Believe in Yourself

Courage and determination will help you on your way.
By Terina Allen
Graphic: a girl posing like a superhero casting a large heroic shadow

You’ll find them everywhere: well-intentioned people who have an opinion about your career path. Some will cheer you on with advice and encouragement as you find your way. Others will try to guide you into a career path that doesn’t interest you.

Your biggest challenge—one of the biggest struggles of your life—will be to believe in yourself. Believe that you have a bright future no matter how much pressure you encounter from family or peers along the way.

A great career starts with you. It starts with your belief in your potential. It starts with assessing your Skills Explorer results and considering your options. 

But the truth is that, even if you believe, sometimes your career goals will seem out of reach. Sometimes, life will get you down. When this happens, grab hold of the people who believe in you and your goals—your support system—and don’t let go.

When I was in the ninth grade, I struggled because of some personal family stuff. Things felt so hard for me that I considered dropping out of school. I had these dreams of becoming a schoolteacher and a business administrator. I knew I needed a college degree, but I had stopped believing in myself. Then someone on the school staff cheered me on.

He told me these three things:

  1. If you don’t believe in yourself, it will be very hard to get anyone else to believe in you.

  2. Never let other people’s inability to see your brilliance stop you from being brilliant.

  3. Despite life’s obstacles, you must persevere to create the future that you want.  

Under Pressure

What happens when you prefer a career path that your friends or family don’t support? 

While it’s true that you get to go your own way and make your own career choices, you’re still likely to experience pressure from family and peers. These pressures are real, and can cause you to doubt yourself. 

That doesn’t happen only when you’re a teenager. Even after you begin your first jobs as an adult, you can still feel heavy 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 that I had made a good career choice. He also said I had a very bright future. This positive feedback came at just the right time. While the audience didn’t know it, I was dealing with self-doubt. That person’s words were music to my ears. 

Even now, I remind myself that I have a very 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 very bright future ahead of you! I want you to 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. Be prepared to demonstrate perseverance and courage as you overcome pressures from people along the way. And I can’t say this enough: Believe in yourself.

Takeaways and Tips

  • Believe in yourself. Believe that you have a bright future.

  • Your career goals and dreams are just as worthy as anyone else’s.

  • Whether you’re having a good day or a bad one, remember that you have what it takes to overcome your challenges. Use your resources and support systems to get help when you need it. Channel your mind, thinking, and behaviors toward achieving your career goals.

  • Demonstrate courage as you speak up for yourself and for your career needs.