Our belief is a big thing. Our belief is the only thing that keeps us going. When a person believes in himself and the things around him, he can acquire anything he wants. However, a person who doubts and analyzes every situation without trusting the process will never achieve his or her goals.
Your belief which is quite often ignored has the power to change the world. It has the power to change your destiny. As Dalai Lama quotes,
“ With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.”
Now, you must be wondering who I am to talk about self-belief or what brings me here to tell you why you need to believe in yourself. Well, I was one of you unless I started trusting myself.
When I got married and had kids, I believed it was my life now. I was a housewife back then, and I thought I’m doing what I’m best at doing.
Not that I regret being a homemaker and looking after my daughters, but somehow my potential was being underutilized.
However, my husband had an untimely demise, and everyone was in great shock. Our business was not doing very well, we were bankrupt with loads of loans on our head. While everyone in my family was wondering who should take over the business, many names were considered.
But, no one considered me strong enough to be an entrepreneur. When everyone was baffled and worried, I offered to take over our family business. Everyone was stunned and stared at me as if I said something wrong.
People started lashing saying it is a male-dominated business, you’ll find it very difficult to survive. They often said you’ve been a housewife with zero knowledge of business, you won’t be able to handle it.
Neither my family nor my husband’s family showed any sign of trust in me. However, I didn’t let my self-belief go down. Even when no one was ready to believe in my potential, I knew I believed in myself, and I knew that’s all that matters.
Even when I had no knowledge of business or exposure to the industry, I never let the thought of giving up come to my mind.
Well, I won’t deny it was extremely difficult. The path I had chosen was not easy, and I knew it wouldn’t even get easy with time. All I had was grit and determination that kept me going. Because not many people had confidence in my service, I had to prove them wrong.
I worked day and night to understand business. I went on international tours, attended meetings, created initiatives, and brought my business back on track.
Today, not only has my business overcome all court cases and loans but is flourishing each day. Now, I look back and think, “ Ritu, what if you didn’t raise your voice back then?”
Our confidence in our body, mind, and spirit allows us to keep going forward in life. Our belief is a strong emotion. What we believe, we train our minds to follow it.
It reminds me of a short story about elephants. Once a man visited a zoo to do photography. While he was roaming around and enjoying, he came across the elephant camp. What he saw surprised him!
He spotted that the elephants were not kept in cages or held by chains. As he was assuming them to be free, he suddenly saw a tiny rope tied to one of their legs. He was amazed to see how a tiny rope was holding them back from escaping.
He sat in surprise and thought to himself, why the elephants didn’t just break the rope and run. They were huge, and the rope was nothing in front of them. They could use their strength, but they weren’t even trying. He started looking for the zookeeper to know the logic behind this.
He asked a nearby trainer why the elephants were standing and not trying to escape. The zookeeper said, “ When these elephants were very young and small in size, we tied their legs with the same size rope. At that age, it was enough to hold them back as they did not have the strength to break it.
As the elephants grew up, they stopped trying and were conditioned to believe that they cannot break away from the rope. They still believe they cannot break the rope and so, they do not even try to set themselves free.
Now you see, the only reason why elephants could never set themselves free overtime was just the belief that it wasn’t possible.
The same goes for humans! People put in efforts for a short time, see no results coming, and give up on trying thinking it isn’t possible. We need to learn that no matter how much the world tries to hold us back, we should never give up.
Nothing is impossible! You need to believe in your mind that you can achieve anything. Believing you can succeed is the first step towards actually achieving something. When you achieve something in your mind, you achieve it in real life.
Most of us saw a magnificent change in our belief system during COVID. To be precise, if someone would have told us something like this would happen in the future, we could not have believed it.
Our belief systems were shaken when everything came to a halt. In that situation, right before a year, we had to make a choice.
To either give in, the situation and wait for everything to come to normal, or to utilize most of this time that the universe has given us. Of course, I chose the latter. The Covid phase made me believe in myself and my potential. I created a belief system that anything can be achieved. I remained very open-minded and did not give in to the negativity around the world. I started inspiring people that anything can be created, and it brought me so much happiness to see them changing.
I always say, “Ordinary people can do great things, only if they believe in themselves. I started doing virtual sessions to motivate people and inspire them to achieve their goals by believing in themselves.
There are many examples of how people created records and achieved many things by just believing in themselves.
One such example is Roger Bannister, a British athlete. Bannister was a full-time student and had his main focus on studies. He would use little help from coaches and would prepare himself to race. Many people criticized him for his ‘lone wolf’ attitude and urged him to adopt a proper regimen of training.
However, he believed in his potential. There was a strong convention back then that no one could run one mile in four minutes. It had been carried for ages, and all the athletes started to believe in the same. No one even tried to break the barrier except Bannister.
