Believing in yourself

After another informal, unscientific poll of my Facebook friends, I feel compelled to share a few thoughts. I posed this question, “If I could travel back in time and give one piece of advice to my 18-year old self, I would say ________.” 

There was one theme that ran through many of the answers… “Believe in yourself.”

Believing in yourself is so much easier said than done, especially for a young adult who is still formulating what his or her “self” really means. When I launched into my 20’s, I remember feeling unprepared, unqualified and unsure about what the heck I wanted to do with my life.  I kept stumbling forward and eventually found my way into a career that worked for me.  I don’t remember really believing in myself until I reached that point. In other words, I needed some proof before I could buy into the fact that I was OK.

So if you know a young adult who is having trouble believing right now, I have some suggestions to share:

  1. Review your existing proof. What have you already done that demonstrated achievement or self-sufficiency? When did you demonstrate creativity, hard work, persistence and heart?  Give yourself a pat on the back and build on this foundation. And remind yourself about these times when doubt starts to set in.
  2. Create some new proof. You can’t just sit around believing all day… at some point you have to take action. You may get new proof that you chose the right thing or the wrong thing, but either way you’ll have some new evidence to build on. Go try new stuff.

While you are looking for validating proof, remember this. What YOU think about you matters more than what others think. The words other people tell you are just data points for you to accept or reject. Listen carefully, but make up your mind based on what you want.

Believing in yourself is not magic. It’s a process with ups and downs and steps forward and back, but you can do it. Take it from people who have lived twice as long as you… you are capable of far more than you think you are.

Explore posts in the same categories: Motivation

8 Comments on “Believing in yourself”

  1. Sean Dyer Says:

    Another brilliant post by TG (The Goad). It’s good advice for everyone. Keep a running list of your accomplishments.

  2. Deepa Says:

    What an awesome piece David ! I will share this with my daughter who is graduating from high school today!

    Keep up the great writing !


  3. Wonderfully put David. This just reminded me of something I read waiting for my daughter in the orthodontist office…for some reason I was reading about Katie Holmes (after I read National Geographic and The err…Globe and Mail of course) 😀 and one line that Katie said in the interview was, If I could give my younger self some good advice, I’d say “You are powerful”. or maybe it was “you hold the power”…I thought, that’s exactly what I would have said as
    well. Well…not to Katie….but, to my younger self. Theresa

    • davidgoad Says:

      Theresa, it is all about power isn’t it? Retaining it or giving it away…
      Thanks for reading!

  4. Wise words, David! I really enjoy your blogs and your book. Thank you!!!

    • davidgoad Says:

      Thank you Terry! And I know you are someone who influences kids, so pass it on 🙂

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