People believe in different things—love, religion, or faith. I believe in myself.
I have experienced many events in my life that have made me believe in myself. One monumental event that changed my life was when I moved from Ohio to Florida. I left familiar surroundings and my network of family and friends, including my best friend. Once I was settled in my new surroundings, I telephoned her to maintain our lasting friendship. The conversation soon revealed the harsh reality of the separation. She became anorexic; I felt responsible. She became depressed; I was troubled. She became lonely; I was not there. As a result, my best friend spent the next several months in the hospital. I spent the next several months in a tailspin because her actions dominated my emotions. As I was caught in a downward spiral, I realized I must first save myself. I had to obtain confidence and faith in who I am. I had to believe in myself.
As I established my new network of friends I met a “guy” who I thought was a perfect male companion. I spent the majority of my free time neglecting my responsibilities to family, friends, and myself. Over the next several months, I began to lie and seclude myself from all that was important to me. I slowly drifted away from my family and my belief in myself. The conflict with my parents and my inner self became increasingly intolerable, and I could not continue on the same self-destructive path. Once again I was caught in the downward spiral. Just as my best friend went through depression and loneliness, I had taken on the same persona. I lost the qualities—inspiration, determination, and confidence—that provide self-preservation. Only I could save myself.
Saving oneself is a challenge. My challenge was to determine the best choices for me relative to who I am. In the situation of my best friend, her choice affected me. Dating that “guy” was my choice and had a negative impact on me. These circumstances made me realize how important it is to believe in myself. Lack of self-belief can result in depression, loneliness, and physical sickness. I have realized that belief in myself is the first step. Self-belief is a state of mind defined by each individual person. Belief in myself is accomplished through the development of character and confidence. The next step is receiving incremental doses of nourishment from family and friends. My life is interconnected with an extensive network. This combination provides sustenance to get me through difficult situations and daily challenges.
My belief in myself enables me to succeed in school, work, and future aspirations. My belief in myself enables me to believe in others. My belief in myself allows me to believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.