“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
Darren Hardy, the publisher of Success magazine, in his publisher’s letter opens up with “We are all excellent storytellers. We have a story for everything.” The point is we have either a story to tell about our lives that we come to believe or a story from someone else that we have bought into and adopted as our own. When you think about it, we all know people in our lives that have the talent, the skill, the ambition, but lack the all-important confidence in themselves to succeed at what they have the ability to strive for.
Phyllis Diller, in an interview late in her life, admitted that the most influential book to her was Claude M. Bristol’s “The Magic of Believing.” As a former housewife, Diller bought into the story that women were meant to stay at home, raise the children, etc. She did not have the confidence to do more than what others expected of her, regardless of her own desires. After reading Bristol’s book, she began to believe in herself and the magic in her life began as she became a pioneer comedienne and, in turn, influenced many comediennes afterwards. Once she believed in herself, she was able to achieve what she wanted.
As parents, we do all that we can to nurture our children and provide an atmosphere so that they can develop their abilities and pursue the things that truly interest them. Within the home, as parents, we can create the “safe” environment for our children to explore possibilities. Once they step out of the house, the great big world becomes theirs to explore. This is no different from when we left the “nest” to venture forth. Some of the people that you meet along the way help foster a positive world to grow in, others, a little less positive. The experience, or stories, of other people come into play. “I’ve tried that, and it is no good.” “What do you think you are doing?” Out of context, these can be potential helpful or hurtful advice in building or breaking down one’s confidence.
At the end of the day, we have to build the stories that suit us. Once we determine what it is in life we want, we have to take stock in our abilities and be honest in our own evaluations on what it will take to succeed. Then, we have to believe we can achieve it. After we set our focus, plan out the steps to move forward, we can then answer the question posed by Darren Hardy in his article, “What stories have you bought?”