The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, was learn to believe in myself. Sounds crazy right? You would think that with all the public success I ‘ve had over the past few months, WGN TV, the Today Show, She Did That Movie documentary and more I would be shouting from the roof tops I MADE IT! That’s what Megyn Kelly said………..The fact is that none of this matters if you don’t believe in yourself. The reality is that it is easier to believe the bad and the negative. The truth is that failure is much easier to accept than success because success is not a one-time event. It must be sustained and that requires substantial effort and a lot of work. It’s a downright scary concept.
Why is it so easy to believe in others, to rejoice in the talents and accomplishments of those that surround you? For example, let’s take my hubby, Stephen A Smith. He is an awesome father, husband and friend. He is the love of my life and a devoted professor at Olive Harvey College. He has been instrumental in sending students from socioeconomically challenged communities to 4-year colleges, graduate and professional schools for the past 9 years. My unwavering belief is that he has a God given calling to help change the life trajectories of disadvantaged kids and place them on the road to success with new beginnings. This is his gift. This is his calling. I believe in him and nothing with ever change that.
Now ask me about belief in myself, ummmmmmmm que the crickets chirping. The emotional struggle is real in this department. I want to believe, I’m trying believe, I do believe 40% of the time, but God help me get to 100%. You see I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, I guess it’s the PHD in me, and here is what I’ve come up with.
Fear and doubt are two distinctly different emotions. In my previous blog post I discussed how to negotiate fear and keep moving forward. I didn’t however account for doubt. Doubt is more of a long-term emotion to tackle and a lot harder to overcome. Doubt feeds off of every negative past experience you have ever had and constantly taps into your personal insecurities and perceived shortcomings. Yes, I said perceived shortcomings because we are our own worst critics.
I believe conquering doubt requires being transparent about the issues or struggles that you are facing. It requires sharing your mistakes and failures along with your triumphs. Being able to understand that I don’t have to have all the answers, I can make mistakes, I don’t have to be perfect. There are many ways to voice your thoughts and feelings. You can share your thoughts in prayer and meditation, phone a friend, or write in your journal. These acts seem so simple, but on the contrary it’s very tough to be vulnerable and accept that having doubt is completely normal. I was always taught to have FAITH and never doubt, but my reality is that I have to manage doubt on a daily basis. I hope that this message encourages someone, somewhere. Be encouraged and keep going. Believe in you.