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To succeed follow your interests, to fail do nothing

Posted Jun 12 2013 5:00am

Interest drives Self-confidence and results in success

Success If you want to be highly successful, pick things to do that you are genuinely interested in and your chances of success greatly increase. When you care enough the doubts fade.  

A mother may be confident when caring for her children even when she has low self-confidence when it comes to speaking in front of a group. She is highly interested in being a good parent and the result of that interest in her children is that she takes chances, does things to benefit those children even when she is not sure if she is doing those things correctly.

When we know about something we are better at seeing or hearing it. We call this the expert effect . When we are interested in things we focus on that interest not our own insecurity. So to increase you self-confidence, increase your knowledge about as many things as you can.

Find an area where you know a lot about it and develop your self-confidence in that area first. If you have a hobby you will feel more confident both when talking about that hobby and when engaging in it.

Knowledge about any subject creates an increase in self-confidence. If you have taken a class in a subject you will find that having that knowledge base will increase your confidence when the topic comes up. You become the expert in that area and others will look to you for the answers. Being sought out for your opinion is a huge confidence builder.

Being fully interested in something encourages you to take action; you do it because you want to not for others approval. What we find is that the more things you do and the less you are concerned about others opinion of you the more likely you are to have some successes.

One way to build the belief that you can do what you try, we call this self-efficacy, is to tackle small things and be successful at them. As you come to believe that you can accomplish that thing you will be able to expand the things you attempt.

If you want your children to become more self-confident and self-reliant, focus on the things they can do, let them get good in those areas and then they will have the confidence, the belief in themselves to venture out and attempt other things. Use this same method on yourself to develop that “can do” attitude.

This should not mean that as you become more knowledgeable about a topic you become unwilling to listen to others opinions. The more you know, the more expert you become in an area, the more you will be able and willing to listen to others opinions without feeling that your own opinion is in jeopardy.

Doing nothing builds failure. The less you do the less you will feel competent to do. Mental and emotional abilities like physical ones need exercise to grow and develop. Say you can’t and you will make it come true.

What areas of your life are so interesting in that you can become confident in your abilities? How will you allow your interest to grow your self-esteem?

Beginning later this month we will talk about self-esteem, success and failure and how evaluation, our own and those evaluations of others can further our success or result in failure. We will also talk about why some people can take on any test with confidence and others have so much test anxiety, fear of failure that every test, every challenge in life is hard for them. Stay tuned for more on the path to your success and happiness. 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page . For information about my other writing work beyond this blog there is also a Facebook authors page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at

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