95% of success is...your guess is as good as mine
June 26, 2011 2:21 AM   Subscribe

Is there a saying that goes something like "95% of success is confidence"?

I heard someone on a reality show say something this the other day, in the context of encouraging a teen to learn to ride a bike. It seems like a phrase I've heard before, but I've tried googling it, including variations, and nothing related turns up.

Anyways, I really like the sentiment and if anyone knows the "correct" wording of it, I'd appreciate your help!
posted by oceanview to Writing & Language (15 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Mark Twain once wrote: "All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure."

(I'm guessing the ignorance makes up the other 5%.)
posted by fairmettle at 2:54 AM on June 26, 2011

'Fake it till you make it' is a similar sentiment.
posted by plep at 2:59 AM on June 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

There's "Success is 10% inspiration, 90% perspiration," which the internet attributes to Thomas Edison. Not quite the same sentiment, but it's the only "success"-plus-percentage quote I'm familiar with.
posted by solotoro at 3:16 AM on June 26, 2011

but it's the only "success"-plus-percentage quote I'm familiar with.

There's also Woody Allen's "80% of success is showing up."
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:29 AM on June 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

solotoro: ive heard that one attributed to Einstein, something like ...is 1% genius and 99% perspiration
posted by freddymetz at 3:51 AM on June 26, 2011

One I've heard is "90% of success is just showing up."
posted by Salvor Hardin at 4:50 AM on June 26, 2011

freddymetz - I know that as "genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration"... the rhyme makes it truthier...
posted by russm at 5:08 AM on June 26, 2011

I've heard "success is 90% preparation".
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:41 AM on June 26, 2011

See also, "The more I work, the luckier I get." (attributed to Samuel Goldwyn)
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 6:53 AM on June 26, 2011

Mary Kay Ash once said, "Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve."

This gets to the 'confidence' part - just believing it is possible will give the confidence to just try.
posted by scooterdog at 8:13 AM on June 26, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for your suggestions so far, but it's not any of the guesses so far.

Definitely not the "perspiration" one or the "showing up" one, and the phrase was very brief and had "success" and/or "confidence" in it. Thanksies!
posted by oceanview at 10:34 AM on June 26, 2011

its a reality show - perhaps the person just said something spontaineously that sounded familiar or similar to a known expression, but wasnt actually the experession. So, like, maybe one of the above is 'correct' and your actually searching for a one-off-variation/error.

Maybe just find the show on youtube or hulu or something and watch it again?
posted by Kololo at 12:03 PM on June 26, 2011

In medical papers, 95% confidence is success.
posted by Earl the Polliwog at 12:40 PM on June 26, 2011 [2 favorites]

There's no number in it, but Napoleon's "Audacity, audacity, always audacity" comes to mind.
posted by Bruce H. at 2:39 PM on June 26, 2011

'So, uh, you have a plan?'
'Better! I have confidence!'
-- King Julien XIII
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:22 PM on June 26, 2011

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