|With enough belief in|
yourself, you'll overcome
The world needs your gifts, your talents, your passion, and your beliefs.
By the world, I mean the people of the world, the animals and plants of the world, and/or the planet itself, depending on the talents and passions you have been gifted with and developed.
But before you can act on your gifts and your passions, you have to believe in yourself. In an age where you see shows constantly depicting less than skilled hopefuls booted off one stage or another in public humiliation, it is easier to believe action just isn't worth the risk and take those televised embarrassments to heart ... but they only tell part of the story, really only a moment in the story.
You will act and fail, repeatedly. That's how we learn what we do in this imperfect world. We don't get things right the first time. Just keep trying. Think of the toddlers you've seen. They get up on wobbly legs, take a step or two, holding on to some piece of furniture, and then fall down. But they don't stay down. They get up and try again, and again, and again, until eventually they walk across the room like a drunken sailor into the loving arms of a happy parent or grandparent or caregiver with beaming smiles on their faces. Not long after that they are running with amazing speed on those little legs (and man can they corner with that low center of gravity ... and how exactly do they accelerate like that???).
To help you believe in yourself, keep that toddler in mind. To put those skills of yours to work, you have to crawl, toddle, and walk like a drunken sailor before you can run and eventually fly.
You have gifts, talents, and passions for a reason. You have a big brain and opposable thumbs for a reason. You have the gift of speech for a reason. That reason, I believe, is to help you leave this world a little better place when you exit the stage than when you entered it. I'm not talking giant, earth-shattering, history making ways. I did say "a little better." That may mean that you were a blessing to those around you and helped a few people on this difficult journey of life. It may mean you wrote a pivotal article that changed the direction of someone's life or a song that kept someone from pulling the trigger in despair. It may mean a whole lot of things.
But it all starts with belief in yourself. That belief allows you to act.
When you start to act, take it slow, do little things and be open to the now possibilities that will arise from those little things. Be willing to explore, be willing to find out what others in that field of endeavor have done before you (no sense in recreating the wheel) and what is currently being done, so that you can add creatively to that field yourself. Do not be shy about standing on the shoulders of the giants that have gone before you (and giving them their due as you do).
Also, in this world of the adversarial talk show, the aggressive and angry news opinion show, and the furious radio call in fest, be kind, be gentle, but be confident. Speak of the issue that inspires you with passion, but never stoop to the low tactics of meanness and name calling that pass as a poor substitute for dialogue today. Be brave enough to listen to and consider those who have a different point of view than yours. Be willing to learn from everyone, to admit when you are wrong (remember how often the toddler stumbles and falls), and to take the risks required to do what you intend to do well.
As one TED Talk speaker stated, be willing to do the things that scare you. That way you'll stretch and grow (do them safely, but be willing to take the risks whether they are physical, mental, or emotional).
Start with that belief in yourself. Believe that you really do have something to offer. Discover your talents by discovering those things that give you the greatest joy when you work at them. Trust and follow your passions (when you're looking for places to help, follow your gut, respond to the injustices that make you the maddest and do something about them). Who knows where you'll end up? Who knows what friends you'll make along the way, what organizations you'll join and influences, what lives you will brighten or may save, who else you will inspire to help as well, or what creatures you may save from extinction. There's no telling where you'll end up once you start the journey?*
To start, you have to believe in yourself enough to take that first, wobbly toddler step.
Imagine if all of the 7 billion plus of us (see http://www.census.gov/popclock/ for the current count) had enough faith in our talents to work to make this world a better place. Imagine what we would accomplish. It starts with you. It starts small. It grows.
*Personal note: this blog helps me on my journey. Here I practice speaking out on the issues that mean a lot to me. It didn't start that way, believe me. the first purpose for this blog failed miserably. This second purpose grew out of the first. Now, blogging allows me to practice speaking up about injustices that anger me, to practice speaking out about the faith I hold dear, and more. It allows me to discover that speaking out won't get you swatted down like a fly or voted instantly off the island. So, now I blog first thing in the morning for 30 minutes and no more. That discipline is helping me develop those talents and strengthen that belief in myself and what I have to offer. I never expected it to serve that purpose ... but you never know where believing in yourself and acting will take you. Good luck and God bless you on your journey.