MacArthur and His Mom

The night before Douglas MacArthur took his entrance exam for West Point, he was all nerves. “Douglas,” his mother, Pinky said to him, “you’ll win if you don’t lose your nerve. You must believe in yourself, my son, or no one else is going to believe in you. Be self-confident and self-reliant, and even if you don’t make it, you will know you have done your best.” When the scores were announced, Douglas MacArthur’s name was number one on the list.

It was that same self-confidence that led him island by island across the Pacific until the Japanese were driven back to their homeland. And, it was that self-confidence that led him to plan the amphibious landings at Inchon that turned the tide in the Korean War.

True self-confidence is the result of ample competence, which comes from knowledge, skill, and expertise… — Nido R. Qubein

I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Qubein, it does take self-confidence if you are going to be able to face your fears, overcome them and succeed in life. I also however, believe there is more to self-confidence than knowledge, skill, and expertise. Depending on how you were raised, you may not have had self-confidence instilled in you and as a matter of fact may have had any natural self-confidence, stripped from you. When that is the case, it is difficult to have self-confidence. It is difficult to believe you can correctly do anything as you may now have had instilled in you a fear that you can’t achieve anything and aren’t worthy of succeeding.

When that is the case, you can be told what MacArthur’s Mom told him, but it will fall on deaf ears. It may even ring in your ears, getting you all excited, but you will not get far from where you heard it before the excitement achieving is stripped from you, leaving you feeling unworthy, believing yourself a failure. When this has been placed in you, you will find yourself getting oh, so close to success, but that failure tape will begin to play in your heart, and it will override the excitement and lead you once again to fail. That is because that is what you see of yourself in your heart.

This was me at a young age. I was stripped of all self-confidence. I was belittled and told I would never succeed; that I was a failure. When you hear that over and over, it gets ingrained because it takes root in your heart and head, it is very difficult to hear anything else. It is difficult to see yourself as a winner even though you may have a burning desire to achieve and succeed like those you see around you. You will try but find yourself coming up short each and every time and with each shortcoming, this will help to solidify what you were told – you are a failure.

Thankfully, there is a way out. If I can do it, then anyone can do it. You can reprogram your heart by planting new seeds and starving the ones that have already taken root. It took me a few years, but I was able to overcome that defeated, belittled, and demeaned spirit by spending hours listening to that which would build me up. I rejected that which was did not provide spiritual and emotional encouragement. I focused on believing I had been born for a purpose. That my right choices, along with my belief in God and myself, would bring about a life of fulfillment. That even though I made mistakes, I could shake them off and keep moving forward. I could and would become a person of destiny.

Best of LUCK as you
Labor Under Correct Knowledge…


Rick Cox