Emily - Malta, Ohio
Entered on January 12, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

If my life was made into a book, the title would read, “Always believe in yourself.” It would also contain a subtitle in fine print stating, “No one will read this book.” It may sound confusing to you but to me it is my life story. My life is dominated by doubt. I doubt every aspect of my life, including the quality of what I am writing right now. But for some reason I continue to write this essay just like I continue to live my life, believing in the unbelievable and having the determination to succeed.

When I was eight years old my mom’s windshield wiper on the driver’s side stopped working in the middle of a rainstorm and she had to lean to the passenger side to see the road. She looked at me and said, “This is why you stay in school and go to college.” At this moment, my determination was born. I wanted nothing more than to make her proud. I became obsessed with school and viewing all of my assignments as my chance to improve my life. As I approached more difficult material, doubt became my new best friend. It was telling me I wasn’t smart enough and separating me from what I could accomplish.

Reaching high school I realized that my doubt had consumed me and caused uncertainty in all other aspects of my life. With high school also came a social microscope. My grades, relationships, class rank, my intelligence, and not to mention my soul became everyone’s business. I lost faith in myself. With so many people telling me I was not smart, I was not pretty, I was not worth anything; I lost myself. I blamed others for too long, ignoring that the fault was mine. People can say whatever they wish, but it is my choice to believe it.

I believe it is important to doubt yourself but you must never believe that something is unattainable. Doubt has made me achieve things beyond my boundaries. I owe my triumphs to my doubting mind because without it I would never question what I am capable of. Without doubt, I would never assemble the determination it takes to conquer it.