In proportion as you increase your confidence in yourself by the affirmation of what you hope to be, your ability will increase. You are only beaten if you admit it. Hold the thought of confidence and you will become confident. Many people of real ability do little things all their lives because they are the victims of discouraging self-suggestions. Whenever they attempt to do anything, they allow their minds to dwell on the possibility of failure, and they picture the consequent humiliation of it all until they cripple themselves of initiative. One of the worst things that can ever happen to a person is to get it into their head that he/she was born unlucky and that the Fates are against them. There are no Fates, outside of our own mentality. We are our own Fates. We control our own destiny. In every town where people are complaining that their environment is against them and that there are no opportunities, others under the same conditions manage to succeed and make themselves felt in the world.
What can you do for a person who thinks they were born for failure? It is as impossible for success to come from the failure thought as for roses to come from thistle seeds. When one is greatly worried about failure or poverty, when you thinks much about it, you impress your sub-conscious with the very idea of failure, and develop unfavorable conditions. In other words, your thoughts, your mental attitude, is making impossible the very thing you are trying to accomplish. We attribute much to luck or a cruel fate which belongs to our thoughts. We see people right alongside of us apparently with no greater ability wonderfully prosperous, while we are very indifferently so or perhaps total failures, and we are apt to think that there is a mysterious destiny which helps them, and that there is something outside of ourselves which keeps us back. But the probabilities are that the fault is in our thoughts, in our attitude of mind. The trouble with us is that we do not half know how to jack ourselves up, so to speak.
We are not severe enough with ourselves, not exacting enough; do not demand enough of ourselves. We should see ourselves in a much grander light. We should think of ourselves as superb beings with infinite, divine possibilities. Don’t be afraid of thinking too highly of yourself, for if the Creator made you, you must have inherited divine, omnipotent possibilities, you must partake of His qualities. There is a powerful magic, a real creative force, in trying to become that which you hope to be, in assuming the character you would like to be, assuming the qualities you would like to attain. You want health. Never allow yourself to think that anything else will come to you. Assume the healthy attitude, think healthy, talk it. Say to yourself that it is your birthright. The same is true in regard to prosperity. Do not allow yourself to think that anything else can come to you but prosperity. Assume the prosperity attitude, thoughts, manners. Act like a prosperous, progressive person, dress like one, think like one. Be sure that your mental picture, your mental altitude, is the pattern of that which you would like to be a reality.
If you wish to be brave, courageous, hold persistently the fearless thoughts, the thoughts that you are afraid of nothing, that nothing can make you a coward. If you are timid, if you suffer from shyness, just affirm that you will never again be afraid of anybody or anything, that you are going to hold your head up; assert your manhood or womanhood. Resolve that you will strengthen this weak link in your character. Assuming an indifferent air often helps diffident, shy people. Just say to yourself: “Other people are too busy to bother about me or to look at me and watch me, and, even if they do, it makes no difference to me. I am going to live in my own way.” If one is inclined to be retiring, shrinking, shy, the constant affirmation of the “I am” philosophy, the continual assertion, “I am a person made to do things, and I am going to do them,”— a little daily practice in cultivating courage and self-confidence, aggressiveness in pushing oneself into responsibility, will do wonders in building up, from a timid one, a bold, strong character. If your parents and teachers tell you that you are dull and stupid, just deny it vigorously every time the suggestion comes to you. Constantly affirm that you are not stupid, that you have ability and that you are going to show people who have disapproved of you that you can do what others do.
You will find that just in proportion as you increase your confidence in yourself by the affirmation of what you hope to be, your ability will increase. No matter what other people may think about your ability never allow yourself to doubt that you can do or become what you long to do or become. Increase your self-confidence in every possible way, and you can do this to a remarkable degree by the power of self-suggestion. There is a great asset, a splendid capital, in the personal suggestion. Always try to carry yourself in such a way and conduct yourself in such a manner as to suggest success, growth, improvement, superiority. The very reputation of growing, of being vigorously progressive, of being a person who does things, a person who carries weight and who stands for something in your community, is worth everything.