I believe in you, now you must believe in yourself

A dreamer looking up at the sky

Do you struggle to accept compliments?  One of the hardest things in this world is to believe in yourself.  We easily see the good in others while focusing on the negative in ourselves.  Don’t fall victim to this mindset!  It’s important to be able to believe in yourself.

How many times have you looked at other people and thought “I could never be like them”?  This might be someone in your career field, or a family member or friend, or any other person.  You can quickly see the differences between you and that person and those differences may even feel like chasms.  Maybe they are calmer in tense situations, or better at public speaking, or more accomplished at a particular skill.

You want to be like that person, and all you can see is that you are not at their level today!  This happened to me all the time in my career.  I would look at someone 10, 15, or 20 years ahead and say “I can’t do what they can do!”  You desperately want to achieve that higher level but you can’t imagine how you will do it.

There-in lies the rub – this is a failure of imagination!  You’ve gotten smarter every single day of your life – why would you stop now?  Do you remember what bothered you in kindergarten?  How about high school?  How about two years ago?  Many of the problems that seemed insurmountable back then have long since moved into your rear view mirror.  You’ve grown a lot and you have no reason to believe you will stop growing.

You may have Impostor Syndrome – the feeling that you are a fraud and any day now everyone else will figure it out.  You are far from unique if you feel this way.  In fact you are rather unique if you have never felt this way!  That person you keep comparing yourself to almost certainly felt the same way you feel when they were your age.  In fact there is probably someone who looks up to you right now and feels like an impostor because they can’t do what you can!

The best way to believe in yourself is to take stock of the people who believe in you.  You may not think you are destined for great things, but if a bunch of other smart people think you are and you still doubt it, you are implicitly calling them fools.  Are you so strong in your doubts as to think they are fools?   This is the most powerful solution for me, the one I come back to whenever I’m in doubt.  However low my self-opinion is I still cannot call into question those who believe in me.

It takes a certain amount of life experience, patience, and wisdom to believe in events some distance of time away.  Remember that your future state is not solely dependent on your current state.  Just because you can’t imagine it today doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen eventually.  The miracle of getting smarter every day literally guarantees outcomes that you can’t even imagine yet.  Don’t give up on what you can’t do today.

I believe in you!