June 25      

Today's quotation:

Life is not easy for any of us.  But what of that?  We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves.  We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.

Marie Curie

Today's Meditation:

I've actually always had a lot of confidence in myself, which has been a mixed blessing.  I say "mixed" because my confidence has helped me a great deal, but it also gets misinterpreted by many people who see it as something akin to arrogance.  Part of my confidence comes from my lack of being a perfectionist.  Since I don't hold myself to unrealistic expectations, I'm very confident that I can achieve almost anything I set out to do.

Part of my ability to be confident comes from realizing that even if the task I undertake doesn't turn out exactly as I expect it to, it will still turn out well, and any problems or mistakes can be dealt with easily.  I don't stress out about whether I'm doing something absolutely perfectly; rather, I do the best I possibly can under any given circumstances, and I know that I'll do well-- perhaps not perfectly, but as well as I possibly can.

I do have gifts, and I do have abilities, and I do my best to improve them constantly; knowing this fact, it's fairly easy for me to believe in myself.  When I set a goal for myself, I set it knowing that as long as I put forth the necessary effort, things will be fine.  I know many people, though, who immediately start questioning their ability to do a particular something, and they cause themselves a great deal of unnecessary and destructive stress that doesn't help them a bit.  They've bought into the idea that their very first effort has to have perfect results, and thus they fear that they won't reach that probably-impossible standard.  And they're more than likely right.

You've been given a unique set of talents and abilities.  Use them, and use them well.  But also know your limits-- I would never undertake an ascent of Mount Everest, for example-- and don't put yourself in situations in which you're forced to focus on your weaknesses.  When you do that, you're bound to lose much of your confidence.  When you do have confidence in yourself, though, you can ask "How am I going to do this?" rather than "Can I do this?"  And that shift in perspective can make all the difference.

Questions to consider:

What are some of the things that damage or diminish our confidence in ourselves and our abilities?

How might we go about developing our belief in ourselves?

What are some of the major benefits of developing a strong belief in ourselves?  Are we more helpful to others if we do so?

For further thought:

It's so important to believe in yourself.  Believe that you can do it, under any circumstances.  Because if you believe you can, then you really will. That belief just keeps you searching for the answers, and then pretty soon you get it.

Wally Amos

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