When you doubt yourself, you defeat yourself.
When you believe in yourself, you win.
As I sat there humped over my dinner, I could not stop the tears from rolling down my face. I had my heart set on a basketball scholarship. But it seemed like a faint wish at this point that would not come true. I had injured my knee a few months before and the recovery was going slowly. I had just returned home from basketball practice wherein my coach told me how disappointed he was in me and my performance. I had very little confidence in myself and I could understand my coach’s frustration. I was a team leader and my injury was hurting the team. I was not performing up to my previous ability. I sat there at a crossroads and contemplated quitting. I knew quitting would not show leadership, but I didn’t want just to sit on the bench.
As I sat there trying to eat what my mom had kept warm for hours, I opened up the newspaper. Every other Thursday the area newspaper would show the statistics of all the top area players – points averaged per game, rebounds, and all the other good stuff. After the start of the season, I was at the bottom in almost every category and non-existent on the rebound list. It was embarrassing. I was a big man averaging less than six rebounds a game. According to my position and stature, it was my role on the team to get rebounds, but I was not living up to that expectation.
I was dead last in the rankings, and instead of wallowing one more minute in my situation, I made up my mind right there that I was going to turn it all around.
My goal was to go to the top. It was an outrageous goal, because I was in the company of some incredible players. I knew it would be a tough race and a long shot, but I was at the bottom with only one place to go: up. I had nothing to lose by aiming and shooting for the top. So I set my heart and my mind to it and away I went…
For weeks, rebounding was all I could think about. I would see my name being listed as number one on the statistics sheet for area rebounds. I would visualize myself going after every rebound.
My performance turned around dramatically.
My body was following the path in which my mind believed.
My teammates and coach could not believe the turnaround.
I still had some odds set against me. I was rehabilitating an injured knee. I wore an Omni brace, which is a huge leg brace that keeps your knee stable, preventing a blow-out. While it protected my knee, it added weight and took time to get used to.
When game time came, I was a maniac. I was almost crazy out there. It wasn’t long before I found myself moving toward that picture in my mind. I was getting 10 rebounds a game, then 15, then 18, and then 22. If that ball came off the rim, I knew it was mine! My hands became glue. In fact, one of my teammates picked up on what I was doing and he started going after rebounds like crazy. He went from averaging 4.5 rebounds to getting 9, 12, and sometimes 15 rebounds a game. My drive and determination raised the level of my teammates’ play as well. As I write this, I have goose bumps because it was so incredible!
Weeks passed into the season and I wasn’t sure where I stood in the ratings. I saw my name on the bottom of the list, and in the middle, but didn’t stop believing in reaching the top. The final Thursday in which I would see the year-end standings came. I was nervous on the car ride home from practice. I want to point out that I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing and believing in, not even my family.
My goal was strictly personal.
As I walked in the front door, I could see the paper sitting on the counter next to my dinner. I felt like Charlie in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when he opened up the chocolate bar to win the golden ticket. I ate a few bites of my dinner and slowly opened the paper to the standings page. I glanced really quickly and didn’t even see my name on the list. My heart skipped a beat and I thought, this can’t be right. I have been averaging so many rebounds. I took a deep breath and looked again, and then I realized why I didn’t see my name at first. I was looking at the bottom of the list, to make sure I wasn’t there, and the middle, because that’s where I had been most recently. But, when I looked at the very top to see just who was at the number one spot (the #1 rebounder), it read these words: SAM GLENN.
I put the paper down on the counter and started to cry because I had reached my goal. It took so much hard work and determination, but in that moment I tasted what true victory in reaching my goals was all about. I honestly wasn’t sure if I could do it or not, but I tried and gave it my very best. I set my heart and mind to it, envisioning and acting upon it, and it happened – even more perfectly than I could ever have imagined.
Building confidence in yourself is a daily process.
Step by step, you can rebuild, or build from scratch on the confidence you have.
The change in my attitude was my decision to define what I wanted, and then start believing in myself and my ability to achieve my objective. It is true – you really can achieve greatness when your heart and mind are fully in it. Tapping your potential starts with believing in yourself.
When you doubt yourself, you defeat yourself.
When you believe in yourself, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Believing in yourself should not be an ego thing, but rather a confidence thing. It means knowing you have what it takes to achieve, move forward and attract what you desire into your life. If you battle feeling insecure, or have failed in the past and are experiencing a sense of fear, you need to refer back to the principle, “Get Over It and Get On with It.”
It’s okay to believe in yourself. It’s good to believe in yourself. And yes, some people may say cruel and disrespectful things to you and try to keep you down, but you don’t have to listen to them. You get to choose what to accept.
When you realize who you are, and the greatness and potential you possess, the same truth will apply. Someone will almost always put you down and try to keep you from the prize, but knowing the truth frees you from the lies and even prevents you from considering the negative comments of others.