The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Positive influences lead to successful life, speaker says

By André Green/se news editor

Understanding and overcoming self-doubt and fear of failure are the keys to becoming successful, a Women’s History Month speaker said March 22 on SE Campus.

Chaz Kyser, author of Embracing the Real World: The Black Woman’s Guide to Life after College, said in order for individuals to have success in their lives, they must be able to recognize and overcome the obstacles they face.

Kyser said the people around someone—family and close friends—have the biggest impact on one’s life and their input can make or break a person.

The attitudes family and friends present can shape a person’s outlook on life and may force that person to make a decision on anything without even trying, Kyser said.

Naysayers, people who say what someone can and cannot do, can force strong-willed individuals to become apathetic toward any situation. Children, Kyser said, can easily be influenced by adults because they look up to them.

As a child, Kyser said she remembered her grandfather’s working on the family vehicle. Her family was struggling financially and Kyser thought she had a reasonable idea to help out.

“ I told him I was going to be rich when I got older and buy him another car,” she said.

Instead of her grandfather’s offering her words of support, he told her she should instead “just try to make it.”

Kyser said it was as if people were just resigned to their fate without looking for a way to improve their lives. Through lack of action and discouraging words, they unsuspectingly bring down those around them, including children.

“ When do you begin to think you can’t do anything?” she asked. “Kids think they can do anything. People plant the [negative] seed when you are younger.”

She said comparison was another issue people have to overcome to achieve success.

“ Don’t compare yourself to others,” she said. “You will become vain or bitter.”

Kyser said people compare what they see in magazines and the media to their own lives. Often they feel inadequate when they cannot reach what could be an impossible goal and then become mired in self-doubt.

Kyser outlined five steps to help cast self-doubt out of people’s lives. The first step is acknowledging that self-doubt and fear of failure can sabotage someone.

“ We place blame on others because we don’t feel like we are capable,” she said.

Kyser said individuals do not want to admit they hold themselves back. Once they have run out of scapegoats and excuses to explain their shortcomings, they have to take a look at the bigger picture.

“ When you acknowledge that you may be working against yourself, you are able to start working for yourself,” she said.

The second step, said Kyser, is writing down what self-doubt and fear of failure have kept you from doing.

Whether applying for a new job or starting one, a person should write it down and keep track of the progress, Kyser said.

Keeping a list of the things planned is helpful in realizing one’s dreams and getting one step closer to accomplishments, she said.

“ You may be amazed at all the dreams you have abandoned while plagued with self-doubt and fear of failure,” she said.

Step three includes writing down reasons for not doing what is wanted.

Someone may not have applied for a position that was perfect for him because he believed the employer did not think he was right for the job.

“ Perhaps you didn’t accept a challenging position because you were afraid you couldn’t meet those challenges,” she said. “Write it all down and you may now find that your inactions look silly.”

Kyser said once a person takes a step back to look at what she did not do because of self-doubt, she can start to realize what her career could be if she followed her heart.

Kyser said step four, speaking positive things into existence is a major step for overcoming fear of failure and erasing self-doubt.

A close friend of Kyser’s was struggling to accept the fact she was offered a job at such a young age.

“ She kept telling herself she was a fraud and that her employer was going to find out and fire her,” she said. “She just knew they had made a mistake hiring her because of her age.”

Although she was qualified, she lacked the confidence to go to work everyday and do the job she knew how to do. She let her age become a debilitating factor in her belief and abilities.

Kyser said talking one’s self up instead of out is a good confidence builder.

“ Once you believe it, you can achieve it,” she said. “Every morning she [the friend] stands in the mirror and tells herself she can make it and she isn’t a fraud.”

The final step, Kyser said, calls for looking at opportunities in a whole new light.

“ What seemed risky may now appear exciting,” she said. “What appeared too challenging may interest you now because you want to be challenged.”

Kyser said surrounding one’s self with positive people plays a vital role in obtaining a successful life.

Once someone starts to believe in herself and her abilities, she can begin to move forward successfully.

Kyser is an instructor of journalism at Langston University, a freelance editor and a published writer.

Embracing the Real World: The Black Woman’s Guide to Life After College is available for purchase at

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