I Believe in Me

Rob - Shelburne, Vermont
Entered on September 22, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe in self-reliance, in other words I believe in myself. My father has instilled these beliefs into me at a very young age. As the oldest child of four, my father has made it very important to stress the fact that I was the example. He made me the example for everything and I hated it. I questioned every one of his tactics; I wondered why he felt it necessary for him to punish me more severely than the others.

As the oldest, my father told me I was the example to the three younger siblings of mine. My father had rules, and he made sure I knew the rules, and my brother and I, would always have ways around the rules. Whether it was his rule against us rough housing or using a hardball to play baseball with in the yard, we would find a way around it. But if he came home to find a lamp shattered or a baseball sized hole in the window, you could probably guess who was doing dishes for a month. Yep, it was me.

As I got older I started to understand the meaning behind the madness. Everything my dad did for me was not to only punish me but to teach me. The two things I learned most from my dad was respect and self-reliance. The words I always hear in my head when I think about my dad are, “Don’t be a victim, don’t rely on anyone other than yourself”. I learned this the hard way in my sophomore year during basketball tryouts. I got cut from the JV basketball team and the shock and disappointment were almost unbearable.

At first, I was bitter about my situation, I hated the coaches, I hated the entire basketball program, and I started to hate the game of basketball. After I got cut my dad really had no sympathy for me. He only told me, ‘getting cut is never fun, but don’t blame other people for this, just come back next year and prove them wrong. Don’t be the victim here, only you can change this next year.’

The following year I didn’t change it, in fact, I didn’t even tryout for the team, in a way I was still bitter and I didn’t want to face the same disappointment that I had faced one year earlier

Senior year I did tryout for the team and I made the Varsity basketball team at my school, and I had did it. I didn’t need anyone’s help, I did this on my own. I earned the spot on the basketball team. I worked hard in the off-season to become the player I was, I relied on myself and had the belief in myself to accomplish my goal, and I thank my father for instilling those beliefs in me ever since I can remember.