Is success simply a matter of money and talent?

Or is there another reason why some people and organizations always land on their feet, while others, equally talented, stumble again and again?

There’s a fundamental principal at work – confidence – that makes the difference between winning and losing in any competition, be it a high school football game or a high-stakes business situation.

What causes us to rise or to fall is often a matter of confidence

Personally, my confidence grows from knowing my strengths (and weaknesses) and working relentlessly to improve them, investing time in other people, and achieving small victories by tackling challenges with a positive outlook.

David Brinkley noted that: “A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her.” I’ve always viewed both anger and blame as extremely unproductive emotions likely to make any bad situation worse. When things are up, it feels as if they will always be up.  People come to believe they can succeed at anything they try; companies propose grand visions of innovation and investments are easier to attract. When things are down, it seems as if they will always be down. That’s how depressed people feel; that’s why recession-dominated economies find recovery elusive; that’s why teams or businesses stay in slumps. It’s a vicious and erosive cycle.  What causes us to rise or to fall is often a matter of confidence.

People rise to the occasion when they have the confidence to do it!

When supported by a firm foundation, people can indeed keep moving on a positive path, heading from victory to victory. When people can rely on themselves and one another to be accountable, to collaborate, and to take initiative, they can perform extraordinary feats. These lessons are relevant for leading teams, businesses, countries, and life.

Success is neither magic nor dumb luck; it stems from a great deal of consistent hard work to perfect each detail.

From something as simple as playing recreational sports to the most complicated business and life situations, the common element is a basic truth about people: People rise to the occasion when they have the confidence to do it! Confidence is a source of resilience to overcome adversity, to choose to work hard to solve problems. Confidence encourages the hard work that makes victory possible. When you achieve your next small win, go back to work, and win again! Next time you doubt yourself, be confident, and realize that life can only go in one direction, forward.