by Louise Dawson
(Townsville, Qld, Australia)
You can’t under-estimate the power of self-confidence on your ability to succeed.
And I should know. As a child, I had very little self-confidence. I didn’t believe in my abilities even though I was quite good at school, I thought I was ugly, and I was very shy. To make it worse, I was taller than everyone else so I was always conscious of being noticed when all I wanted to do was fade into the background.
And as I got older it just got worse! I was one of those socially awkward nerdy teenagers you see that just don’t seem to fit in – I was teased and bullied and avoided talking to anyone unless I really had to. I just got stuck into my school work – and did quite well. I suppose that’s something to be thankful for.
Luckily my parents were absolutely wonderful – they did nothing but give me unconditional love, encourage me to be myself, praised me for my achievements and taught me that it was actually OK to be me.
After I left school I went to University to study – where I was suddenly surrounded by socially awkward nerdy teenagers like me! I slowly began to realize that it really was OK to be a ‘nerd’ and that it didn’t mean I had to be socially awkward!
Over the years my confidence in myself grew and I now totally believe in myself – I finally got the message my parents had been telling me since I was little. I only wish I’d ‘got it’ years ago!
And with this self-confidence I can do anything. I don’t get upset when someone criticizes me or gives me feedback, I can talk to anyone because I don’t care what they think of me, I don’t take mistakes as ‘end-of-the-world’ failures, and I ‘look’ confident.
And although I was academically successful as a child, I didn’t ‘feel’ successful because I wasn’t happy being me. Now that I believe in my self, I am happy and ‘feel’ successful.
So, I think that self-confidence is a critical skill for success and happiness.