“The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you. Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” William Jennings Bryan
William Jennings Bryan, (1860 – 1925) practiced law in Jacksonville. In 1887 he moved to Nebraska where he hope to start a political career. He was elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-second and Fifty-third Congresses. He was unsuccessful in his bid to be the Democratic candidate for President in 1896. 1900 and 1908. He became Secretary of State in the Cabinet of President Wilson and served from March 4, 1913, until June 9, 1915, when he resigned.
Much wisdom is to be gained from this quote by Bryan. You’re not going to get self-confidence if you wait passively for things to happen to you. You have to be proactive and facing your fears and achieving success can be a real confidence booster. It’s important to remember these achievements as ‘marker points’ on the journey of life. When you feel fearful or afraid, just remember all those things that you have successfully achieved and move forward in confidence.
“Anxiety results from believing that you have no right to express your feelings or needs.” Karin Stewart
When your thoughts or opinions are constantly criticized or put down, you might decide that it’s better just to keep quiet and suppress your feelings. It’s certainly one way of keeping the peace. However, in the long run, it isn’t healthy as you run the risk of suffering from high levels of anxiety instead.
Just remember we all have a right to express our opinions. It doesn’t mean that others have to agree with us or that we have to agree with the other person either.
Start practicing expressing your thoughts and feelings. If someone puts you down for doing this, just remind yourself that you do have the right to do so, and maybe gently tell the other person as well. If you don’t agree with someone else’s opinions, accept it as being theirs and they too have a right to a different opinion. We’re all different and we can celebrate our differences rather than try to make others to be like us!
“Neither comprehension nor learning can take place in an atmosphere of anxiety.” Rose F. Kennedy
Rose E Kennedy (22 July 1890 – 2 January 1995) is known as the Kennedy family matriarch. Rose married Joseph P Kennedy, snr after a courtship of over 7 years. They were a privileged, wealthy Boston family. Over the next 18 years they produced 9 children. Two of their children, namely President John F Kennedy and Robert Kennedy were assassinated and one can’t help but think how terrible this would be for a mother to live through. Her marriage wasn’t easy and she eventually coped with her husband’s unfaithfulness by pretending it wasn’t happening.
Their third child Rosemary was mentally retarded. Rose’s ambitious husband kept Rosemary’s mental retardation a family secret in order to keep up appearances. In an attempt to subdue Rosemary’s increasingly severe anger outbursts and mood swings, the family decided to have a lobotomy performed on her at the age of 23. This was a method used to calm severely mentally disturbed patients but didn’t help Rosemary. She was institutionalized for her adult life.
Although her father never visited her in the institution, it was the motivating factor that propelled other members of the family, including mother Rose, to become involved in philanthropic endeavors. The younger daughter of Rose, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, became a champion of mental health projects, and founded the Special Olympics in 1968 for mentally disabled athletes. It’s interesting that good can so often come out of difficult circumstances.
Not surprisingly, these family circumstances took their toll and Rose Kennedy suffered from nervousness and stress. She coped with the help of prescription tranquilizers. She knew the effects of stress and anxiety and from her own experience could confidently say that ‘neither comprehension nor learning can take place in an atmosphere of anxiety.’
Rose Kennedy died at the ripe old age of 102 after having lived a very full life.
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” Anna Eleanor Roosevelt
These words by Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (October 11, 1884 – November 7, 1962) really sum up her life experience of fear. She had a difficult childhood and despite the trappings of wealth, Eleanor had an unhappy childhood. Her father turned to alcohol for comfort at the death of his own mother and was away from home for long periods of time. Her mother also battled as she was disillusioned by her husband. Little Eleanor couldn’t help but become very aware of the the tension between her parents and at the young age of six took on mothering responsibilities towards her mother. This is so typical of a child brought up in a home with alcohol abuse. Eleanor’s mother, who was one of New York’s beauties at the time, intimidated her daughter making her very self-conscious. She even nicknamed her daughter ‘Granny’ because of her ‘very plain, old fashioned’ looks. As a result, Eleanor was a serious child.
At the tender age of 8 her mother died and Eleanor focused on getting attention from her father who she felt loved him. However, he died of alcoholism and depression some 19 months later. At the age of 10 Eleanor became an orphan and was cared for by her grandmother. Life improved for Eleanor when she attended Allenswood Academy in London in 1899. These were very happy years during which time she became socially and politically aware. She gained confidence and became more independent during this time. Much to her families horror she became involved in reform movements.
A chance encounter on a train led to a romantic involvement with her cousin Franklin D Roosevelt. Franklin’s mother disapproved of the relationship but after a 16 month engagement, they were married in 1905. To put it mildly, her mother-in-law was very interfering, and made many of the family decisions for Eleanor. Once Franklin Roosevelt’s political career developed, Eleanor was able to live a life released from the shackles of her mother-in-law. However, the marriage was not happy as her husband was continuously unfaithful. In the end the marriage was one of political convenience rather than a marriage based on love.
Franklin D Roosevelt became the 32nd President of the United States of Amercica serving between.March 4, 1933 – April 12, 1945
Closing words: Being rich doesn’t protect one from hardship. Hardships can be used for good, allowing us to gain courage and confidence. Keep moving forward and if there is something that you think you cannot do, face it and do it. If the idea came into your head in the first place, you can use the fear as a challenge from which to grow!