Roger Bannister decided to break the four-minute barrier that stood for decades. After many failed attempts and continuous hard work, he was ready to create history. On 6 May 1964, he finished the mile-long race in less than four minutes. History was created and it became the biggest achievement of that time. However, what followed was even more amazing. Then, just a year later, three runners broke the four-minute barrier in a single race. In the last half-century, more than a thousand runners overcame the barrier that was once believed unattainable.
So, what did actually change? What changed was the mental model. The past runners had a mindset that they could not surpass the four-minute mile. But, when Bannister broke the limit, they saw that they could also do something they found impossible before.
Belief is the ability that helps you find something even in a dark room. When we look around today, we can see how social media is impacting our lives.
Since you’re all young, you must be using Instagram and Snapchat. Now, every day I find a new ongoing challenge on the platform. People challenge one another, they complete the challenge and further challenge more people, and the circle goes on.
Have you heard about the 100th monkey theory? Well, for those of you who haven’t, it is the idea that once a good number of people copy behavior or follow an idea one after the other, it is captured by the mass automatically.
A long time ago, when only monkeys existed on the earth, this phenomenon came into existence. The monkeys who used to live near the beach would often feed on sweet potatoes. Now, they would simply take out the potato from sand and start eating it.
However, one day a monkey took her sweet potato near the water. She realized how sand and grit can be removed from the potato by soaking in water. Soon, her friends and family started adopting the same method. The older generations started learning from the younger generation.
All the monkeys of that island now followed the same method. To some surprise, even the monkeys of other islands adopted the same method. It is how the 100th monkey effect was generated.
You must be wondering why I brought this theory between our discussion. Well, because social media works on the 100th monkey effect. We are stuck on social media and spend most of our day on our phones.
Not everything that you consume on social media is good for you. When you see people doing great in their lives, you often lose confidence. It is quite natural to doubt your existence when you see people around you settling in life while you’re still confused.
Social media is directly impacting our belief system. We solely believe what we see, which is not even true in most cases. Social media has set a different standard of beauty, fashion, luxuries, lifestyle, and whatnot. When we compare ourselves with social media models, we lose belief in our personality, body, and mindset.
We somehow forget that our belief is all that matters and nothing else. When you look back in history, people believed in themselves and their caliber.
Have you watched the movie, 3 idiots? Well, obviously who hasn’t watched the masterpiece. When you were watching the movie, what did you make out of the three main characters?
There was Raju Rastogi who didn’t believe in himself and would indulge himself in all forms of superstitions. He would also pray all night because he didn’t believe in himself. Then, there was Farhan, who did not know what path to choose. He would not take a stand for himself and would stay confused.
Then the leading actor, Rancho aka Aamir Khan. Always calm, composed, and confident. He would never do anything extra because he believed in himself. He would believe in his knowledge and abilities.
Now, you tell, who out of the three characters was the most successful?
Do you see how a person’s belief system can change his destiny?
There are many books that you can read to learn more about self-belief. I personally recommend- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and Ikigai by Francesc Miralles and Hector Garcia.
Rosa Parks was one such name in history who brought revolutionary change because she did not give up on her belief system. On a cold evening of 1 December 1955, Rosa boarded a city bus to return home after a long day of work.
She took a seat in the middle of the bus, just behind the ‘white’ section. In those days, buses were divided between blacks and whites. At the next stop, more passengers boarded the bus, and there was no seat to sit. When every ‘white’ section seat was filled, the driver ordered the black passengers to stand and let the white people sit.
However, Parks did not agree to it as she did not believe in discrimination. She was immediately arrested and convicted of violating laws. Not only this, she challenged the legality of segregation knowing the risks it will bring. It was Rosa’s act of bravery that led to the Civil Rights Movement.
In this way, a single woman’s belief in herself brought long-term changes to her country and her people.
Now, what most people wonder and ask me is how to believe in themselves when everyone around them changes their decision at every step. It is commonly said in Hindi, “ Jitne muh utni baat.” It means the more people you surround yourself with, the more opinions you’ll get.
You see, people will always try to stop you from achieving your desired goals. It is up to us how we choose to react.
Once there was a deaf frog who was really obsessed with climbing trees. Since he was very young, he believed he could not do it. One day, his bursting enthusiasm took over his fear. He decided to climb the tree.
He immediately went to the jungle to fulfill his dream. As he was on his way, other frogs started following him. They followed him because they were concerned he might hurt himself. So, they decided to stop him. When they reached there, the frog had already started climbing.
When they saw him climbing, they started shouting and warning him to come down. They started jumping to gain his attention. However, the frog was deaf, and when he saw others jumping, he thought they were encouraging him. He thought they were cheering for him, and he started climbing even faster.
Soon, he reached the top of the tree. The other frogs were now ashamed of how negative they thought of their friend. But, the frog being deaf, did not bother to change his confidence and self-belief.
It is exactly how we should be in life. People around you will always stop you or warn you for every step. They can either be concerned about you or just jealous of your success. But, always remember, ‘Your belief is what matters.’
“ Self-belief is not self-centered. We can only fight effectively for others if we already believe in ourselves.”