If you don't believe you can make a difference, then guess what? You won't. No matter how talented you are, how many opportunities you get, or how many resources you have at your fingertips. That's one of the things I had going for me, because my parents believed in me and loved me unconditionally, I was able to believe big. In case you didn't have that privilege, I'm here to tell you I believe in you, and here's how you can begin to believe big too.
1. Believe in yourself. We all talk to ourself in our minds, and we have an ongoing dialogue. This internal voice encouraged me when no one else did. It strengthened me when I had no other resources. Does your self-belief always have positive results? No! But I experience more positive results because of my self-belief than I would have if I was filled with doubt. Your belief drives your behavior. You will never be more than how you see yourself. In the words of Steve Jobs, "the ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do." I've met tons of successful people who others didn't believe in. But I have never met a successful person who didn't believe in themselves.
2. Believe in your mission. Our life's mission can't be borrowed from someone else. It must be our own. Borrowed beliefs have no power. And a borrowed mission instills no conviction or passion fro making a difference. So how do you discover your mission? By taking small steps. We make the common mistake of thinking we can discover new concepts, ideas, or experiences without moving. Without taking action. But you don't make discoveries plopped on your couch; you make your greatest discoveries while you're in motion. You're supposed to leave footprints in the sands of time. . . but most people leave butt-prints. You need to get moving. You need to experience new things. You can't analyze what you don't know. But the moment you discover something know, your thinking goes to a deeper level.
Note: I'm not sure everyone has a mission; I'm not even sure everyone has a dream. I used to think everyone did, but now I'm not so sure. What I do know is, even people who don't have a dream can connect with someone who does. I believe that's what makes a great cause great. People identify with this goal, and want to be a part of it. Just because you're not leading a mission doesn't mean you don't have a purpose. You can buy into someone else's mission, make it your own, and still make a difference.
3. Believe in others. You can't do anything for others if you don't care for them. When you work with a person who truly believes in you, don't you respond to them based on their level of belief in you? Don't you perform better for a boss you want to please, or a coach who inspires you, or a teacher who encourages you? Demonstrate your belief in others, and they will rise to the occasion.
4. Believe in God. I don't want to force my faith on anyone or offend you. So if my talk about faith makes you uncomfortable, you can skip over this piece. But I can't be true to myself or share my whole story if I don't tell you how I feel about God. My goal is to do my best. But it's God who takes my best, as flawed as it is, and makes it even better. I always believed God will be there for me and help me. My belief in myself grows out of my faith in God. Jeremiah 29:11 gave me confidence to act. And faith permeates every aspect of my life. And according to Ephesians 3:20, God helps us do better than our best.
You've just got to find something that stirs you. Even if it's not a mission that started within yourself. You don't need the whole picture in the beginning. Act on your feelings of compassion, and go with your desire to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
Believe in things that move you forward.