How do you make your own luck?
Have you noticed that some people seem to have all the luck, and for some reason end up being successful no matter what they do? Whereas for some, try as they might, they just can’t catch a break?
I read an interesting book about this, looking at various factors why this could be the case. One of the most interesting chapters was on the matter of confidence.
Confidence is about focusing more on reward than risk. An excellent definition.
Some people are more cautious or have grown up in a scarcity-based household.
Even more interesting was what the author goes on to say.
“Research shows that, in the first four years of life, a child born into a professionally successful family receives 560,000 more pieces of encouraging feedback than discouraging feedback. In contrast, a working-class child receives just 100,000 more. And if a baby is born into a family on welfare, it’ll receive 125,000 more discouragements than encouragements.”
This is very interesting and very reflective of reality. Even in my own experience, growing up — you’d have not so great football and cricket players on the team with an unshakeable (verging on deluded) confidence in their abilities, whilst often the more talented were beset by self-doubt. The more talented were often from poor or working class families.
The best example I have of this, was visiting the house of an extremely precocious 18 year old who had achieved huge things, having launched 2 multi-million dollar companies, both with six figures in revenue every month. Upon asking his father, what’s the secret, what exactly have you been feeding him?!
This is where the 18 year old was living!
The answer was stunningly simple. He said it’s simply God’s good grace. But after pushing for something further he may have done, he said, “when he was very young, his uncles would come round every week, and I would make him stand up and present to them. That got rid of any fear of public speaking and built his confidence. Then when he wanted to experiment with business ideas in his teens, I encouraged him and even gave him money to test his experiments and theories with.”
It’s interesting that as he tested and learned, the experiments got bigger and the ideas got bolder. An 18 year old (or most people, for that matter) can very rarely create a million dollar business on his first go. But can someone with 6–8 years experience? Yes, of course. Especially if their confidence has grown over time with success time and time in smaller projects and learning and bouncing back from their early failures with nothing but encouragement. A really good lesson in parenting, I thought!
Building confidence early doors really is one of the most important keys to a successful life later. And most tellingly, it’s not built in a day — it’s done over a long period of time. It’s certainly no coincidence a lot of modern mental health issues get attributed to trauma built up through negative or limiting beliefs from childhood — which in turn affected their confidence.
Food for thought for sure, especially for those of us with young kids.
Build the child’s confidence and you’ll build awesome, young humans who could go on to change the world.
A lifelong learner, avid reader and passionate writer, I am the founder of KNOW and a serial entrepreneur.
I am a huge believer in personal development and am also the co-founder of Muslim CEO.