How many things have you accomplished simply because you believed? Whether it was your belief in someone else, an idea, where you work, or most importantly yourself…you believed. For what it’s worth, this blog has terrified me for years! I mean this when I say it, but you wouldn’t believe (no pun intended) the amount of journals and random notes I have scattered around my house. Asking myself to not only organize my thoughts, but share them…umm, pretty easy for the self-doubt to creep into my mind. I think we all can agree that there are few people in this world who love to fail. The ones that do, however, know that it’s only temporary and they’re now one step closer to their almighty goal.
When my mom was 33 years young she took on the bold task of setting out to get a bachelor’s degree. She didn’t choose just any school, she chose one of the most prestigious schools, not just in Pittsburgh, but the whole east coast. She chose Duquesne University! I was only 6 when she started, and I can only imagine how she felt at that time taking on the huge task of working full-time and going to school full-time. What I can tell you is that she wouldn’t have made the commitment to do it if she didn’t believe in herself and the support system she had at home. In 4 “quick” years, (I’m sure she’ll be laughing at that) she earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Organizational Leadership with one C, 9 B’s, and 24 A’s, graduating Cum Laude with a 3.65 GPA. She was even chosen as one of three students to speak at her graduation ceremony. I have to say even reading that 20 years later makes me proud to call her “My Mom.” But wait, it doesn’t stop there (in my best infomercial voice)! After taking a year off she went back only to graduate with honors, receiving straight A’s from Duquesne’s Master’s in Education program. And, she did it in just 2 years! Talk about believing in yourself and believing in what you’re trying to accomplish. I tell you that story because had she not believed in herself (I’m not even talking about the bumps she faced along the way and not giving up) there would be close to 800 kids over the course of 17 years that would NOT have been impacted by her teaching skills and amazing work ethic. Self-efficacy as defined by psychologist Albert Bandura is “one’s belief’s in one’s ability to succeed in specific situations or accomplish a task.” Every day in all different countries over the world people are asking themselves, “Can I really do this?” My mom answered “YES” to that question, and I want us to answer the exact same way!
Belief is a state of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing. And, I want to get one thing out of the way before I get to in depth. Believing and having faith are not the same thing. See, I believe in God, but I also have faith in Him. I want to be open and honest with you and admit that my faith waivers, (more than I would like, I will forever be a work in progress) but know that my belief in God does not! With that distinction out of the way, I want you to think about a baby or toddler that you’ve been around recently. Isn’t it amazing to watch them learn a new task? Whether it’s crawling, pulling themselves up, walking, talking, or using the iPad to play Angry Birds, they just get it done. We grow up with such a belief that we CAN do anything. However, it’s only over time that we learn to doubt ourselves. I’m biased, but I love the attitude that my daughter wakes up with in the morning. She honestly believes every day is going to be such an amazing day. When you wake up in the morning does it even enter mind that your day could be great? Whether you’re going to work, or school, or it’s the freakin’ weekend…do you believe that something amazing could happen? Chances are no, because we feel if we do not have high expectations then we cannot fail. Thinking the day will be average and just about as good as yesterday is as easy and comfortable as that old Mickey Mouse sweatshirt your uncle gave you from 1988. And I can hear it now, “Well it’s hard to get excited about my day and believe in myself with the job I have,” or some similar version of that. But think about this, is it your job that prevents you from feeling that way…or you? The first step you can take to change the beliefs you have is to change the vision that you have for yourself (and believe me I know this from *cough, cough* recent first-hand experience).
I personally have aspirations to continue to be an amazing father, son, friend, and I believe one day I’ll make a great husband. I want to excel in my career, and I truly do aspire to have a positive impact on all those that I come in contact with. Now, I know that seems broad, but trust me you don’t want to get me started since I’m already trying to keep these things under 1200 words! That’s the vision I have for myself…what type of vision are you creating? Do you believe in yourself and your ability to succeed as an employee, business owner, coach, mother, father, etc? Do you believe you’re a great husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, fiancé? If not, do you even want to be? These are the questions that you need to ask yourself, and these are the conversations that we need to have with our significant others and our children. Listen, deep down I truly hope you do want to be great and want to believe in yourself.
Believing in anything takes time because remember, belief is based on fact, it’s choosing to side with information. Don’t think just because you don’t know 100%, for sure if you’re going to have a great day, you can’t believe it. Ironically, that’s like saying just because your day, your week, your month, or even your year (if the Rembrandts aren’t playing in your head right now we can’t be “Friends”) has been crap, then tomorrow will be crap, and up until “unknown point” will be crap. That shouldn’t be the information you choose to side with! Think about it, athletes do this all the time. Imagine how mad you would be at your favorite sports figure if he had a long face before a game and when asked what’s wrong he replies, “Well, we lost last game, so I just don't think we can win today.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME! You would throw your T.V. through a window and burn your jersey in the oven. Listen, set a high expectation, fail, fail again, change your vision, change your vision again, but don’t stop believing in yourself. Now, go listen to Journey, dance, be weird and make a memory, because your attitude is what’s going to make today great!