J. KEVIN TUMLINSON

People talk about having self confidence like it's something you can pick up at Wal-mart. "You need to have more self confidence," they say. "You'd do fine if you just had more confidence in yourself." The problem is, everyone is keen on telling you to have more, but no one can tell you how to get it.

What is it, anyway? Is it just about being sure of yourself? Where's the line between self confidence and arrogance? That's a tough one, all right. How do you shore up your self esteem without going too far and thinking you're better than everyone else? How do you upgrade your self worth without downgrading everyone else's?

I think the key is one simple thought: "I am the equal of every man and every man is my equal."

A common misconception is that a person's status in society puts them higher or lower on the "worth scale" than someone else. Somehow, the CEO of a company is worth more than the guy who fixes the plumbing. It's the notion that a person's value can be equated to dollars and cents. But the truth is, every human being is on the same level playing field. You're born, you live, you die. What happens during the days in between is only how you live your life, not the definition of it.

The idea of equality among all human beings isn't as popular as you might think. Even though the founding fathers placed a high value on this equality, it seems that most people prefer to overlook that particular passage of the Declaration of Independence. "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal." All men... all human beings... are equal in the eyes of God (even if you don't believe in Him!).

There are two things you have to keep in mind in order to have greater self esteem. 1.) You are the equal of any man or woman on earth and 2.) some people aren't going to think so.

Knowing yourself to be equal is only the first half of the equation. The second is to know that there will be many people who don't agree. There will be people who believe they are better than you, and they'll treat you accordingly. And there will be people who think you are better than them and they will do the same, or more likely try to prove to themselves that you're not. People who are looking for you to fail will never be disappointed.

So to be self confident means that you have to be aware of how others may view you but choose to view yourself as equal to everyone anyway. Your job is to understand that, yes, you will fail from time to time. But failure does not make anyone more or less important than anyone else.

Self confidence is your internal measure of your self worth. Failure is only an opportunity to learn from mistakes and grow. And equality is a natural born, self evident truth inherent in all people. It can't be taken away. It can't be diminished.

So say to yourself, "I'm successful." Because you are. Say to yourself, "I'm confident," because you should be. Self confidence is the key to success in every aspect of your life. You get it when you realize that you are equal to every human being and that no matter what anyone tells you this will always be true.

But do yourself a favor... keep in mind that it's true for everyone and treat all men as equals. The "line between self confidence and arrogance" is drawn in right around there.

J. Kevin Tumlinson is the Editor & Publisher of ViewOnline (www.viewonline.com), the author of the weekly syndicated column ViewPoint, and the owner of Hat Digital Media (www.hatdigitalmedia.com). He is confident that SOMEONE is reading this.


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Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
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