This I Believe

Sally - Winnetka, Illinois
Entered on May 24, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks, work
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I believe that believing in yourself is the greatest inspiration to do well, during work, school and beyond.

“You can be anything you want if you put your mind to it.” It’s the age-old phrase that parents and teachers have used for decades to inspire their children to do their best. But how many times have we listened? Growing up, I wanted to be an astronaut. The thought of flying in space and floating around in a spaceship was absolutely remarkable, and as an eight year old, I wanted to be part of what the astronauts did. When I told my mother this, she responded with a laugh and said, “You can be anything you want.” As I grew older and went on to junior high and high school, my goals and dreams from my elementary school days were overpowered by my disability in certain subjects, mostly math. It seems like a small problem compared to most, but the difficulty became so discouraging that school was just embarrassing. I was told many times that I “just wasn’t smart enough” and “some people were just different.” I did my best not to listen to them. I knew that when others stop believing in you, the only thing you have left is to believe in yourself. I believed in my gut that this impediment wouldn’t stop me from achieving my fullest potential as a student and as a person.

An anonymous individual once stated, “Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.” Driven by the message of this motto, I knew that fulfilling my goals wouldn’t be shadowed by the problems I faced. Believing that I could overcome my problems, I knew could do anything I want…just like I was taught. I worked hard for four years of high school, and soon I am graduating and moving on to college. It’s a huge deal to me, especially since I will be independent next year. Though the thought of being on my own is intimidating and overwhelming, I think back to all that I have accomplished, and I believe. I trust that I can face the challenges and be successful as a result of the belief I have in myself. As I take the journey into bigger and greater things, I am not afraid. I know I can do anything if I believe in myself, and perhaps someday I can fly to the moon.