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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 words of wisdom about self-confidence.

You’ll find them everywhere: well-intentioned 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 that doesn’t interest you.

Your biggest challenge will be to believe in yourself. Let your talents, skills, and interests lead the way, no matter how much pressure you encounter from other people.

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

When I was younger, I struggled because of some personal stuff, and things felt so 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 to get anyone else to believe in you. Two, never let other people’s inability to see your brilliance stop you from being brilliant. And three, despite life’s obstacles, persevere to create the future you want.

What happens when you prefer a career path that others don’t understand or support? You do get to make your own career choices, but you’re also likely to experience outside pressure. This pressure is real, and it can cause you to doubt yourself.

That doesn’t happen only when you’re a kid. Even after you begin your first jobs as an adult, you can still feel pressure. I know I did.

Early in my career, I was teaching a workshop, when a person in the audience yelled out to me. He told me I had made a good career choice. He also said I had a bright future. This positive feedback came at just the right time, because, while the audience didn’t know it, I was dealing with self-doubt.

Even now, I remind myself that I have a bright future. That’s what I tell myself when I’m experiencing both success and failure. That’s what I tell myself when I’m up against a wall—and after I’ve broken through one.

You have a bright future ahead. Think about this every single day as you begin your career journey. Remind yourself of your talents, skills, and interests. Explore the careers that fascinate you, persevere and have courage—and above all else, believe in yourself.