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Why You Have to Bet On Yourself

Failure is tough no matter what. But a person with confidence can take it in stride.

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There’s a scene in the 2006 Will Smith movie, “The Pursuit of Happyness,” where Smith’s character, Chris Gardner, is playing basketball with his young son, Christopher Jr. Dribbling around his dad, Chris Jr. shouts, “I’m going pro!” before sinking a basket. 

At this point in his life, Gardner is struggling. He’s trying to make ends meet selling bone density scanners while working an unpaid internship at a brokerage firm in hopes of beating mile-high odds of getting selected for a job. In the meantime, though, he’s unable to make his rent, and has a variety of government agencies chasing him down for money he owes. The world is an inhospitable place for big dreams, and Chris Jr.’s declaration that he’s going pro prompts Gardner to temper his son’s expectations: “You’ll excel at a lot of things, but not this,” he says. Dejected, Chris Jr. puts the ball away. Watching him give up, Gardner realizes he was imparting the wrong lesson, and tries again. 

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