I know the phrase, ‘believe in yourself’ is such a cliché now. It is on our billboards, tv adverts & commercials, newpapers, magazines, all kinds of products, even banks whose only concern is for our money are using it for their adverts now. We have heard it so much that we easily chant it to anyone who so much as mentions a little challenge she’s facing to us. In fact, the meaning has been watered down. Atheists use it to emphasize that we do not need to believe in the influence of a greater being over our lives. You hear words like, ‘all you need to succeed is in you’.
Recently, I realized that I have never truly understood what it means to believe in yourself. So i asked myself these questions.
•Does believing in yourself mean you are more important than others?
•Does it mean you are better than others?
•Does it mean you cannot fail at anything?
•Does it mean you cannot believe in something bigger than you?
I pondered about all these things. I realized that while under pressure some people start to doubt their own abilities and eventually give up. The few people who manage to believe in themselves and who continue moving along the path they’ve chosen are the ones who succeed. In almost all the cases where people give up their goals half way through, they usually start their task being completely convinced with their ideas and are then put down by other people. Being put down is no more than being convinced that you are moving in the wrong direction. Believing in yourself naturally steers your passion. Sometimes people will put you down because they don’t believe you can succeed or simply because they do not want you to succeed. You won’t convince others that you can change the world unless you convince yourself first. It is important to be solid on the inside first so that when the storms come to pull you down something can hold you up.
But how easy is it to believe in yourself? Then the answer dawned on me… I AM NOT SUPERHUMAN. The popular verse, ‘I can do all things’ didn’t just end there, it says ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’. It is easier to try and succeed when you believe you can.
This draws my mind back to the time I was studying for a very difficult exam. Everybody was tense. The failure rate in previous years was always higher than the success rate. I remember how tangible the fear was as we prepared. A friend of mine was so jittery that she broke down in tears while studying the night before the exam. She told me that she already knew she had failed (even before writing the exam oh) and pleaded with me to help her. That was when I used the cliché, ‘believe in yourself’. I asked her how she expected God to help her win a battle that she had already lost in her mind. She seemed to see some sense in what I said and felt better. She passed the exam. The point I am trying to make is that believing in yourself is a very important ingredient for success. A lot of things we see are controlled by things we do not see. It naturally attracts success to us. Just as we can’t control the force that causes the clouds to release the rain or the when the moon makes way for the sun to rule the day, so also the thoughts in our minds control events that happen to us.
So what does believing in yourself mean?
- It means having confidence in your abilities.
- It means accepting your limitations while emphasizing your strengths
- It means valuing yourself but not overestimating yourself
- It means accepting that you deserve to achieve
- It means knowing that you are not superhuman but you can achieve anything you want with God’s help.
- It means not giving up when you face obstacles
Some points to remember
– Alex Haley received 200 rejections before he published the novel “Roots” which was published in published in 37 languages, won the Pulitzer Prize and become a popular television miniseries in 1977.
– In the early development stages of Microsoft, the company was going to be sold. The buyer turned the offer down because he thought that people wouldn’t need to put computers in their homes. Now bill gates is one of the richest men in the world!
While I appreciate how important it is to believe in yourself I also believe we need the help of God to truly believe in ourselves. So the next time you hear the words, ‘believe in yourself, don’t be quick to dismiss it as a cliché just remember that it takes courage to stand out!