Turn the pages of any so called self-help books and one word that you’ll find repeated over and over again is “self-belief” or self-confidence. Although, I wouldn’t suggest anyone to buy into the bullshit that these people try to sell, it’s like that saying “even a clock that does not work, shows the right time twice a day”. This brings me to my point; self-confidence is key to achieving what you want in life.
The lack of self-confidence is nothing short of an epidemic. We need to realise that all of our limitations are self-imposed. It’s like the classic story of an eagle that was raised by a chicken and lived its entire life wishing it could fly. Follow your instincts and have the balls to do things differently. We all have the ability to fly like an eagle but as a result of the self-imposed limitations, we spend our lives in the lowly dust, looking enviously at the majestic eagles.
Take a look at the lives of some of the most influential people till date. Take the examples of Galileo and Einstein. Galileo, due to his statements and theses, was tried by the Inquisition, was found to be “vehemently suspect of heresy”, forced to recant, and spent the rest of his life under house-arrest. Einstein, on the other hand, was kicked out of his school because they thought that he did not have the mental ability to learn. These circumstances would’ve forced many to give up, but they kept moving forward and subsequently changed the world for the better.
They are some of the people who persevered. I can count the number of people I’ve seen who have enormous amounts of talent but don’t participate or even publicly showcase it for the fear of rejection. The problem with the world is that too many people think that they are not good enough or strong enough or beautiful enough. The fools think they are wise and the wise think they are fools. One big reason for this is the way we were taught things in school. Making mistakes and taking chances are stigmatised in schools and colleges all over the world. Of course, there have been some change in the teaching methods prevalent, but there still is a lot to be done. When it comes to taking chances, kids are ahead of the curve. They are not afraid to make mistakes. No matter what, kids will give it a shot and as we grow up, we tend to lose that quality. Rather, we are taught our way out of taking chances. The education system in place only makes things worse. By the time a person completes their education, he/she is terrified of making mistakes.
We should be teaching younger generations to have the self-belief to take chances. It’s a dog-eat-dog world and nobody is going to have things served to them on a silver platter. Having talent is not enough. One needs to have the balls to overcome obstacles and persevere when things don’t go according to plan. At a certain point, everyone is bound to face challenges and even rejection. The difference is in the way one treats defeat. To quote a few lines from a poem by Rudyard Kipling, “If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters the same, yours will be the world and all that’s in it…”. Defeat is not final. You need to have the self-belief to keep moving forward. If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk then crawl. But whatever you do, keep moving forward.
Many-a-times, it is seen that failure is a better teacher than success. Failure makes you retrace your steps and think about where you could’ve done better. So the next time you don’t succeed at something, take it as a sign to work harder and to come out on top the next time around. It is rightly said that straight roads don’t make skilful drivers, so take things in your stride as you go and have self-confidence to grasp the chance when it comes. All you get is that one moment. And when you do, hold on for dear life as that moment could be the start of an amazing journey. Because sometimes, all it takes is you.
Photography By: Karthik KS