Recently, a new study found that today’s college students are more narcissistic and self-centered than ever before. The psychologists who conducted the research blamed the trend, in part, to the fact that the current generation of American parents are constantly telling their children how wonderful they are the whole time they’re growing up.
I definitely feel like there’s a growing trend of “self optimism,” or the belief within that we are capable of really anything, especially among my younger friends / colleagues. I can see the danger of this belief, especially in college aged kids, because having people believe that they can do anything could distract them from activities in which they are better suited to work on. Trump adds:
People who say, “You can do anything you want,” are simply unrealistic. Some things are just not possible. For example, if I thought today I could become an Olympic gold medal swimmer, I’d need a shrink more than I’d need a swimming coach. No matter how many lessons I take, how hard I train, or how many steroids I consume, it’ll never happen.
With that all being said, I think it really is imperative that we consistently instill belief in our kids and ourselves that nothing is outside the realm of possibility. When you believe you might be capable of doing well in something, it becomes a possiblity, and when it becomes a possibility you are more likely to try it. I always believe that trying something (of course assuming it’s fairly healthy and not deadly, unless you’re ok with that) is better than not trying something.
Would Trump have ever tried to Apprentice if he didn’t have a strong belief that he could make it succeed? Isn’t that strong belief it would succeed rooted in his personal self-esteem? Doesn’t he come across as one of the more confident and cocky people on TV today? Absolutely.
The key to living a full and successful life is a wealth of experiences, and the only time we open ourselves to new experiences is when we feel confident and optimistic about ourselves and the opportunity. I believe that having a strong self-esteem is absolutely necessary in order to have a willingness to try new things. After all, no one has ever learned a lesson or been successful in something they were afraid to try.