For those of you who don’t know who Henry Ward Beecher was well he was an American Congregationalist clergyman, speaker and social reformer who was around in the 19th century and is most known for his support of the abolition of slavery.
When Beecher was in school he ended up learning a very important lesson in self confidence – a lesson he never forget.
The story goes as follows:
He and his classmates had just finished learning something and he was called to the front of the class and told to recite what they had just learned.
Shortly after he began his teacher interrupted him with a “No!”
So, he started from the beginning and once again the teacher said “No!”
Needless to say he felt humiliated and his teacher told him to go back to his seat.
The teacher called upon another boy and he too went to the front of the class and begun to recite and just like he did with Henry the teacher shouted “No!” but unlike Henry this student ignored his teacher and kept on going.
Once he had finished reciting the child went back to his seat and his teacher congratulated him.
Henry of course was rather annoyed and he shouted out to his teacher “I recited the same thing he did!”.
His teacher replied, “Not only do you need to know your lesson but you also must be sure. When you allowed me to stop what you were saying, it showed that you weren’t sure of what you knew. If the world says, ‘No!’ to you, it’s up to you to say ‘Yes’ straight back and prove it to them.
In life you will here ‘No!’ over and over again.
‘No! You can’t do that.’
‘No! You are wrong.’
‘No! You are too young.’
‘No! It will never work.’
‘No! You don’t have the money.’
‘No! It can’t be done.’
‘No! You don’t have the education.’
‘No! You are too weak.’
‘No! You are too old.’
‘No! You don’t have the background.’
Every single ‘No!’ that you hear has the ability to slowly rob you of your confidence until you decide to pack it in all together.
What you need to do then is when the world says ‘No!’, you need to say, ‘Yes’ and go ahead and show them!”
That’s a great story and a great lesson.
You see there will be many times in your life when you aren’t all that confident, maybe you’ve just started a new job but are a bit out of your depth or you want to start a business but are a bit unsure if you can do it or not. Well, even though in these situations you aren’t all that confident you need to fake that you are.
The reason you need to act confident even though you aren’t is because of something known as a self-fulfilling prophecy.
You see if you are in a situation where you aren’t all that confident and believe that things are going to fail because of your lack of confidence then what ends up happening is that you end up failing – that’s a self-fulling prophecy.
If however you fake it till you make it and act confident even though you are not what will end up happening is that due to faking confidence you will end up achieving success and that success will end up leading to actual confidence.
So, the next time you’re in a situation where you aren’t feeling all that sure about yourself, act as you are because it’s only by doing that, that you will end up achieving success.