As a kid it seemed I always had my dad, on the one hand, filling me with negative thoughts: You’ll never amount to anything…you’ll always be a failure…you’re no good. He was always drilling principles of fear into me. And it seemed I always had my mother, on the other hand, filling me with positive thoughts: Have confidence in yourself…you’ll be a winner…you can be what you want to be. She was always instilling in me the principles of faith. I always thought of fear and faith in terms of my parents. Actually, we all have the same whisperings of fear and faith, however sparked, to a greater or lesser degree. Fear whispering at one side: You can’t do this…you won’t succeed…its too big a job…you haven’t got the guts. Faith whispering on the other side: You can do anything if you think you can…you have more courage than you know…people will respect you and have confidence in you because you are worthy of respect and confidence.
What can you do about those fear-faith whisperings? Here’s what I did. I decided that a good way to build self-confidence and courage would be to simply tune out the whisperings of fear, just play hard of hearing and refuse to listen to every negative thought or word that came my way. As I was driving down the expressway one day I realized that I, a 156-pound human being was in complete control of a 4,000-pound vehicle. I was its master. As long as I remained in control, remained its master, we—the car and I—would arrive safely at our destination. But, if I were to let the vehicle get out of control, then chaos would result.
The mind says, “Go ahead, be confident, you can do it, do it now”. That’s faith speaking, the first of the two most powerful words in the world. The body says, “Hold back, you might fail, you can’t do it, do it later”. That’s fear in your ear.
In building confidence in yourself there is no such thing as “do it later”. Today decide what you’re going to be tomorrow. Today is what counts. Put out of your mind the fears, weaknesses and confidence destroying thoughts of a week ago, a month ago, a year ago. Today is the day you must decide you’ll let your mind—faith—control your body. Today is the day you banish fear forever. But, you ask, how?
FIVE RULES TO GET RID OF FEAR
- Believe in yourself. Self-confidence starts with belief in yourself. Remember those seven powerful words: You can if you think you can. Repeat them aloud. Let them soak into your system. Then, do this: Add just two more words below them—and these are from my own experience—I will. You will if you think you will.
- Associate with confident people. Stay away from negative, fearful people. I made it a rule to associate only with those who did not fear the future and were self confident. By doing so I reinforced my own self confidence. Remember, confidence breeds confidence.
- Tune up your confidence machine. Confidence is the muscle that lets you tackle risk-taking and win. Muscles need to be developed through exercise or working out. Your confidence muscle—your self assurance can be developed and it begins with believing in yourself.
- Be the master of your ship. Henry Ford said that all confident people gained their courage by facing their fears instead of running away from them. You must learn to do the same. Face your self doubts squarely and say, “Am I bigger than they are or are they bigger than I?” Be the captain of your ship.
- Keep busy. In a busy person fear and self doubt can find little room to dwell.
Fear and faith. Failure and success. Have faith in yourself, faith in others, faith in your abilities and faith in your future. Refuse to listen to the whisperings of fear—turn up the volume on the whisperings of faith and believe in yourself!