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The power of belief

It's great to have cheerleaders, people who believe in your ability to succeed.

Feb 17, 2016

I wrote a Facebook post awhile back that got people talking. After I posted it I got messages from people thanking me because it was something that they really needed to hear. My cousin even used it as pump up speech before a job interview. The post was about the power of believing in yourself and others. I want to share an excerpt with you:

Today I was talking about the power that believing in someone has. It’s such a simple thing that can make such an impact. Knowing that someone believes in you gives you the inspiration, the motivation, and the drive to achieve great things; and believing in yourself opens up a world of possibilities and opportunities.

Belief is where passion comes from; it’s where love comes from. Belief gives meaning and purpose and direction. I had someone who believed in me—actually many people who believed in me—and eventually I started to believe in myself. I realized the power that one person has to inspire others to be the best versions of themselves.

Remember that someone, somewhere believes in you—even if you don't know it. 

Why believing in others is important to me

What got me thinking about this topic was a conversation I had while working for World Vision, trying to get people to sponsor children in Africa. This guy asked me why I choose to be a sponsor. My answer was simply that sponsoring was about more than the money for me. It was about the power of belief. These kids are growing up in less than ideal conditions and their families are struggling. There is real power behind having someone that cares enough to believe in you and your community.

It’s not about sending them money or stuff, it’s about connecting with a kid and their family and letting them know that you are there and that you believe in them. It’s about believing that they deserve the opportunity to learn, to go to school, to get a microloan to start a business, and ultimately to become self-sufficient.

Who believes in you?

Think of a time someone believed in you. There were a few people in my life who kept me going when I wanted to quit, who pushed me to be better, who believed in my capabilities even when I didn’t. We can all relate to this. I told that guy that is what I felt I was doing by sponsoring these kids and their family. He ended up sponsoring a kid from West Africa.

Sometimes, when I'm not feeling sure of myself, I like to remind myself of all the people who have believed in me in the past and helped me get to where I am today.

There was a time when I thought I had to quit playing roller derby because I couldn’t afford dues. My friend and teammate Sara saw my potential and wouldn’t let me quit. She paid $300 of my dues just so that I could keep skating. Because of Sara I was able to keep playing. I got better, and within the first two years of my derby life I played for the number 4 ranked team in Canada (the Red Deer Belladonnas), made Team Alberta, and tried out for Team Canada. Sara never asked for anything in return other than that if I had the opportunity to help someone the way she helped me at some point in my life I would do so.

Remembering Mrs. B

Another important person in my life who taught me about the power of believing in others was my junior high teacher, Mrs. B. She was always there for me, and she was the first person outside of my family that I really admired. 

Mrs. B inspired me—I considered her a mentor. She was actually the one who encouraged me to get my business degree. She told me “no matter what you do or where you go it will always be relevant and useful.” She also taught me that you don’t have to justify the things that make you happy.

Mrs. B passed away in October, 2013 and I commemorated her by getting a tattoo. Her thing was “S.H.M.I.L.Y.” or “See how much I love you,” symbolized by a happy face :) She had a smiley face tattoo, and now I have one on my right hand as a reminder of the huge impact she had on my life.

My tattoo reminds me to inspire and be inspired. It reminds me to always keep pushing, because even at your best you can be better, you are never done, you never stop learning. It reminds me to be the best version of myself and the best person that I know how to be.

Shannon

Business
Red Deer College

Don’t go to school because people tell you to. Go to school to reinvent yourself and become who you want to be.

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