Confidence–how is it that some people seem to have it and some don’t? I think it comes from your upbringing and either it was instilled in you at a young age or maybe you acquire it. But, some people just have that hutzpah it takes to move forward in life, to take chances, to be brash, and to hell with the consequences. Others hesitate because they don’t want rejection or don’t have faith in themselves. I know that I have always been shy—something I hoped and thought I’d eventually grow out of when I got older. But, even though I did make friends as a child, I still lacked that confidence to initiate a conversation (and still do). I never felt that I was especially good at many things, or was particularly pretty, or talented. I know that parents play such an important role in building confidence, and ultimately the success or failure curve of their children. When you have a nurturing family, you feel invincible and are willing to take the chances that will move you beyond the mediocrity of most people. It seems that successful people—in whatever field they are in—have a parent, teacher, mentor, or someone who takes a special interest in them and gives them the ever-important confidence it takes to succeed. Yes, there are exceptions that we hear of—where someone came from a horrible environment and rose above it to become someone amazing. I can think of several celebrities who fit that description, but more commonly, that is not the case. I know that growing up I was told repeatedly that I was “stupid” each and every day, I was told that I had a “horseface”, and on and on. I think when a parent explodes or yells at you and says something hurtful once or twice, it does not have that much of an impact. But, when done over and over, throughout your childhood, it breaks you down and you begin to believe that you really are dumb and ugly and not talented. A very vivid memory I have was when I did a drawing of a princess (and I definitely have artistic talent) and I was so proud, but when I showed it to my Dad, he announced that it was “very juvenile.” I was so very hurt and crushed that I ripped the picture that I was so proud of into tiny pieces and threw it in the basket. I can still feel the sting of disappointment and rage I felt as if I was still a small child. Confidence was not something that was instilled in me as a child and I consequently grew up not being brave and not just going for it, because I always felt I was not good enough, and didn’t want to take the chance of rejection. Confident people don’t worry about rejection, because they know their value. People who lack confidence are constantly searching for others to give them value, because they don’t have it themselves. I think to this very day, I still feel I am never good enough and consequently, feel immense jealousy whenever someone branches out into success and I am left in the dust because I lacked the confidence to do what they did.