The Great Web Bear
Blog Post #5
Believing in Yourself
By: Shando Darby – Senior Vice President & Marketing of Ursinet Hosting
“Believe in yourself.” It’s one of those phrases you began hearing when you are young. Maybe when you played in your first sport or participated in your first theatre production. Usually someone says this phrase when you are feeling fearful at an upcoming task or situation. Everyone means well when they say it to you, but what does it REALLY mean to BELIEVE IN YOURSELF?
I have struggled with self-worth, self-motivation and self-esteem all of my conscious life. Does it come from knowing I was already different than other kids when I realized I was gay perhaps? That alone makes one feel weird, because back in the 70’s and 80’s, there wasn’t a whole lot of positive affirmation on being gay. It pretty much meant you were a ‘sissy’ or less than others. As I got older, I did try to have believe in myself at times. I survived those years of feeling different and was able to surround myself with friends that didn’t care if I was gay or not. That alone creates belief in oneself. Affirmations from others are invaluable.
Another example was my mother’s belief in me. She always said things like “you can be whoever you want in this life.” She told me I was good at things and supported all my activities, stereo-typically gay or not, such as band and theatre. She didn’t care if I didn’t play sports. She never made me feel weird about being different.
The problem was (and is today, at various times) the belief in myself WITHIN myself. I have many people in my life who tell me great things about me and my accomplishments. I tend to not absorb what they say over the voice inside of myself, which is very loud unfortunately. How do I cultivate belief in myself through myself? When I do a given task or accomplishment over and over, that helps. When I am compensated for doing a task or job, that helps as well. Money does talk it seems! Then why do I lose faith in myself over and over? Why do I not believe in myself 24/7?
I have failed many times and I’ve read from many sources that failure is needed to have success in your life. The most successful people in the world have failed at something many times in their lives. This is generally followed by the phrase, “If you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Once again, repeating tasks and meeting goals helps create belief in yourself, but I want to go further and deeper into belief.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word “belief” as follows:
1: a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing
2: something that is accepted, considered to be true, or held as an opinion : something believed ; especially : a tenet or body of tenets held by a group 3: conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence
I like that in the first definition, it says “state or habit of mind.” Belief needs to become a habit. I’m pretty good at developing those, although they tend to be on the bad habit list! I’ve never thought of belief as a habit. Belief in myself needs to be like my chocolate indulgence — i.e., something that makes me happy and satiated. Belief in myself needs to be like my coffee in the morning — i.e., something I crave each day and and can’t live without!
In definition two we find “something that is accepted, considered to be true…” I need to accept belief in myself, and when I find myself not accepting it, I have to work steps around acceptance. I need to come up with a mantra perhaps that can get me back to belief in myself. The mantra could go something like, “I am not feeling the belief in myself that I need to. Give me strength to find the belief that I am a good person and that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to!” I like that truth is a part of belief, getting to the core principles of belief in oneself!
Photo courtesy of www.shandopics.com
In the third definition we find “conviction of the truth,” which makes sense once you have made belief in yourself a habit and that you have accepted it and have a way to fight unacceptance. As a result, you will find your truth! Your truth is your potential. Belief in yourself is a higher form of self, not a grandiose, selfish version of yourself, but a higher plane of belief that you can accomplish wonderful amazing things and that you can reach goals you set for yourself.
I will end this with a quote from Mark Victor Hansen, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul:
“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles, and less than perfect conditions. So what? Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident, and more and more successful.”