How to develop your self-confidence, according to the Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama delivers the commencement address to the University of California-San Diego
Photo by Bill Wechter

Believing in yourself is the fire starter for success of almost any measure. But how do you develop that self-confidence?

According to the Dalai Lama, it's simple: "Love brings self-confidence. Anger brings fear."

Self-confidence, he says, comes from generosity, from thinking and caring about others. He calls this warm-heartedness, speaking to University of California San Diego graduates this month.

If you live your life with a genuine concern for the well-being of others, you will feel better about yourself, and in turn, feel more confident, says His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism.

Self-confidence is then the "key factor" in developing the all-important traits of "determination, willpower, optimism."

Life is not easy, he says. So "determination, willpower, optimism [are] very essential."

The Dalai Lama is not alone in his assertion that success depends on confidence and confidence depends on being generous.

For example, self-made millionaire and founder of the multimillion-dollar digital marketing company VaynerMedia, Gary Vaynerchuk, got Ds and Fs in school, but says he was successful in life because of his self-confidence.

Organizational psychologist Adam Grant says that givers — those who approach situations looking to help others first and foremost — are among the most successful (as long as they don't give too much).

By contrast, if you live selfishly, concerned only with your own gain, then you will sully the energy around you and bring yourself down, says the Dalai Lama: "If [you have a] self-centered attitude, then [you'll have] more fear, hesitance, distrust."

Instead, he says, "Combine warm-heartedness and this brilliant brain. Combine these two. Then, firstly, individuals themselves [will] be happier, more calm, more relaxed. And then, others also. You see, that kind of attitude automatically bring more friends."

See also:

Self-made millionaire Gary Vaynerchuk: This is the real secret to success

These are the most undervalued employees at your company, according to psychologist Adam Grant

Why this 26-year-old self-made millionaire says you shouldn't waste time on self-improvement

Gary Vaynerchuk: 'Insecurity is a killer' and here's how to beat it