I believe I can

Hillary - Eagle, Idaho
Entered on March 30, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe having confidence in yourself is one of the only things that will get you through life. I feel like such a hypocrite when I say that I truly believe that; believing in me is one of my greatest struggles. Truth is, I have a hard time believing in myself. I’m constantly comparing myself to others. It’s hard not to when you’re competing in sports. Not having good self confidence has a large affect on what I do.

I run the 100/300 meter hurdles in track. It’s extremely stressful because everything is up to you. With track it’s just you, the clock, and your own teammates running against you. There’s no room for any slip ups. I freak out on meet days. I won’t talk to anyone and if anyone, including my friends, talk to me; I unintentionally flip out on them. I can barely eat anything all day, I can’t focus, and I cry before every race. It sounds silly when it’s put on paper, but when it comes down to it, it’s a problem. I let people get inside my head, but what’s worse is I let myself get inside my head. I frequently catch myself thinking, “I’m not good enough or wondering why I’m even trying.” I never want to think those things about myself. It just happens subconsciously.

I’ve seen what happens when people don’t believe in themselves. I know how it feels to get so down on yourself that it affects your performance. You feel your only option is to quit. It’s happened to me. I competed in one meet sophomore year and quit because I couldn’t take the heat. It started with one rough practice after another and a few mental comparisons with the girls. I went from having confidence to wondering why I was even there, thinking that there was no way I could compete with those girls, so I quit. I went back to soccer because that was only thing I felt good at. I convinced myself that I didn’t stand a chance and made a poor decision. I quit after I qualified for the Bandana Invite. I never thought much about that decision until a friend got on my case about it and reminded me how much I loved track. How I was able to win freshman districts hurdles because I knew I was good. I believed in myself.

Although I contradicted myself, I do believe having confidence in yourself is key, By striving to believe that I’ve accepted the fact that I’m not perfect and I’m good enough for the people that matter most, including me. For junior year I’m going into track with my old mentality. I’ve accepted that I don’t need to win to feel good about myself. In the end, its not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you are not. In the words of Winston Churchill “Success isn’t final, failure isn’t fatal, it’s the courage to continue that counts.”