I was the loud, crazy, never listening child. “You can lead a horse to the water, but can’t make the horse drink” was something I heard regularly, and I was mad because I thought my teachers were calling me a horse.
I eventually started to believe that my teachers thought I was stupid, and that I couldn’t succeed in school. Thankfully, I still hated following rules and listening to authority. So I decided to prove them wrong.
So, in high school I took all honors classes and pushed myself until I got straight A’s, but something was still missing. Just because I proved I could be smart, didn’t mean I really believed it.
There is a huge difference between someone who is constantly trying to prove themselves, and someone who really believes in themselves.
We see this in the world everyday. Motivational posters and quotes telling us that to, “Prove them all wrong,” or, “The best revenge is to live on and prove yourself.” Some tell us to, “Prove things only to yourself.”
The problem with constantly trying to prove ourselves is that it’s completely exhausting.
I could tell you first hand, but I have a feeling you already know that.
You see, I even served as a missionary for a year. Spent nine months in Chile, constantly pouring out, but constantly pretending I was good enough. I spent another year working at a five-star restaurant, pretending I was sophisticated and classy.
At 20, I got denied to go on the World Race (for good reason), and again, searched another way to prove that I was good enough, healthy enough. I strived day-in and day-out looking for the best methods to prove myself. It found impossible. I couldn’t prove myself, because honestly, I barely knew who “myself” was.
I was always out to prove I was good enough, smart enough, skinny enough, to be whoever I needed to be that day.
It’s only been about a year since I started on a journey of not proving myself, but believing in myself.
I began this journey with writing a book. I took a risk on something I never believed I could do, but taking this chance challenged me to start believing in myself and my story. (Click here to get a sample chapter or sign up on my website.)
The difference is huge. Proving yourself comes from a place of insecurity and fear, but believing comes from knowing who we am, and what we were made to do.
Discover Who You Are
I think this phrase is overused, and I don’t mean you need to “find yourself” in a weird, super-spiritual way. But you need to give yourself permission to really search and discover who you are.
It’s okay to fail, fall flat on your face, and find out how to pick yourself up again, because it’s in the dirt you’ll see yourself clearly.
Discover What You Were Made To Do
This isn’t your identity, it’s about your calling. In order to discover what you were made to do, you need to know what you’re good at. You have gifts, talents, and skills that can change the world. It’s time you own them.
Whether you’re organized, compassionate, hospitable, good with words or numbers, or even crafting puppets, what you were made to do is important, and the world needs it.
Believe You Can Do It
Even knowing who you are and what you can do, isn’t enough. You have to believe in yourself. Take chances on yourself and give yourself grace.
Do me a favor, and don’t just believe in yourself, but believe in someone else too. Nothing will change the world more than a group of people who believe that each other can succeed.
Believe in who you were made to be.