Believe in yourself first. Nothing puts the world in its place like a firm can-do attitude. When you believe in yourself, nothing else matters. No failure can hurt you; no one can dampen your spirits. My belief in myself fuels every aspect of my life. I carry it with me always. When I look for inspiration I need look no farther than the mirror. I am my own cheerleader, my own crowd of fans, and my own victory parade.
As a young boy I was teased terribly. The other boys at school would make fun of my small frame, my childish clothes, and, most importantly, my inability to play football. Where I grew up, recess football was a right of passage for all fourth grade boys, and anyone who couldn’t play couldn’t be respected. I was always too terrified to even try. The bigger kids would shout terrible things at me if I tried to play and as an impressionable boy of ten those hurtful words had a crippling effect on me. I would spend my recesses crying on the swing set rather than playing with the others.
One day I came home in tears and my mother took me aside. She came down on one knee and told me something that I have cherished for the rest of my life. She said, “Believe in yourself, or no one else will.” As harsh as those words were, she was right. I needed confidence, and I was looking outward when I needed to be looking inward. Strength comes from inside yourself; all you need is the courage to let it out. The next day, I came to school with a new look on life. I played football with the bigger boys. I may not have been the best, but I sure was the toughest. This was one boy of ten who would never let the world get him down.
My mother’s lesson is still with me today, maybe because it is so simple to understand. After you believe in yourself, others will believe in you too. Nothing is more motivating than a person who never quits. People flock to them, they find friends in places they never imagined, and strength they never dreamed of. A man who believes in himself can conquer the world.
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