Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Self Belief

"Circumstances don't define you; where you are is not who you are." - mother of Ursula Burns, Xerox CEO

I suffer from a lack of Self Belief.

I'm not really sure where this originates from. It's not as if I did not have incredibly supportive parents that supported my various activities growing up (some of which worked well, some of which were somewhat less than successful) and it's not as if I have not had my share of success moving through life. But fundamentally, down deep, I lack belief in myself.

Self belief, in case you were wondering, is not the same as self love. I abhor the concept of self love based on the fact that I know all too well the sin and failures that dwell in my life. To love that is which is unlovable is to enable that which should not be enabled. But belief in self is not the same as self love; it's the concept that one is competent, one is capable. Simply put, I can.

This is something that while we can gather from others, we cannot maintain with others. Without self belief, all the propping up our friends and loved ones do will come to naught and we will find ourselves again at the same level we have always been. We'll be surprised, of course, and wonder why this or that didn't work, then bewail a cruel universe that destines us to this place.

Self belief is not deterred by circumstances. It neither is added to when others support us, nor is it subtracted from when no-one believes but ourselves. It presses on towards whatever the goal that has been set for it, confident that it will make it there.

Self belief does not look for handouts. It does not look to what others can do for it or what others owe it; it accepts the fact that while individuals can assist, ultimately the person is responsible for the success or failure in their lives. It has learned that the greatest achievement comes from that which is achieved, not simply "feeling good" about who the person is.

It believes that far more things are possible than what we think. We are not omniscient and are are not God to be sure; but we are far more capable of doing great things than what we allow ourselves to believe.

As I learned this morning, the CEO of Xerox, Ursula Burns, started as an executive assistant and worked her way up. The circumstances of her origin did not determine the eventual point to which she arrived. It is evident that she believed she was capable of far more than what she was doing - and she took action to make that self belief reality.

If you really believed in yourself and your God-given skills and talents, what are you capable of?

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