Life isn’t easy. Then again, nothing ever is.

What is the number #1 common thing people do when they first get out of bed?

If it’s the thought that you have to ‘struggle’ out of it for another grueling day at a job you’re finding hard to like, then you’re not alone.

I can’t really remember where I saw this statistic as it was a while ago now. But there was a study that approximately 70% of people are living their lives doing things that they DO NOT enjoy!

Think about that for a second…

Is it any wonder why so many people are finding it difficult to build self-confidence?

Putting all of this aside for a moment. When you add to it, the pressures of life, the bills we have to pay on a monthly basis, the responsibilities, the drama, and the dilemma of not knowing where you really stand in society. You are often left doubting your own abilities and probably feeling like you’re a ‘small cog in a wheel’ who isn’t really that much different from the other 70% of drones who are doing exactly the same thing.

I would argue, it’s that exact 70% of us that actually make up what we call ‘society’, and that is a real cause for concern. Especially when it should be in everyone’s interest to build who they are as individuals and to live their lives to their fullest potential.

James Caan said something really profound when someone asked him what the secret of his success was and he said to “Observe the masses and to do the opposite”.

Could we really disagree with a man who has spent his years building his wealth and becoming the successful entrepreneur that he is today?

What most people do not tell you

Being the perfectionist that I am and one to not give up when it comes to learning and understanding something. I realized after years of reading self-help materials that it simply didn’t match up to real life. When you commonly read books on self-improvement, as good and useful as they are. It is rarely the case that you get to experience or capture the hardships of the things that are prescribed in the books.

Let’s take a common example: Belief and You Shall Achieve

Ok, all well and good. I get the concept of what it is and why this would work. But what if the person reading or hearing this advice wasn’t in the right environment to put this into action?

There are many scenarios why this might be so:

  • Maybe they have family who is not supportive of them.
  • They come from a strict religious background where there are no alternatives.
  • They are broke and living on the streets.
  • They have experienced a life where the statement simply wasn’t true.
  • They’re living in a third world country where resources are few and far between.

The truth is, success and achievement is hardly the same from person to person and would argue that the worse off you are to begin with, the harder it will be to achieve.

I say this because I see it on a daily basis…

  • Kids from wealthy backgrounds are being funded with a good education.
  • Red Brick Universities looking at your family history to determine whether you’re a good fit in their establishment.

Granted, I am well aware that there are kids from lower-class backgrounds who have made it via scholarships and hard work. But that’s my point… HARD WORK

Many of us who come from a modest background simply have to work that much harder to achieve success and self-confidence in ourselves to do it. And when you’re raised in an environment where the success mindset isn’t nurtured, it isn’t easy.

So what’s the solution?

Well as James Caan quoted above, the difference between someone who is part of the 70% and one who isn’t is that they simply woke up one day and said “enough is enough”. Or in other words… They decided that they simply did not want to live life like they did anymore.

But there are ultimately 2 paths that people can take when it comes to success:

1) The Path of Pain

2) The Path of Pleasure

The Path of Pain

This path is pretty obvious. Your environment and circumstances are so crap that you will simply do whatever it takes to overcome any barrier ahead of you to make things happen.

  • Perhaps you’ve been living in poverty your whole life and tired of living a modest life or seeing something you really want but unable to purchase it.
  • Maybe you’ve had one too many failed relationships and no longer care of the possibility of rejection you will inevitably face when approaching someone new and to become successful.
  • Or the possibility of living in a foreign country by yourself far outweighs the crushing depression you will feel on a day to day basis living at home with a non supportive family.

Whatever it may be, your motivation is the pain you will ultimately feel if you do not do the things you need to do in order to get you to where you want to be.

This is the path most people from modest backgrounds generally go through and probably suspect why most of them become strong characters at a later age.

Then there’s the other path…

The Path of Pleasure

This path is a lot less common and is usually followed by someone who knows what they want from life at a very early age and are fortunate enough to stay passionate about it long enough to succeed at it. They are generally backed by strong family support and support from the government.

If you’re on this path, then I congratulate you. You are quite possibly living a life you enjoy and are probably reading this blog to iron out little things in yourself that will make you into a more complete person.

Life isn’t fair

The title of this post was called ‘How to build self confidence in a tough environment’. If I could sum up what I truly think about how you can achieve this based on what I’ve explained above, it’s to simply understand and embrace the concept that life truly isn’t fair.

I spoke about this with a friend of mine not too long ago and the thing that was eventually agreed upon was that all we can ever do is to learn to play with the hand we’re dealt.

We will all be living in a tough environment and there will be times where things won’t be going how you planned. But the key thing, is that despite our circumstances, we all have the inner resources to make stuff happen.

Are you willing to follow the path set out for you?

Whatever path you decide to take. You owe it to yourself to decide and to make it happen. It won’t be easy but nothing ever is.

Onder Hassan
Onder Hassan

Onder is the founder of Dawn of Change. He spends most of his time in the discovery of his own potential, building his self-confidence and using his experiences to share and teach others how to do the same.