While listening to a radio talk show on Serious XM this week, I heard a caller say she was trying to boost the self-confidence of her teenager by telling the child you can do anything you want in life.  I thought that sounded positive and healthy, however the talk show host responded by telling the mom she was not being realistic and that her child can’t do everything.

In the book The 100 Simple Secrets of Successful People, author David Niven, PhD, touches on this topic by mentioning that if you read motivational books and lectures, you will hear all about the wonderful powers you posses and the amazing things you can accomplish. He goes on to state that that type of message can be useful, “But an exaggeration of your abilities is no more valuable to you in the long run than a stunted sense of your abilities.”  Trying to be good at too many things will ultimately undermine your confidence. His research found that confidence in combination with a realistic self-appraisal, produces a 30 percent increase in life satisfaction.

Have you figured out what you are really good at?  Identifying your skills, strengths, abilities, and passions, along with trial and error, is part of the equation.  Being realistic throughout the process, is the other part.