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“Believe in Yourself”

After insisting I could write a book for her publishing house, an editor said, “Believe in yourself.”

She meant well, and I smiled. At the same time, I wondered, And how do I accomplish that? People throw out those empty statements all the time, but they never tell us how.

“Just get over it.”

“Surrender everything to God or your higher power.”

None of them ever says, “And here’s what you have to do.”

I want to believe in myself. I want to believe I can win over every challenge. But it feels as if I’m putting together a complicated gadget and no one included the instructions.

Self-belief doesn’t come easy for some of us. Braggarts, whom people sometimes mistakenly identify as overly self-confident, too often hide behind powerful words. Inside, they’re filled with doubts they try to silence by boasting.

Over the years, I’ve been learning to believe in myself and vanquish the trauma of childhood. Once in a while, flashbacks hit me (not often and not as severe as they did five years ago). Or I’ll reflect on something I did and realize I’ve regressed to an old form of behavior.

But that realization tells me I’ve made progress. Then I say, “Yes, I’m learning to believe in myself.”

Even so, I wish people would stop giving me those empty slogans. I’ve learned to shut up and ignore their advice. One time I did respond to a motivational speaker in a private conversation when he said, “Just believe in yourself.”

“Now tell me how.”

I embarrassed him and he sputtered for several sentences until I decided to help him save face. “Yes, I know it’s my battle, isn’t it?”

Perhaps it’s yours as well. I have no how-to advice, but I sincerely affirm that as I learn to accept God’s love for me and the affection of others, I believe in myself.

It’s not easy to believe in myself, 
but I’m learning.

1 comment:

Roger Mann said...

This is a difficult one for me. Every time I see an opportunity I my gut freezes over and the phrase "Damaged Goods" comes to mind and I pass. Or maybe I will start anyway only to fizzle out and abandon it. Success means people will know me, recognize me, I will have to speak to them and if they knew...

I still struggle with this. Not sure what to do about it either.