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Believe In Yourself

INNER STRENGTH When things feel hard, be brave. Rely on your strengths, and keep your goals in mind. KLAUS VEDFELT—GETTY IMAGES

Career development expert Terina Allen shares her thoughts on confidence.

You’ll find them everywhere: people with an opinion about your career path. Some will cheer you on as you find your way. Others will try to steer you onto a path you don’t like.

Your biggest challenge will be to believe in yourself. Let your talents and interests lead the way. Be confident in the face of pressure from other people.

Even when you believe in yourself, your goals will sometimes seem out of reach. When that happens, grab hold of people who believe in your goals. They’re your support system. Don’t let go!

I struggled when I was younger. Things felt hard. I had dreams of becoming a teacher and a business administrator. I knew I needed a college degree. But I had stopped believing in myself. Then someone on my school’s staff cheered me on.

He told me three things. One, if you don’t believe in yourself, it will be hard for anyone else to believe in you. Two, never let other people’s inability to see your brilliance stop you from being brilliant. And three, persevere to create the future you want.

What happens when you prefer a career path that others don’t support? You get to make your own career choices. But you’re likely to experience outside pressure. This pressure is real. It can cause you to doubt.

That doesn’t happen only when you’re a kid. Even as an adult, you can feel pressure. I know I do.

Early in my career, I was teaching a workshop. A person in the audience yelled out. He said I had a bright future. This came at just the right time. The audience didn’t know it, but I was dealing with self-doubt.

Now I tell myself I have a bright future. That’s what I say when I’m up against a wall—and after I’ve broken through one.

Your future is bright. Think about this every day as you begin your career journey. Explore careers that fascinate you. Persevere. Have courage. Above all else, believe in yourself.