Believing in Yourself


Success or failure sign

Just what do people mean when they say, “all you have to do is believe in yourself!”? I know it’s certainly well intentioned, but it’s hard to think of how exactly to do that!!

How do you create good luck when it seems you’ve had a ton of bad luck and the pile just keeps getting higher?

Life examples

There are plenty of examples in life where people have overcome obstacles. In previous blogs, I talked about two people, Viktor Frankl and Alison Wright who lived through nightmares and chose through persevering and refusing to give up to do what was most important to them. Frankl, as you may remember, was a Jewish psychiatrist in World War II, while Wright was a photo-journalist who survived a horrendous bus crash to battle for her former life.

Another really inspiring story is told by Amy Purdy, and her journey through meningitis to become a Gold medal Olympic winner in the Para-Olympics. You would never guess she has had to overcome any challenges by looking at her. Watch the video and see for yourself!

I just finished a book by Ken Robinson called, The Element. In it, he portrays numerous stories of people who were able to move on from the past, to overcome obstacles, and to believe in themselves despite pressure from others to be or do something else.


Probably it’s no great surprise that Robinson described attitude as really important. Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or that you can’t, you are probably right.” Somewhere deep inside ourselves, we have to find the resources, the belief, or the attitude that we can do what we’re aiming for, that we will be okay…and take the steps to make that happen.

Are you lucky?

Robinson cited an interesting study about luck. Psychologist Richard Wiseman studied “lucky” and “unlucky” people and found that expecting to be lucky made a difference, as did using chance opportunities, listening to intuition, and having an attitude that allowed people to turn bad luck into good luck. How did they do that? By believing in themselves.

What works

What we make of what happens to us in our lives affects how our lives turn out. I’ll say it again: what we make of what happens to us in our lives affects how our lives turn out. Focusing on what does work, what we’re doing that does help, focusing on what little steps we can take to make things better energizes us–versus becoming our own worst enemies and focusing on only the crappy bad.

That certainly doesn’t mean just smile and be happy. It does mean making sense of your circumstances in a way that allows you to move forward and live the life you want to live.

What’s helped you believe in yourself? I’d love to hear your comments!!