This I Believe

Michelle - El Paso, Texas
Entered on December 15, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
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I believe in the power of belief. My beliefs about myself define who I am and what I am capable of achieving. If I convince myself that I can, I can and if I believe I cannot, I will not. Therefore, my potential is both limitless and self-limited.

I am a runner. I started running when I was 13 and continued running because it makes me feel alive and powerful. When I go on a long run, I feel a sense of accomplishment. For 22 years, ten miles was the longest distance I had ever run. This was the furthest distance I felt I had the stamina to run. I always talked about some day running a marathon but wasn’t convinced I could do it. Then my husband, who had just started running, announced that he was going to train for a marathon! I was shocked. I decided if he could do it, I could too. When I made this decision, an amazing thing happened. I could run more than 10 miles! I ran 12 miles, then 14. I learned that I could run for as long as my mind told my body to keep going. I completed my first marathon last year after years of believing I couldn’t run more than 10 miles. I finished on an injured knee and could hardly walk across the finish line. It wasn’t the glamorous finish I had imagined and my rookie husband finished before me, but I finished… because I made my mind up that I could.

My true accomplishment last year was not completing that race, but learning that I have the power to do anything I set my mind to, if I believe I can. This being said, I still struggle to believe in myself and my capabilities, though I now understand how powerful my thoughts are.

I believe we are all born with an inherent belief in ourselves and that all things are possible. My 2 year old daughter has convinced me of this. Ever since she could stand, neither gravity nor the physical laws of the universe could stop her. She is determined; unencumbered by fear or self-doubt. I realize that children don’t worry about the possibility of falling, and that the most successful adults don’t either. I believe that successful people are the ones who are able to hold on to their childlike faith and who never fill their heads with negative, self-limiting beliefs.

As an adult, I am learning to believe in myself again, as I once did before the world made me afraid. I am inspired by the thought of teaching my daughter to be a confident woman and to always believe in herself. I am inspired by the thought that I can make my dreams reality. I am also inspired by my husband, the eternal optimist, but mainly I am inspired by the thought of crossing the finish line of my next marathon before him.