A lot has happened the past two to three months. Some of it hard, some of it easy, but all of it growth. As I approach the last year of my thirties, and I reflect on the person I am today vs the person I was, as short as a mere year ago, I often don’t recognize the person looking back at me in the mirror. She’s a little greyer, a little thinner, a little more assertive, less worried about what people think of her, a lot more open minded, and mirroring the behaviour of the people who treat her right. The ones that don’t? Well, let’s just say, they don’t know what they’re missing, which brings me to the subject of this post: Belief: The belief in one’s self, the belief in others, and others’ belief in you.
No matter how I word this, it is going to sound conceited, but it’s not meant to be. It is a statement of fact, akin to me telling you that the moon’s cycle determines the tide.
Many people, when they first meet me find me charming, and they’d be right. I have a stellar personality and I’m able to hold my own in most conversations because I have a broad general knowledge, acquired over the years through a love of (reclusive) reading. What they don’t know is how many internal battles I’ve had to fight to become the non-Sandra-Bullock-version of Miss Congeniality. Self-belief is something that I had intense struggles with when I was younger. I can’t tell you when it was no longer an issue for me, but I will be honest and tell you that although few and far between, some days my body gets snatched and I trip into a pit of self-loathing. This is where others’ belief of me carries me through. It’s a circle – sometimes I’m in the pit, sometimes I’m helping others out.
Belief in one’s self doesn’t come from an Ivy League education, or being born into an affluent family, or having the best material things money can buy. If that was the case, then a very large percentile of the world’s population would be unhappy and hateful. This specific belief has a two-fold root system which stems from
- Something within, something intangible that tells you, “Despite the chips often being stacked against you, you’re doing good, Kid. Just keep doing what you’re doing”.
- Valuable, honest, genuine people building you up, often amidst trials of their own.
I’m going to make specific reference to my friend TJ here. She’s been a huge confidante for me about things I can’t discuss with anyone else. She’s offered advice, encouraged me to move outside my overgrown-hedge-comfort-zone and told me to never stop believing that I am enough, that I matter and that everything that has happened to me until this point has been for a reason. This despite her receiving news that she has breast cancer (in the very early stages, so the prognosis is good).
Last night she used one of my insecurities and a person I care very deeply for to illustrate a point. It was horrible! Her execution was utterly reprehensible. She basically stripped me emotionally bare, and then revealed that I’ve grown in a certain area that I have always struggled with. She also illustrated the belief I have in the person she basically crucified to get her point across. Yes, there is a positive outcome, but I was majorly pissed. I called her a fucking psycho but her response was one that disarmed my shock and had us both in fits of laughter. Her self-belief that her little sadistic exercise would succeed boggles my mind, but then again, it was very likely a calculated risk on her part.
She did call this morning in the wee hours to apologize, telling me that she believed in me enough to know I’d be able to handle what happened. She’s right; and I’ve grown. A few months ago, had this episode played itself out, I may have reacted very differently. I did tell her she doesn’t know the person she used as a pawn in her Cosmic Chess Game, and about that I’m hurt. Her reply was, “YOU believe in him/her, MTM and because of that I believe in him/her. It’s clear that the bond you have is strong.”
My belief in others depends on whether or not they rest on their laurels. Shallow, I know, but I abhor people who want everything handed to them on a silver platter. I know that life often deals hands that nobody expects, but in that instance, you’ve got two choices – give yourself an extra dose of self-belief and roll with the punches, or stand back doing nothing. I have many dreams, some of which are on my dream board and I work hard to try to realize them. I have other priorities, but my belief in myself, my skills and the support of the honest, valuable, real people in my life keeps me forging on.
Every day we just need to remind ourselves – we matter, we’re here for a reason and BELIEVE it!