People who have self-confidence believe in themselves and feel that they are capable of achieving what they want in life, or dealing with any situation that they may have to face. They have an aura of self-confidence and self-assurance, which is apparent to others. People like to spend time with them; they feel comfortable and secure in their presence. In contrast, there are many people who are reasonably talented, but who lack self-confidence. These people are victims of the several myths that surround self-confidence. 1. One of the foremost myths about self-confidence is that people are born with self-confidence. It is a quality that cannot be acquired. Nothing can be farther from truth. Self-confidence, like other skills, can be built. All that you need is right guidance and a belief in yourself. 2. There are others who blame their low self-confidence to their lack of good looks and poor upbringing. They don’t realize that self-confidence has nothing to do with their looks. It is a reflection of one’s confidence. The only way they can overcome this myth is by learning to believe in themselves. In fact, talent and self-confidence are not inter-related. There are scores of talented actors and actresses who do very well in their professions but whose personal lives are torn by lack of self-confidence. It may sound contradictory, but this is how life is. Talent can be an important component of self-confidence, but it is certainly not a substitute for self-confidence. So, don’t worry about lack of talent. Harness the skills that you possess. 3. Another myth is that self-confidence is directly proportional to the recognition and praise that an individual gets in his or her life; the ones who are not so lucky wallow in self-pity. Once again, there is little doubt that recognition and praise make you feel good about yourself, and boost your self-confidence. But you can’t simply depend on the praise lavished by others. You have to work hard to earn that praise, and you can do this only if you are self-confident. The same applies to those who are not successful. They, too, can earn praise if they work hard and win people’s respect. Such people should look at children. Children believe in themselves, and this gives them the self-confidence to try to do things they have never done before, be it learning how to cycle or how to swim. In fact, no child comes into the world knowing all the skills. But it does not take long to teach children most of the basic skills. Then, why should it be difficult for adults to learn new skills or brave new challenges? 4. Another myth is that only self-confident people can afford to take risks. This again is not true. In fact, self-confident people are more realistic about their capabilities. They know what they can do, and what they can’t do. More importantly, they know how to deal with failures. In contrast, people who lack self-confidence are afraid of failure. This fear prevents them from taking on new tasks. They constantly pine for the approval of others, and when they don’t get it they end up losing their self-confidence. What is apparent is the lack of understanding. People must realize that self-confidence is a state of mind. It is not dependent upon a person’s beauty or looks. It flows from a person’s self-belief, and this belief can be built. All that a person needs to do is to debunk myths that self- confidence cannot be acquired or that self-confidence is a byproduct of exceptional knowledge, skills and luck. Once they do so, they will find it easier to acquire the same magnetic powers that self-confident people have.