Lesson of the Week

Confident: I am self assured

Little Kenny Markiewicz went outside to play.  Seemed like a simple mission for an eight-year-old boy.  You can imagine his joy when he found a great big mud puddle to play in.  It was born from a deluge of rain pouring down on Duluth, Minnesota June 2012.  The only problem was the big puddle was over the mouth of a large underground culvert.  Kenny jumped in and was suddenly sucked down into the drain and pulled under streets and fields.  Almost a mile away, he was spit out into the weeds where Gordon Marshall heard his cries and brought him to safety.  Duluth was Kenny’s vacation from Lake Charles, Louisiana.  Quite a trip — especially after this death-defying underground journey!

Kenny’s survival has been called a miracle.  When asked how he did this feat, he replied, “I just did nothing.”  (Reported on Good Morning America, June 22, 2012.)  However, upon closer scrutiny, Kenny reported pinching his nose, “So my air stays in.”  His acts showed an evolved, thoughtful, and courageous commitment to survive this terrifying ordeal.  You might say he had confidence, didn’t give up, and did what he knew was right to do to survive.

Being confident on your mission means doing what Kenny did – expressing confidence by being courageous and putting your gifts into action.  Eleanor Roosevelt said, “We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face.  We must do that which we think we cannot.”  In the face of extreme adversity, this little eight year old thoughtfully pinched his nose to keep the air inside himself.  He gushed to the end of the culvert, walked through a wooded area to find help, and he was saved.

Here’s another example of confidence on a mission.  Pictured is a woman who was told she should not be an artist and could not support herself as such.  She was advised that drawing was not a noble profession, only a self-indulgent hobby.  But, she had confidence that her art could be an auspicious gift to the world.  She overcame fear.  She became a producer and professor of art.  She not only created great works, but also helped over a thousand others on their mission to become successful, creative people.  She was able to support herself as an artist and taught others how to do the same.  Her recipe for being confident:  self-appreciation, courage, and putting her gifts into action.

Confident means being sure about one’s own abilities and having a strong, bold belief.  Franklin D. Roosevelt believed confidence also thrives on “honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, and on unselfish performance.”   Two other great get-up-and-go leaders stated:

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear.  Action breeds confidence and courage.  If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it.  Go out and get busy.”  Dale Carnegie

Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence.  Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear.  Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow.  But an action is better than no action at all…. Believe in yourself!  Have faith in your abilities!  Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”  Norman Vincent Peale

Whether you are stopping, starting, or continuing a mission — be confident.  Have that aplomb that utilizes your courage and gifts, and puts them simultaneously into action.  Then, like Kenny, you will be making the trip and coming out successfully on the other side.


Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.

- Marie Curie, French-Polish Physicist and Chemist


Activity:  I Can Do

Materials:  Paper and pen or pencil

Time:  Ten minutes for each person to write and ten minutes for each person to discuss.


1.  Recall a time when you couldn’t do something that you have since been able to do well.  For example, choose an event that stands out as your most poignant, meaningful, or hard won success.

2.  Write a poem that explains the struggle and subsequent success of the time referred to in number one of this activity.  If you are having problems getting started, “jump start” yourself by first writing down ideas that come to your mind quickly, and then incorporate these ideas into a poem.  For instance, each of these ideas could be incorporated:

a) What you were trying to learn or accomplish
b) The struggle of learning something
c) How you overcame that struggle
d) What it feels like to do this thing for the first time – the successful finish

There are no right or wrong ways to write this poem.  Simply think of the ideas you want to express and put them in the form of poetry.

3.  Read your poem to the group or to a trusted friend and discuss the results.

4.  Below the poem, list how this poem inspires you to finish something you have to do now and have not been able to accomplish.  Remember, the idea of self-confidence is to be able to put your gifts into action.

5.  Go out and finish the task that you have been putting off because of a lack of self-confidence.  Utilize the confidence you have described in your poem.


I am confident so I can ...... We'd like to hear your story about being confident. Write your story below.