Believe in yourself? Bah humbug!

Does the LA Times have it right?

In their review of the new animated movie, Kung Fu Panda, they write:

“The message — believe in yourself even when all evidence suggests you shouldn’t — is annoyingly familiar and frankly overdue for a serious debunking, but it’s not about to happen here. ” Los Angeles Times

What say you? Are we too optimistic about what we can do? Is believing in yourself – when all evidence suggests you shouldn’t – due for a serious debunking?

See results here.

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • I saw Kung Fu Panda with my daughter and it really had some great moral insight. As a follower and believer of the Law of Attraction I had several connections with quotes sprinkled throughout the movie.

    The basic point of the movie was a noodle selling Panda who wanted to be a Kung Fu Master. He dreamed about it, imagined it, yet did not ‘believe’ in himself as a fat, clumsy bear.

    Within the movie is a ‘Dragon Scroll’ with the secrets to all powers and a ‘secret ingredent’ in a noodle recipe… You soon realize both are one in the same being ‘nothing, everything and self’. Just ‘The Secret’ and other Law of Attraction books, movies share… It is nothing external, it is YOU.

    I do NOT think that belief in the self is over-rated at all because I have worked with hundreds of people and every single one of them who had doubts, in them selves, have failed.

    Those who believed they could do it, were successful.

    The only ones who say it’s over-rated are those whom have not conceptualized the reality of believing in the self. They are the ones who ask but don’t receive because they cannot 100% ‘believe’.

    The key is realzing there is no actual ‘secret’ and that we all have the same tools for success. The only thing that can stop YOU from success is YOU. Which is exactly what the movie focuses on. Mind over matter you can become whatever you want to be by believing in yourself.

    The wise turtle in the movie had many great thoughts one of them my favorite… “Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, today is a gift – that’s why they call it the present’.

    Don’t dwell in the past. Don’t worry about the future. DO for TODAY and yes, Yes, YES – BELIEVE in YOURSELF because if you don’t who else will?

    Alethea Anderson

  • We all have potential and we all have limits as to what we are capable of. Unfortunately many people downplay their potential and over extend their limits. Believing in one’s self is underrated if anything. Of course that is in exclusion of “The Secret” worshipers. The key is to believe in yourself and then take actions toward where you want to be.

  • Alethea…

    Thanks for the good comments.

    It’s a very good thing to believe in oneself. However necessary it may be, though, it’s no guarantee of success.

    Many many people have believed in themselves, and have by no means succeeded in many or even ANY ventures they undertook.

    All the more reason to love what you are undertaking, in case it takes longer than you expect to make it, at least you will enjoy the trip.


  • I haven’t seen the movie so my comments only apply to my thoughts. I do think you have to belive in yourself. To stretch your imagination to what is possible. And to dream. “Without a vision, the people perish.”

    I don’t think there is a magic lamp out there. The opposite question is “Do you think people who don’t believe in themselves have a chance?”

  • Belief in self is over-rated?

    Tell that to Terry Fator, a 43-year old ventriloquist. He was about to give up on making a living at what he loved. Then he won “America’s Got Talent” show on NBC, banking a $1 million prize.

    He just signed a five-year deal to headline at Las Vegas’s Mirage Hotel worth $100 million.

    Bryant Sandburg

  • Bryant – I’m with you. But for every Terry Fator, how many are there who spend their entire lives getting better at their thing, and are never recognized in their lifetime? Van Gogh is an obvious example. I’d guess there are WAY more people who try like he did, and who don’t make it big, than those who do.

    Effort and belief in yourself is no guarantee of success. Might be necessary, yes, but not sufficient to guarantee financial success.

    That’s why it’s so important to love what you do, so that at least, you keep at it until…and once in a while, up comes a Terry Fator.

  • K2 wrote “Effort and belief in yourself is no guarantee of success. Might be necessary, yes, but not sufficient to guarantee financial success.”

    Oh, but it is (I say, and being the guy with I would say that 🙂

    Kim, the more I study and research and write and coach and be coached in and around the vital role of belief in all our lives and work, the more I am convinced of it’s fundamental role in failure and success.

    I “believe” what the mind believes you will ALWAYS achieve. And that being is believing. And that negative thinking is the source of all physical, mental, emotional and spiritual disease on Earth.

    End of rant. If it’s not, too impolite, there’s a post in my weblog inviting people to a free call and a small fist full of no-charge resources on the subject. So, with your permit, it’s here:


    I appreciate you!
    — John

  • Hi John!

    Belief – is probably a necessary ingredient to success, but not sufficient. There are many who believed, AND worked at something, and did not achieve financial success.

    They’re the millions we DON’T hear about. The silent majority.

    Van Gogh is one of the many noted ones who never made a dime or was recognized in his lifetime, but there are no doubt millions – we only hear about the few successes. Not those who didn’t succeed who believed, AND efforted.

    I also say belief in the goal (of ‘success’) is “probably” necessary but let me clarify.

    John Rockefeller often said he had NO idea how big his business would get. Honest networkers earning millions per year now, have told me the same thing. One top earning couple said, “If our neighbor had told us back then that we could earn $10,000/mo we’d have thrown him out for lying to us.”

    They now take in over a million per year. They had no idea much less belief in that outcome.

    Belief in what you’re doing, and in yourself, is the fuel that keeps you on the road, moving. But there’s no guarantee of big or even medium financial success.

    The 99.9 percent of people in the US who earn less than $200,000 per year are not all losers and non-believers and non-doers. Silicon Valley is filled with people busting it and believing it, as is Hollywood.

    But most wait tables. And often get bitter. Some work at their special something all their lives without ever reaching the big time.

    It’s more than belief. Although belief is required – in oneself first, and the venture, second.

    It’s also timing, and a little luck. Luck is of course more likely if you’re out there getting after it, but sometimes it doesn’t come.

    My evidence for my beliefs here is that most people do not succeed EVEN though they have belief and effort daily, up the ying yang. We only hear about the Googles of the world, not the also rans, which number in the hundreds and thousands. And who ALSO put in big belief and effort.

    That’s why loving what you do matters. Keeps you going despite the many obstacles you’re likely to run into.

    “I’d do this even if no one were paying me.”

    That helps keep one going in the face of the long odds. With belief, timing, a little luck and massive effort. And some people seem to get there without that massive effort.

    The Google founders, for example.

    They believed, loved what they did, but didn’t put in the massive effort at first…a couple of years of playing with code and they hit on just the right algorithm…

    Timing turned out, in hindsight of course, to be perfect.

    They admit it, too.

    I don’t know for sure what guarantees success…we can always describe what others (the few) have done, yes, but that is a very far cry from using those descriptions to PREDICT success.

    Else more people would be successful. And they’re not. I mean those believing, working at it, and doing all the described “right” things.

    I wish we knew what it takes for sure, so we could offer the formula to the world at no charge.

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