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Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States. From the humble beginnings of a log cabin, Lincoln worked hard and read his way into a career as a lawyer. He later transitioned into politics, making an indelible mark on his country. He guided the U.S. through the Civil War, easily one of the darkest chapters in the history of the country. However, he was tragically cut down by an assassin’s bullet while still in office in 1865.
Lincoln showed incredible self belief in the face of adversity by trusting his instincts and following his policies, even if they were extremely unpopular with many people. Lincoln’s decision to sign the Emancipation Proclamation and free the slaves showed confidence that the greater good was being served. One can only imagine the type of pressure that Lincoln was under before making such a landmark decision.
It’s easy to compare Lincoln’s America to the America we live in today, where freedom is highly valued and slavery is non-existent. But at the time, slavery was a normal occurrence and many people opposed it fiercely. Supporters of both sides of the argument must have been constantly trying to convince him that their side was right. In the end, Lincoln had to have the confidence and self belief to follow his heart.
However, here is a little secret about Mr. Abraham Lincoln; Lincoln actually supported slavery. Much has been written about the fact that Lincoln was actually in favour of slavery, but decided to free the slaves because he saw that the issue of slavery was tearing the nation apart. This fact only emphasizes how much self-belief Lincoln must have possessed and although it went against what he personally believed, he put the needs of his nation before his personal beliefs.
1) Always be strong in the face of massive opposition. He knew the kind of backlash that was in store for him if he freed the slaves. However, he also knew that by cutting the heart out of the reason the Civil War was being fought, he could end that bloody conflict once and for all.
2) Going against your own personal beliefs can sometimes be the right thing to do. Based on Lincoln’s own opinion on the merits of slavery, it could not have been easy for him to sign the document freeing the slaves. In this case, the needs of the country were paramount. Lincoln’s confidence in his convictions helped to prevent any further bloodshed by effectively ending the war.
3) How to be a leader during adverse and difficult times. At the time, the Civil War was the most difficult obstacle that the United States had faced. The country was falling apart all around Lincoln. Lesser leaders would have folded under the pressure, but Lincoln managed to gain the respect of those who opposed his views. This is truly the mark of a great leader. He also managed to be someone that citizens could gain strength from, despite the horrific conditions going on around them.
4) Confidence can propel you to lofty heights. When Lincoln was young, nobody would have predicted where he would end up. However, he had a vision for the direction his country should take. He focused on it like a laser. In the end, his confidence and self-belief is one of the main reasons he is such a beloved historical figure.