How Legends Build Self-Confidence: Bruce Lee

By Sukh Singh, Associate Partner, Lighthouse International

“I don’t fear the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks. I fear the man who practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

- Bruce Lee

In 2013, the Legends Report team conducted a survey with over 3,000 people, about how to progress in their personal & professional progress lives. One thing came out time and time again through our research. That one thing was that over 70% of people said that they wanted to be more confident, either at work or in their personal life.

One thing that many legends have is self-confidence, whereby they are able to make clear decisions, build incredible projects, exceed their expectations and handle adversity calmly - but how? Today we're going to learn from Bruce Lee how he did it...

"To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities."

- Bruce Lee

Where Self Confidence Does Not Come From

Our lives are very busy, and while achieving goals and stretching ourselves is incredibly important, self-confidence does not start with circumstances and situations outside of ourselves that can be gone in a blink of an eye! Things like;

  • Our bank account
  • Our job title
  • Whether we are 'better' than or 'worse' than someone else
  • Our material goods
  • The friends we have

These are a few things that can improve the quality of our lives, but cannot be the source of our self-confidence. While legends value these things and they absolutely do help us develop a stronger sense of self-confidence, the source actually starts somewhere else...

"The successful warrior is the average man, with laser focus."

Confidence: Make Your Promise Count

The word 'confidence' is rooted in Latin, meaning 'to have full trust.' To have full trust in ourselves, we need to be reliable. After all, we trust others who are reliable; as people we can count on. True self-confidence is dependent on one habit; our ability to make and keep a promise. The better we are at this, the more reliable we are. The more reliable we are, the more confidence we have. The more confidence we have, the more we can stretch ourselves to reach higher levels and achieve even more meaningful goals.

Understand What's Blocking You

“Fear comes from uncertainty; we can eliminate the fear within us when we know ourselves better.”

Often what stands in the way of us following through on those promises however, are our unconscious bad habits - the excuses we sell ourselves short on, the escapisms, the ways of procrastinating that play out. Now, if we are not aware of these traits, then we cannot change them and cannot build self-confidence. It would be like trying to do your local grocery shopping, and every time you go in, the supermarket changes the shop layout - imagine how frustrating it would be! You think you know where to go, but something always blocks you from getting there.

It is crucial that you get to know your 'layout' - what's holding you back? What are the thoughts, habits and beliefs keeping you from building trust in yourself?

Don't Try To Be Perfect...

"Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them."

What can often happen when we're trying to build self-confidence and reliability, is that we slip up - we forget to follow through; something distracts us or we feel like giving up. It's easy to fall in the trap of "I've got to be perfect now" rather than seeing confidence as something we develop. As with anything new, in time we get better at it. We make mistakes, learn from them, adapt, improve and come back. That's the key - that's what makes us stronger. (Imagine if babies gave up walking every time they fell on the ground! We'd all be crawling around the world!!)

For more inspirational quotes from Bruce Lee, click here.


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