through a filter. Self-confident people interpret criticism the way they choose to. Accept the advice that seems solid, constructive, and applicable, and throw away the useless “materials”.

Check out the entire video of Dr. Ivan Joesph’s TED Talk below.

Self- confidence is the difference between success and failure, happiness and despair, and living a full life or surviving off of the scraps that are thrown your way. In life, You are the only one that can make you happy, YOU are the only one that can pave the way for your dreams and aspirations to take place, and YOU are the only one that can hold yourself back. Life is a journey meant to be enjoyed and cherished, strategically outline your path to your destiny, and watch it unfold.


A. Nicholson


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