The Importance of Intellectual Self Confidence

Most students are well aware that academic success depends upon thorough study and review. They realize that if academic assignments are to be completed fully and effectively, proper preparation and research are needed, and certain facts and figures must be committed to memory. This kind of preparation is not usually a problem, yet many students approach assignments, or arrive at exam locations, in a state of nervousness and anxiety. Such students do not understand the importance of mental attitude. In all likelihood, they have not been given sufficient opportunity in their early years to develop the intellectual self-confidence they need for success.

Experienced educators know that lack of self-confidence is one of the most destructive factors in the learning process. It is because of this that all school jurisdictions have included strategies for developing feelings of self-worth and confidence among their educational objectives. Children who are convinced that they can succeed will succeed, and they will do so without the anxiety and nervousness that is so common among poor achievers. A positive mental attitude developed in the early years can successfully carry students through high school and beyond.

Experience shows that success frequently leads to more success, and, unfortunately, failure leads to more failure. Students who fail often tend to develop a negative self-image that is difficult to reverse. They begin to focus on mistakes and shortcomings, and rather than benefit from a healthy self-criticism, they fall into a habit of discouragement and defeatism. With this kind of mental attitude, learning becomes difficult. Educators understand this, and they realize that if progress and achievement are going to happen, students must be given opportunities for a measure of success.

Self-confidence derives essentially from accomplishment. If young students are first given assignments that they can complete successfully, they will accept more difficult ones with confidence and a stronger belief in their own abilities. Students must be given tasks that are challenging, certainly, but it is important that these assignments lie within the scope of their skills and abilities. Unreasonable expectations will only lead to discouragement and a depreciation of self-confidence.

The great achievers in science, technology, exploration, and the arts, both of the past and in the present day, are characterized by a boundless belief in their own abilities. They are energized by a vision of achievement, and it seems to them that failure is not an option. Initial setbacks are viewed as temporary delays. Achievers do not mind starting over or redoing difficult tasks, because they know that in the end they will succeed. But this positive mental attitude is not innate, nor did it develop by chance. It is a result of good education, positive encouragement during the early years, and many opportunities to succeed. In short, achievers are people who passionately believe in themselves.

Mental attitude is more relevant to success than academic aptitude. Nothing can replace the need for study, practice, and review, but the need for self-worth and self-confidence as well cannot be overrated. Education systems now understand this, and appropriate strategies are in place, but individuals also need to be aware of it. Self-confidence can be achieved, even when discouragement and anxiety have caused difficulties in the past. Those who need to succeed in order to develop a positive mental attitude can always find opportunities to do so.