I Know I Can.

E. - Napoleon, Ohio
Entered on February 16, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

I have learned that the key to success is confidence. As a child I was taught the story of The Little Engine That Could. My parents and teachers would always encourage me to do well with everything that I did. For those who do not recall the story, it is a story of a little engine who could not seem to proceed up a steep hill, though this task seemed impossible the little engine said “I think I can, I think I can,” and he made it up that impossible hill. This confidence is taught even at a younger age. Although most children believe they can and will achieve the impossible, these dreams are usually forgotten about when a child reaches their teen years the confidence is all they lack.

Through many auditions or try-outs, and most advisors would seemingly choose the “better” qualified person. I look at these situations this way; A person is not only judged by their abilities but also by their confidence level. One would most likely rather take an individual who can slightly do the task, who has confidence, than one who is strong at the task yet is negative and has no confidence.

Without confidence one will doubt what they can offer. If someone believes they cannot do a task then that one will not achieve that ability. In trying something new, if one goes in with the attitude that they “cannot do it” then they will not succeed in that task because they went in with the attitude that they were not going to do well in that activity.

My junior year in high school, I joined the speech team. My first couple of competitions I lacked confidence and did not place at any tournaments. I practiced and practiced for weeks and soon built up confidence. I took my confidence with me to the next tournament and placed fifth: Not the best placing, but I had achieved something that in the weeks before I would have never dreamed of. To this day, I am still competing in speech tournaments and have had my fair share of placing, but through all of those tournaments, I had the confidence I needed to succeed.

As I walk the hallways in school, I would rather approach a person with their head held high with confidence than a person who lacks the confidence to succeed. I want to be an approachable person, so I hold my head high and walk with confidence. I do not act as though I am better than everyone else, but I walk as though I can achieve the impossible.

I really do believe that anyone can do anything they put their mind to. Even those with disabilities have proven the seemingly impossible wrong; they have built confidence and achieved the dreams they had set for themselves. I have learned that confidence is the key to success. So, set your dreams big, goals high, build confidence and achieve your impossible.