Many things deter us from reaching our full potential. One of them is self-doubt. I know for a fact that we all have goals. Our goals are different often based on our desires, potential, and capabilities. More often than not, people do not believe in us. But this shouldn’t mean that we are not worthy or capable. I believe in setting and achieving my goals irrespective of who believes or doesn’t believe in me. Every time I doubt myself, I always ask myself, “what if I believe in myself?” Things don’t always turn in my favour but most of the time, I achieve whatever I set my mind to. Grab some popcorns and let’s walk through some of those moments with me…
I am the firstborn in my family and I believe I grew up different from most firstborns. Instead of feeling in charge, I was always timid. I always doubted myself. This self-doubt impacted my academic life after I joined school. I did not perform as expected. My parent thought I had the potential to get better grades probably because they were scholars. But I did not, instead, I doubted myself for several years. Each time the teacher asked a question, I had a clue but always thought it was wrong. Bright kids in class would answer and I’d confirm that my answers were actually right. But I doubted myself so much to the extent I thought that my answers were never good enough.
My cousin and mentor at the time was the complete opposite. At the life-defining moment, he was in form three in one of the best schools in our division. He scored straight A’s and his teachers always praised him for his academic superiority. I would take some of my assignments to him seeking help and he would gladly help me. He would often encourage me to believe in myself citing my hidden potential and brightness. Later that year in December, my cousin left us to be with the angels.
The news of his demise devastated me. I had lost my best friend and mentor. During his send-off, his teachers described him as ‘university material’ a title I fancied and felt I deserved. Since then, I decided to take his advice and believe in myself. Schools opened that January and I went to school with a new goal, to become a ‘university material’ like my cousin. I redefined my life that year, January 2008. I simply believed in myself and in my vision of being regarded as ‘university material’ back in the village.
By performing better in my exams, I realised that I was no longer an academic dwarf. Believing in myself opened so many opportunities in the future. Before then, I could only dream of scoring straight A’s was just a dream. But here I was leading our class one exam after another.
I had a happy academic ending thanks to believing in myself and my potential. But like I said, believing in yourself doesn’t always work. Sometimes it leads you through a dark path.
In high school, we sat for regional exams where schools competed to determine the best schools. One evening there was a commotion in the neighbouring class. It was unusual because seniors are often the most serious especially in the evening completing assignments and studying. We soon learned that the regional exam had leaked and the commotion was a scabble of who would get the questions. I was concerned about my peace of mind so I decided to retire to bed early. While everyone else studied and discussed the leaked questions. I chose to believe in myself.
The following morning, we sat for Geography and History. It was the toughest exam I had ever sat for. While every student seemed to enjoy the exam, I sat there sweating. Most of the questions we off-topic probably because our school was behind on the syllabus. I had believed in myself and it had come back to haunt me. I performed poorly in that exam.
Years passed, high school was over and so was the campus. I had graduated and fallen in love soon after. The thing with love is that it makes people make irrational decisions and I was no exception. A few months after my graduation my fiancé informed me of our pregnancy. check out my article on what if? -boy meets girl. I needed to believe in myself this time more than ever before because most people didn’t.
Instead, I was mocked and notified of the mess I was into. One friend blankly told me that my life was over. That while they progressed with their life, I would be dragged back by my lady and the blessing in disguise growing inside her. I could tell that they were poisoning her too but she believed in me and I believed in myself. This was all that mattered. Several years later I can strongly assert that believing in myself and taking responsibility was the best thing I ever did. I believed in myself and it turned out better than I had ever imagined.
All these stories are meant to create awareness of the importance of believing in oneself. Sometimes it works and other times it doesn’t. It is not guaranteed that if you believe in yourself you will succeed. I have failed severally for believing in myself. I failed but kept smiling because I did it wholeheartedly. Therefore, I was content with the outcome. Not trying is easy. So before you prefer not to try and dismiss that idea, ask yourself, “what if you believe in yourself?” It will psyche you to do something and get out of your comfort zone.
I hope you will believe in yourself more often. If you loved this post, check out other posts in this category. Until next time, Adios.