Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Believe in Yourself

“Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn't have it in the beginning.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

When I was younger, I didn't believe that I had what it took to complete a college degree. I felt that my lack of math and science aptitude would prevent me from doing the one thing I felt would be the biggest accomplishment of my life. And I felt that way for over 25 years! It wasn't that I didn't have a ton of people who believed in me; I just didn't believe in myself. Then, one day, about 2 years after the death of my sister, Barb, and after throwing myself into every hobby and interest I could in order to fill the great chasm left by her loss, I decided to go back to school. Still, I felt inadequate, but perhaps I felt like I had nothing else to lose. I had also gone through a pretty devastating divorce and had lost some pretty important friends. I really had no where to go but up, so I enrolled in a psychology 101 course. I loved it, and earning an A gave me a tiny boost of confidence, so I enrolled in my first math class. It was just the basics (I figured I'd guarantee myself success by starting at the beginning) and I earned an A. So, I enrolled in the next math class, and a science class and so on...earning all As. About two months before graduating from Chandler Gilbert Community College, I received a letter informing me that I was selected to receive the Emerging Math and Science Award! In addition, I was also honored with the title Who's Who in American Junior Colleges. What? Get Out! Seriously!? Seriously. Here I come ASU.

I found myself sitting in an auditorium sized classroom with a Professor who could be my son! In my notebook; I wrote, "We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto." To make a long story short, I graduated from ASU with a 4.05 gpa and a lifetime membership in PSI CHI (Psychology Students Honor Society).

My point here is not to brag about accomplishment; but to encourage you to take the baby steps that will lead you to your greatness. For me, I had to start back at the beginning to build my confidence. For you, it might just mean doing it through your fear. What do you have to lose?

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