Inside the assembly hall it was hot and sticky. Sunlight filtered through the windows casting shards of bright yellow across the sweaty brows of the school children. The gentle hum of the ceiling fans did nothing to stop little ears tingle as the piano music flowed across the room. One particular little girl sat in the front row, her eye's closed in adoration of the music, in her mind she could see the fingertips of the teacher fly across the keyboard. That afternoon the little girl went home, dumped her school bag in her bedroom, patted her pet dog on the head, and made her way to the family's piano. Tapping middle c, she squeezed her eyes shut again to really hear the tune she had heard earlier that day. After awhile her left hand started to tap more keys, slowly picking out the tune the teacher had played, until eventually she was playing it effortlessly. A few more minutes passed and her mum came down to listen - "Did the teacher show you how to play that?" "Nope," replied the little girl. "I figured it out myself mum."
That little girl was me, and even with my disability, meaning I only have one hand, I never once thought "I can't play the piano, cause you have to have two hands to do it!" I never once thought this because I was told repeatedly, from the very beginning of my life, that I could do anything I wanted, there were no limitations because of my disability. I grew up surrounded by people who believed in me and therefore I have always believed in myself that I can do anything I put my mind to. Of course I could play the piano, and draw fairies, and write like my fellow students at school, and run, and skip, and throw a ball, and swim, and dress up as an alien, and be in the school play, and school choir, and get good grades, etc, etc, etc.
Do you believe in yourself?
This past week I have had quite a few conversations with people about this very question - self belief - and the seeming lack of it in young people and old alike. BUT, I have another question for you ...
Who do you believe in?
This past week I have also had quite a few conversations that have revolved around the lack of belief in others. Whether you are the one lacking belief in others or are the recipient of this lack, it creates an environment of non-support, disbelief, low trust, friction, and general low levels of success.
Think of the flip side: if you had someone believe in you, imagine the support you would feel to move forward and work towards your dreams; or you believing in someone else and the satisfaction helping someone else brings you, the collaborative and joyful effort it takes to help and see someone you admire achieve their dreams.
I know which side of belief I would rather be a part of ... and the fact is I have been a part of the process when I have had people believe in me and my successes have been greater than even I could imagine, and I have absolutely believed in other's, letting them know that I believe in them and encouraging them to work towards their dreams and goals and wishes.
When you believe in someone else's dream you are in a position to inspire, motivate, push, help, give confidence, and eventually celebrate their successes. When you think about the potential of those around you, how can you not want to inspire and help them achieve their potential - even if the dream or goal may seem impossible to you?
Sometimes it can seem easier and safer to bring that person back down to earth, to say "you can't ever do that, but have you thought about this instead ..." For that person, however, you have chipped away at their confidence and given them doubt about their goal journey - how can you say that that person will or won't achieve their goal? The difference is, even if they don't achieve their goal, if they have believed in themselves, and you have believed in them, the goal is not a loss, it becomes a challenge, and though the end result may not be what the person first envisioned, they are still left with a confidence that they can make stuff happen, and that is the magic of believing.