By: Maria Marin
When I was a fifth-grade student in Puerto Rico, my English teacher urged me to enter the spelling bee. Students would compete spelling out complicated words in English, first on the local level, and then on the national level across the United States. I said, “I can’t do it since I don’t speak much English.” She countered, “You’re not going to speak, you’re going to spell, you just have to believe in yourself!” Confused, I thought, believe in what?
My experience in the field of self-empowerment has shown that the phrase “Believe in yourself” isn’t just hard for a ten-year-old girl to understand, it’s even very difficult for many forty-year-old women to assimilate.
I’ve crossed paths with some women searching for happiness, and when you tell them, “You just have to believe in yourself!” they ask, “Believe in myself-but how?”
Believing in yourself means working on these five things:
1. You believe in your own ability to act. You know you are capable of doing what’s required to reach your goal. For example, if your dream is to open your own business, instead of just talking about your idea for years, you get to work and write down a business plan, study how to manage the business, and set a target date.
2. You believe in your ability to finish what you start. Many people take that first step, but can’t stay on track because they’re unfocused, disorganized or they’re just afraid of taking on the responsibilities that success demands.
3. You believe in your ability to overcome obstacles. When you confront problems (no matter how challenging they are), you believe that somehow you will find the strength and the means to solve them.
4. You believe in your ability to find allies. You understand you don’t have to do it all alone. Asking for help is not a weakness, it’s a sign of intelligence and self-love.
5. You believe you have a valuable talent to offer the world. You are aware that when you put your talents and virtues into practice, you have a positive impact on the lives of others, and bring more happiness to your own life.
My teacher’s message to “believe in yourself” was the secret of my victory in the San Ignacio school spelling bee contest. And those simple words became my most effective tool for making friends, attracting abundance, finding love and achieving what might have seemed impossible in life.