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Belief is a powerful tool. It has the ability to shape your actions, mold your words, and reshape your life. It allows you to breathe when you need it most.

Before we continue, I just want to make it clear that I am not referring to religious belief. 

Even if you are a religious person, please consider the alternative view that I am presenting.

So what are you talking about?

I am referring to belief in yourself. Just hear me out because believing that you will change, that things will get better and that you will be stronger is more important than any other advice that I (or anyone else) can give you. After all, only you can make change happen.

You may be at a point in your life where you believe that this is an impossibility. There has been a string of poor decisions, insecurity, and doubt. This is the past you. The actions that have been taken cannot be undone. It is in the past, where it belongs. We are now looking onward.

We are constantly evolving by nature. We are required to adapt, to change, to grow. I want you to ignore all that you may have said or done because that person is no longer you. What you experience today may not endure into the future.

In the words of Ms. Lauryn Hill from the song, “Everything is Everything”:

“What is meant to be will be.
After winter, must come spring
Change, it comes eventually”

I apologize for quoting a song, but it’s Lauryn Hill.

 

How do you instill belief in yourself?

One thing that works is having a conversation with yourself. It doesn’t have to be in public. Just tell yourself that where you are today is not where you want to be in the future. Talk through your goals (if you don’t have any, try to come up with a few). Imagine a happier life.

Every now and then, talk to yourself in the mirror. Tell yourself that you are going to be strong today. Nothing is going to bring you down today. Today, you feel great. Tell yourself anything that you need to hear.

Think of it this way, if your child is in pain, what would you say to them to make them feel better (no, it doesn’t have to be your child, it could be your friend, a close loved one, etc.). You wouldn’t let them suffer.

A funny thing will happen. You will begin to believe your words. It doesn’t happen right away and you will still have bad days, but, you will see just a bit more positivity shining down on you. And isn’t that worth the effort?

I dare you: Go to the bathroom. Right now. Stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself that you feel great and that you are strong. Add in any bit of encouragement that you need. You aren’t fat. You aren’t stupid. You aren’t too thin. You are beautiful.

Did you do it? If so, good job!

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Taking Charge

You must learn to take responsibility for your part in whatever happened in your past. This is a vital step. Whatever happened in your past, whatever caused you to be where you are, there are actions that you have taken to aid your current predicament.

Wait. How does this help me? This is just making me feel worse! 

By taking responsibility for your part in whatever happened in the past, allows you to gain control. You are back in the driver’s seat. What could you do differently now? What did you learn? Are there things that you are doing now that you can change?

Don’t use this to assign more guilt to yourself. Analyze the actions as if they were done by another person. Always remember to be kind to yourself while you do this.

Example:
This is a situation that many of us may find ourselves in. My parents had a vested interest in the career path that I should take. I felt compelled to listen to them and alter my plans to make them happy. This went on for a long time – sacrificing my happiness for their expectations of me. 
I blamed them for putting me in that position. I blamed them for my failures because after all, it wasn’t what wanted to do. It fostered a feeling of resentment. 
Looking back, I realize that I never truly had a long, open, discussion of what I wanted to do. I just went with their plans because it was what I thought was expected of me. I could have changed that. 
That action was taken because I was naïve. I didn’t think that I had the power to change the situation. Now, I do. I can speak to anyone who has expectations of me so that I don’t fall victim to their plans. 

In a similar manner, you are in charge of you. Try to retake control.

 

The Function of Hope

Hope allows us to carry on. It paints dreams of the future. Endless ideas of what can be. What is possible to be.

Once you have instilled some semblance of belief in yourself, hope will naturally enter your life. Hope is a by-product. You will be able to shift your mind ever so slightly so that you can welcome positivity. You may even be able to look at life with new eyes. See the beauty before you.

I apologize again. I realize that I am getting carried away. But I have faith that you too can experience the joy that this brings. Even if it is momentary.

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