Believing In Yourself

Ellen - Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan
Entered on March 19, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

When reading the title of this essay one most likely thinks “Believing in yourself… how cliché.” The idea of believing in yourself is often a repetitive concept taught to children beginning at a young age. But however cliché it may be it, it is still an important aspect in achieving success. For me, the concept of believing in myself did not become a significant focus in my life until seventh grade. At this time I realized how successful I could become if I had confidence in myself.

It was my second year playing basketball and I had just been accepted to play for a new team consisting of many players I did not know. All of the girls on the team already new each other well, making me the outsider. I was not really bothered by the idea of being the outsider, since I was shy and reserved person. However, I did fear that my new teammates would think I was a bad player, so I never attempted to try new moves or shoot outside shots because I was afraid of making a mistake. My coach soon realized this and every practice would encourage me to take risks. Soon practice consisted of comments like “Ellen, why didn’t you shoot that shot, you would have made it” or “Ellen, you’re faster than her.” After hearing these comments I began to utilize my skills to the fullest and surprised myself with my success. After one of these practices my coach came up to me and stated “You are our starting point guard in the game tomorrow.” I was shocked. Seeing the surprised and nervous look on my face he said “Don’t be worried, you’re the best player out there.” He and I knew for a fact that I was not going to be the best player on the court in our next game, but the idea that he had confidence in me gave me confidence in myself. Through his repetition of supportive comments throughout the season I had finally learned that if I had confidence in myself I could obtain success. When I tried new things, I could see a positive outcome. Having this constant support from my coach, I gained the confidence I needed to reach my goals. Even today, when I run into that coach and he asks me about my current sports tryouts or schoolwork and I seem worried about it, he always replies “You can do it, you’re smart enough” or “Don’t worry, you’re a great athlete. I know you’ll make the team.”

I believe that self confidence is the answer to success. If you don’t believe in yourself, you will never try new things and you will never learn how great you could have been. To achieve self confidence it is extremely helpful to have someone else believe in you. Next time someone tells you to “believe in yourself”, don’t overlook the statement because it is cliché. It truly is important in achieving success.