“If you can’t believe in yourself, why should anybody else?”
Danny was your average guy, no superstar at anything really, but he had a good job with good prospects, and a cheery, sensible approach to life. When he met Donna, the daughter of a relatively wealthy real estate agent principal, and they were drawn together, he began to feel decidedly uncomfortable around more plush surroundings than he was used to.
He’d tell himself that he’d just treat her dad and family like everyone else, but no matter how much he tried he felt inadequate. He’d continually ask himself questions like, ‘What sort of future could I possibly give her? She’s had more already than I could even hope to give her… how can ever I compete with that?’
He couldn’t foresee himself providing a future where she’d be kept in the manner to which she’d become accustomed to. His uncertainties plagued him alone initially, but then they began to play out negatively in their relationship as a couple—even though his lack of affluence and ‘star quality’ wasn’t an issue to her (or her family—they just weren’t that bothered). But he was.
What Danny lacked was the ability to believe in himself; that he was good enough.
It’s the make or break of life pretty much: self-belief. We can’t even fudge it. The person with adequate self-esteem to believe in themselves stands a far better chance of actually succeeding in life on average, all things considered.
The quote at top is so true to life. If we can’t believe in ourselves hardly anyone else will—perhaps family might, and that’s good, but it’s beside the point when we’re in a world which requires us to have an adequate level of self-love, self-belief or faith in ourselves, even though anyone who ‘loves themselves’ is generally derided for doing so. We all need a healthy self-love to operate productively and lovingly in the world.
We have to be assertive with ourselves here if we lack. There’s no use hiding our lamps under a bushel. And if assertiveness is hard to muster we need to be almost aggressive to get the ball rolling. This is probably the single most important determinant in holding our own in life.
All else springs from this. It is the basic right of every human being to believe in their personal capacity to live a worthy life. And it’s as much for others as it’s for ourselves.
You might recognise the story of Danny and Donna—it’s a story that’s enacted every day over all parts of the globe. Some get through; some don’t.
No one should let a present-day poor sense of self-belief inflict that sort of havoc in their life. It is so very preventable.
No matter who we are or what we’ve done (or haven’t done) we are just as important as the President, Tiger Woods or Nelson Mandela, and we each have such potential which lies dormant just waiting to be unearthed.
© S. J. Wickham, 2009.