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Never Doubt Your Ability to Succeed

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In conversation with one of my learned chums this week, the subject of success came up—or more precisely, just what it is that makes some people more successful than others.

I have very strong views about this. I believe that one of the defining qualities of the most successful people I know is confidence. It is their inner belief that they can achieve anything they want to achieve and enjoy as much success as they wish, however they personally define success.

Success is different for each of us; some people use obvious material signs to show the rest of us that they have made it: large houses, fast cars, ostentatious lifestyles, with a deliberate “Look at me—I am better than you” statement. (Never mind that the house is heavily mortgaged or the car belongs to their employer.)

But let’s get back to my assertion that successful people—genuinely successful people—have considerable inner confidence and self-belief. Did the groundbreaking Tom Edison ever lose his self-belief, even after 10,000 “failures”? Did the visionary Walt Disney ever question his theme park plans, even after more than 100 banks rejected his requests for finance? Did any of the most successful authors you have ever read give up after their manuscripts were repeatedly rejected? (I am told J.K. Rowling had Harry Potter turned back more than 80 times.)

No, none of them did, because they had such strong self-belief. And closely aligned with self-belief are courage, commitment, durability, resilience, patience and vision. That last one is very important, because it is our ability to visualize what success will feel like that drives us on and often keeps us going in times of adversity.

Can anyone be successful? Yes, of course, if he or she wants it badly enough. If one person can be successful, then we each can. But most people never work out what it is they really want. They talk in vague terms about more security, more disposable income, more holidays, but never create the specific picture of what they want in their minds. And, consequently, most people spend their twilight years looking back in total frustration—“I wish I had…,” “If only I had….”

In professional selling, such things as cultivated sales skills, clearly defined sales processes and in-depth knowledge will take us only so far. Without that strong inner belief and confidence, we will never, ever, realize our dreams.

My advice, based on my own personal experiences, is never doubt your ability to succeed. When doubt enters your mind, confidence slips out via the back door—they can never coexist. Be assured, confidence really is the key to success.

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Jonathan Farrington is a globally recognized business coach, mentor, author, consultant and chairman of The JF Corporation and CEO of Top Sales Associates. For more information and tips from Jonathan, visit, or go to his blog at