I have been posting about the foundations of character, competence, and moral courage. I said that both self-discipline and shear hard work were key. There is one more thing I have found in my life that, when combined with discipline and work, has really helped me as I seek to be a better person and leader: that is confidence. By that, I specifically mean self-confidence.

No matter how hard you work at something, and no matter how disciplined you are, you will need confidence in yourself to really accomplish the bigger things in your life – like standing up for what is right when it might be far easier to go with the crowd. In a way, I find confidence is like trusting in yourself – the skills you already have, and the openness to learn each and every day. And what I have experienced is that the more I exhibit self-confidence and actually do something, and succeed, I become more confident that I can achieve new things. It’s like a circle of learning, empowered by you taking that first step.

So there you have it: Jeff’s school of hard knocks guide to building better character, courage, and competence, and it’s all about you. Work on those things that really matter to you, seek to better your actions and thoughts with self-discipline, and then be self-confident enough to go out in the world and make an impact. Let’s get after it!



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