Sometimes it’s hard to believe in yourself.

Believing in myself is something I have struggled with since…forever. It’s not like I didn’t have the mom who told me “You can be anything!” I just never believed her. In the past, especially as a teenager, I clung onto the negative. I clung onto the words of the people who told me “No” or made me feel silly for asking questions. I did this for a long time, even into college. However, while in high school I was given a tool by my first counselor that would help me eventually overcome this. She told me about how children hear the negative and remember the negative for more than the positive. I’ve thought about this again and again and still think about it today. It reminds me to not cling to those negative words.

As life goes, however, I sometimes still fail at doing so.

Even with my newly discovered self have those days where I doubt myself and hear only the negative things people say. Of course this is normal. As the Tao says, sometimes we’re up and sometimes we’re down, but I’d like to make these days far and few between. In my opinion they still show up too often.

I’m going somewhere with this. Really.

Well I’ve noticed that even with all of my positivity (which is apparently not a word?) I’m still very very bad at self talk. You know, those conversations you have with yourself. For me they usually end up like this: “You’re not good enough. No matter what you do it’s never enough. You’re ugly. You’ll never accomplish any of your goals. What makes you think you can do that?” and it goes on…. Pretty bad…I know. But I’m aware that it’s terrible. Would you ever say this to anyone else? If you would, you’re not a very nice person, but most people wouldn’t. So why say these things about yourself?

I started thinking about it a while back and thought, “Maybe I’ve heard it so much from people that I started to believe it.” That makes sense. It’s does happen, but that’s not why I say these things to myself because nobody has ever said those things to me before. No one but me. So where does it come from? This is something I explored with my last counselor and we came to the conclusion that I’m somewhat a perfectionist and I hate failure. So, here how that works for me. I want to be the best at something but if there is someone better than me instead of working to reach the same level I give up before I can fail. So many time I’ve given up something because of the possibility of failing. That’s the short version of that.

Recently I’ve come upon a new source of confidence. My black belt.

Never in my life have a completed a long term goal. Ever. I’m not kidding. Whether it be related to school, riding, writing or fitness I’ve never reached the long term goals I set for myself. I’ve always wanted a black belt in something (I mean who doesn’t?). It shows your dedication, determination, strength, and discipline in that specific art. Even when I was a brown belt in Kung Fu I still had those thoughts that I would never be a black belt. I told myself I didn’t deserve it and reminded myself I’ve never finished anything that I’ve started. Then I got my black belt.

What do you know…I did it. I finally completed a long term goal.

“How long are you gonna live your life thinking everybody else is better than you?”

-Kimi ni Todoke

It’s not just completing the goal that gave me more confidence. You see, I also compare myself to literally everybody. When I go to the gym to workout I notice the women who are prettier, stronger, and more athletic than I am. I do the same thing when I go to a yoga class. The same thing at school. I especially did this with one of my best friends. I constantly put her on a pedestal. She’s one of the most amazing people I know, I still believe this. I feel like she’s perfect and can do anything. One thing I looked up to is her black belt. How cool! I always thought that. Now I have one too. Not only did obtain a goal (finally!) but I’ve done something that my best friend has done. This doesn’t sound like a deal but it really is. The fact that I’ve accomplished even one thing that she has accomplished makes me feel like I can do anything.

Anyway, I’m writing this on a not so great day. It’s not that my day was bad, it wasn’t, but emotionally, internally, It’s not a very good day. Especially for my self talk. So I’m writing this almost like letter to myself. I’m writing this to remind myself that I’m capable of doing anything. I can achieve my goals and I know this because I’ve done it. I am capable of finally getting the abs I’ve wanted! I can get A’s in all my classes. I can do the splits! (which I actually did for the first time today!)

It’s truly amazing the power of the brain. Believe in yourself and you can accomplish anything. Just remember, having others believe in you is always nice but you must believe in yourself.

I’ll end it with one of my favorite quotes (actually from My Little Pony but it’s perfect):

“No matter how many times others tell you you’re great, all the praise in the world means nothing if you don’t feel it inside. Sometimes to feel good about yourself, you gotta let go of the past. That way, when the time comes to let your greatness fly, you’ll be able to light up the whole sky.”

-Spike