Life has been a series of paradoxes for me; times in my life when I was set for success physically, intellectually and materially, I encountered failure after failure. The setbacks were so traumatic I felt like there was nothing much to look forward to in life and so just let life pass me by. Life became a series of mishaps and turmoil. I couldn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel and then, when the darkness was going to engulf me, I pushed forward, determined to get out. With nothing much on my side except Divine intervention and my own single-mindedness, I found new directions where there had been none. Life took on new meaning and focus. It’s been such an exciting journey of finding my true purpose and worth. I’ve never looked back since overcoming that hopelessness.
So how did this happen? In my darkest moment, at my lowest point, I remembered my mother’s oft-repeated sentence, “You can do anything you will. Nothing can stop you except yourself.” She used to say it so often, I think one day it just registered and blossomed. She believed in me but life only changed when I believed in myself.
Having self-belief is the first step in breaking away from the mold that others have set for you. Only you know what works well for you, so set your own bar and work towards
reaching it. That is the true formula for success and accomplishment. Declare who you are!
So let’s meet Grayson, the Go-Getter Gopher!
Digging burrows was the favorite pastime of the Green family of gophers. They spent as much time as possible digging deep and narrow tunnels where they could comfortably relax during their downtime. Grayson was the youngest member of the Green family, but he always shied away from burrowing. He was always nervous that whenever he did build a tunnel, his siblings would tease him about how shallow and tiny it was. Grayson’s mom noticed her son hiding in the background while the other kids were digging and decided to talk with him.
“Grayson, honey,” she said, “How about joining me and your Papa while we dig our burrows?”
“Aw, Mama, I just don’t know if I have what it takes to be a gopher!” he remarked. “My paws are so tiny and my claws are so short. I can’t possibly dig as impressively as the older kids!”
Mama Green realized that Grayson was comparing his abilities to his siblings’; she offered a word of encouragement, “Grayson, my darling, only you know what’s good enough for yourself. Never mind what anybody else is doing. You have what it takes to dig a burrow that’s perfect for you, regardless of what anybody else says!”
With that word from Mama Green, Grayson felt encouraged, and reminded himself that as long as the burrow was deep and wide enough for his tiny body to fit, it’d be perfect!
He spent the next few hours happily digging away, knowing that he had the ability to make the burrow his own. When he was done, he shouted, “Mama, look! Look at this burrow that I dug all by myself! And it’s just perfect for me!”
Mama Green felt pride in her son’s self-confidence and gave him the tightest hug.
“I knew you could do it, son! All it takes is just a little self-belief!”
You won’t know what you’re capable of until you first believe you can do it.
Grayson’s self-doubt when he compared himself to his siblings prevented him from trying to dig his own burrow. The same is true in life for us. We allow others to set the bar for “the ideal accomplishment.” When we fall short, we lose our self-confidence.
The best way to avoid disappointment is to avoid the standards that others set and focus
on setting your own. Think about what makes you truly happy and start on the journey to achieving that. When you know what you want, you start to believe in your ability to achieve it. The next step is to start walking towards your goal with confidence and resolve.
Pause to reflect:
- Do you know your strengths and set goals to make the best use of them?
- What makes you doubt your abilities?
- Do you know what makes you truly happy?