The building of self-confidence is not difficult, but it requires patience and intelligent effort. There should be no straining, no anxiety, and no haste.
The story of the man who tried to jump over a hill should be kept in mind. He went a long way back, then ran so hard toward the hill that when he got there he was obliged to lie down and rest. Then he got up and walked over the hill.
Men hesitate to take a step one way or the other lest they do the wrong thing, and this spirit of irresolution and hesitation often leads them into the very mistakes they would avoid. It is like a man on a bicycle, endeavoring to steer clear of an obstruction on the road, but all the while keeping his eye fastened upon it so that a collision is inevitable.
There is nothing more disastrous to man building than infirmity of purpose. "He who hesitates is lost," while he grows great who puts on "the dauntless spirit of resolution." The world generally accepts a man at his own valuation. If you give an impression that you are afraid, you will beside-elbowed and imposed upon at almost every turn.
The other day I saw a dog leisurely pass a cat on the street, and to all appearance there was no ill feeling on either side. The cat looked him straight in the eye as he approached, and the dog returned her confident glance and quietly passed on. Then the cat, seeing a good chance for escape, bolted across the street, but the instant the dog saw her running he turned and followed in hot haste. It was cat and dog for some yards, when suddenly the cat stopped, humped her back and looked defiantly at her adversary. He stopped, caught his breath, blinked uncertainly, turned up his nose, and walked off. As long as the cat showed fear and ran, the dog chased her; but the moment she took her stand, he respected her.
You, who enter upon this study of self-confidence, resolve to follow it to completion with bulldog tenacity. Realize that no weak-hearted, intermittent efforts will achieve your desired purpose.
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