There was a study done by Karl Pillemer where he asked 1200 seniors to look back and reflect on their lives’ biggest regret. They regretted not what they did, but what they didn’t do. They wished they could have a do over, so they could worry less and not care what others thought. People, including myself, worry too much of what others think, we should only be caring about what we think and what we want to do. Worry less what others might think. Don’t live your life just to wish you had a do over at the end.
Having courage and being self-confident are the best ways to not worry what other people think. You don’t want to make it to the end thinking “what if I had.. said my opinion,” “what if I had.. taken the chance,” “what if I had.. followed my dream.” Those 1200 seniors are now wishing they would have had the courage to follow that dream or had taken the chances they were given, but because they were worried of failure and what others thought, they’re left with the “what if I had…” There’s this quote by Michael Jordan “don’t be afraid to fail, be afraid not to try.” Now if you think about that, the truth is your self-doubt has killed more dreams than failure ever has. You have to believe in your ability to succeed. Self-confidence is how much you believe in your ability to achieve a goal you have. You may have all the ability in the world to perform well, but if you don’t believe in yourself you will not live up to your full potential. Confidence is the most important mental factor in any sport. (how many people play a sport?) I’m sure most of you have had a bad first period or a bad first half, but after an intermission or a timeout you came out and finished strong. Now that was you having confidence and knowing you have the ability to perform better and it motivated you to come out and finish stronger.

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Not all failures are a fail. Now I don’t like the word fail or failure. There’s no such thing. A failure is just your life not going the direction you hoped it had. You learn from failure. Michael Jordan was told by his high school coach that he was too short to play. That left him ashamed and disappointed like he had failed. He was able to leave his fail in the past and move on and improve from it, now many consider him the greatest basketball player of all time. You also grow from failure. Oprah was told she wasn’t “fit for TV.” After Orpah had her dream crushed she was able to grow from the fail. Later on, she created her own show called “The Oprah Winfrey Show” as most of you probably know. Her show became one of the highest rating shows in American history. Now let me tell you a story. I was 13 and tried out for AA ringette which was the highest level at the time. Afterwards I felt pretty confident in my tryout and I felt pretty good about my performance. Sadly, I didn’t make it, I was crushed and to make it worse all my friends did. I was so crushed and disappointed in myself, not only did I feel I let myself down, I let my friends down. My self-confidence was at an all-time low. It felt like the end of the world, but life moves on. A couple months later I started horseback riding and fell in love with it and I’ve been riding ever since. To think if I would have made AA I wouldn’t be riding today. Just remember a failure isn’t a fail and when one door closes another one opens.
How to build self-confidence. You may not believe me but your self-confidence is in your control. No one but you controls how you view yourself. Yes, others may have an impact, but ultimately it’s up to you. Some people view confidence as arrogant, cocky, or bossy, but true self-confidence is not “I know they like me” it’s the “I’ll be fine if they don’t like me.” I know having confidence is easier said than done, but here are some ways to improve your self-confidence. You can set small goals for yourself to achieve. By setting small goals and achieving them it’s a great way to build confidence and a good self-esteem. When you finish these goals you can set more and try pushing yourself. Another tactic is fake it till you make it. I know most of you have probably heard of this and honestly it works. If you act confident people will believe it and before you know it you will to.

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Think positively. It may sound corny but positive thinking can change your life. Your attitude affects your everyday life all the time. Live with the outlook of “the glass is half full.” Remember not to worry “what if… I don’t make it” “what if… I’m not good enough” just know you will be fine if you don’t make it; you have learnt from trying. Remember to live your life to the fullest and not to worry what others think. Don’t get to the end thinking “what if I had…” and wishing for a do over.