It was an interesting conversation with a good friend of mine that set the foundation for this blog post. He has a firm of his own and doing well in the area he specializes in… Something made me ask him, “What is the biggest challenge for someone who is an entrepreneur?”. Pat came the answer with not even a second’s pause, “Self Belief”..

My next question was, “What happens when the Self Belief comes down?”. Pat came the answer but in careful measured words, “You take a vacation, a sabbatical and then come back. Any business that is started needs at least 3 years to show good results; and you always need to show passion and commitment for what you do”.

His answers set me thinking. I could not help but draw parallels to life in general. His answers seemed as though it was really easy and he perhaps kept rewinding to give me the reply. 

Does one who constantly works to believe in oneself, achieve what they want to achieve, thereby becoming an inspiration to many? 

Does one who believes less in oneself end up sometimes in taking the extreme step of taking one’s life?

A few parallels..

We are learning to cook and we have to also cook for the whole family. What we cook may not turn out well, in many of our attempts. Many times, we try to figure out what went wrong, we talk to a lot of people to understand what needs to be done and still keep trying. The family has a choice of eating outside when they don’t want to taste our food; and we have a choice of saying that we don’t want to cook anymore :-).. Or we continue to cook.. What would make us take the last option?

We learn an instrument / singing and this is more a hobby. We take time to learn either the instrument or to sing well. We have people to tell us where we need to improve; and if we don’t do well, we pull out of the classes; or whoever is paying for our learning has the choice to pull us out of the classes.. or we take the option to continue.. What would make us take the last option?

We take up to a sport. We take time to learn and do well.. When we don’t do well, we have people to tell us where we are going wrong.. If we continue not to do well, we may have the choice to pull out by ourselves; or others who is paying it for us has a choice of not paying any more for our studies and pull us out :-(.. or we take the option to continue playing the sport to see that point of doing well.. What would make us take the last option?

We start a business and it takes time to take off. Some people have invested in our firm and many others have joined our firm as employees. When don’t do well in the business – We have the choice of shutting the business down /  those who have invested in our business have the choice to withdraw their money / people who are working with us have the choice of leaving our business.. or we continue in the business till we see what we want to see.. What would make us take the last option?

‘It takes three years to show good results’ – doesn’t this statement hold good in all spheres of life? The period maybe 1 year, 2 years, 3 years or more, but it certainly takes time to be good at something. 

So why do we want instant results? 

Why are we striving for perfection from the first attempt?

To strive for perfection is fine, but why do we want to get it right from the first attempt? Is it being realistic?

Why are we so keen on putting so much pressure on ourselves?

Do our expectations from ourselves also have an impact on our Self Belief, especially when we don’t meet them a few times?

Not only do we want to see results, others around us also want to see results. Their expectation of the results maybe to just see us succeed but does it add to the pressure? Does this have an impact on our Self Belief?

There are times when we want to see the results because there are a lot of others who have their stakes in our success – Our family, if they are dependent on us.. People who have invested their time and money in us.. People who are working with us, as their success also depends on ours.. Does this also have an impact on our Self Belief?

Statements like ‘I can do it.. You can do it.. You have the talent and skill, just believe in yourself’ are all inspiring statements to make and to hear.. When the Self Belief is really down, do these statements really work?

What is it that makes one literally wear this Self Belief like a cloak all the time and pull themselves up, when it their self belief is down? Is it when one thinks:

I want to achieve something..

I need to achieve something..

I need to make a difference to the way I live and want to live..

I want to prove to myself that I can do it..

I want to prove to others that I can do it.. 

Do these people who wear the Self Belief like a cloak, have had it easy in their life? I am sure like everyone else they would have had their challenges, they would have their downs, they would have had their tough moments.. They however seem to rise like a phoenix and just push themselves to soar higher and higher.. Wonder ‘what’ is it that makes them believe so strongly in themselves, that makes them give themselves more and more to what they do!!

What started off as a meeting after many many years between two good friends, turned out to be an eye opener for me.. Those two words ‘Self Belief’ rings in my ears constantly..