TOO MUCH OF A LEAP
The conversation that "I have to be more confident and then I'll be happy" has some mistruth in it, but the biggest factor is that confidence (or any desired state) is only attainable through discreet "doables".
"I will be positive and overcome my negative thinking" is another example of the desire to make a quantum leap, but one which is undoable in and of itself.
WHAT ARE DOABLES?
"Doables" are actual actions you can take to "get to" some desired result. One cannot "do" the result, one can only do the steps to create the result.
Doables are "discreet" actions that one CAN do, like "move a pencil", say this specific sentence, wink your eye, etc. They are at the most basic level, containing the lowest "element" that one can do. (Obviously, moving a pencil does take some more discreet actions within the body to make it happen, but it is a low enough basic element to be actually carried out.)
One cannot "get to the other side of the room" without taking discreet steps (one step at a time) just as one cannot get to being positive without going through discreet steps.
While some people believe in magic, one cannot actually do giant leaps. Everything consists of the discreet elements to get to or make up the whole - like making a pie, with steps of preparation and with specific ingredients to put into it. I see quite a number of people who have studied "growth" or "transformation" but who do not have a complete enough understanding to actually get the results.
A good example is those who are constantly trying to be successful in something (especially a new venture with great hope) but who do not take the necessary steps. [See the Success section and also The Steps To Successfully Achieving A Result - In Detail. The latter is required no matter what the area, from business to playing the piano to becoming happy.] When a person says "I have done that before and I haven't achieved the results" that means that they did not find the discreet steps that need to be done to get to the result - that they did something else which sounded similar but was, for sure, incomplete. (A large percentage of people use this statement as a "therefore": I haven't succeeded therefore I won't [or "can't"] succeed - of course that is illogic speaking, with an underlying pessimistic tilt to it - read Intelligent Optimism.)
An extreme example is "I have tried positive thinking before and it didn't work." The problem is not "positive thinking" but identifying all the steps to implement that state and to get the ultimate results that one wants.
As Tony Robbins (and any NLP practitioner) would say: If you can find out exactly what the other person did, you can achieve the results that the other person achieved.
Again, if you did not get the result, it is that you didn't discover and then do the doables.
Willpower is often used in the context of "I shall overcome through sheer power!"
It is a good statement of intention, but intention by itself does not get results, it only adds some forwarding power but not "enough". I know so many people who do not understand the process of "transformation" and use incomplete processes and then don't understand why the result is not achieved. Basically, they failed to put enough details in there and did not use enough discreet steps to make it work.
You can't win a battle just through willpower. Would anyone go into war without all the tools necessary to win the war, while assuming that willpower and desire will win the war? Only in the movies! (See The Power Of Intention and Willpower.)
Some useful readings that reinforce this idea: