The Power of Believing in Yourself

graphic+for+Whitney+Downing+Column

graphic by Leah Jamison

Welcome to the fifth week of Wednesdays with Whit! Today I would like to not only share about the importance of believing in yourself, but how the journey towards believing in myself has changed my life.

There are times, yes, where my beliefs about myself limit me and devalue my potential. However, it is more often than not, now, that the beliefs I have about myself empower me.

I’d like to tell you about an experience that completely changed the way I see myself and propelled me into my journey of self-belief.

In 2017, I reluctantly applied for an advanced leadership program for young adults who have disabilities called Faces of Change. To my surprise (it was a surprise because I didn’t believe in myself), I was quickly accepted! Faces of change was seven months long, and we met during the weekends at a local hotel.

Before being a Faces participant, I barely spoke, I thought I’d never be able to make friends, I was unsure of myself, I hated being autistic, and I did not know my worth. What set my Faces of Change experience apart from other experiences is that participation wasn’t optional, and the adults truly cared.

You see, the Faces staff believed in me before I believed in myself. That, along with my hard work is what made all of the difference in my life.

Here are a few things that I learned while a Faces participant:

  1. It is OK to let my guard down and be my authentic self.
  2. I can do hard things. Ridiculously hard things.
  3. I don’t have to give up. I can keep going, even when challenges arise.
  4. My voice/story matters, and even without talking, I can share it.

Friend, I don’t know about the different challenges you are facing or the barriers that are in your way. I just know that despite it all, believing in ourselves is one of the most important things that we can do in order to reach our goals and grow.

I have a question: is what you are believing about yourself limiting you or empowering you?

I’ll be the first to admit that believing in yourself is not easy.

It’s having confidence in your own abilities, it’s establishing and working toward goals, it’s treating yourself nicely, it’s having hope amidst tough times.

It’s a choice… one of the most powerful choices that you’ll ever make.

If you feel that you do not believe in yourself yet, please know that you are worth it. I know that life can be tough… especially during the trying times that we are in. Be easy on yourself, friend. Take things day by day and reach out for help if you need it.

And hey, I believe in you!