When I was nine years old, I played on a basketball team. This was my first time playing a team sport. I was always very shy as a kid, and I was always very afraid of messing up or looking stupid. I had been practicing with my dad on our back alley hoop for years before I joined a real team. I was not a bad shooter when it was just me and my dad, but as soon as I was on the court with other people and spectators, I wanted nothing to do with the ball. I would rather stand back and avoid engaging in the game than assert myself and take a chance. If the ball came near me, I’d pray someone else was close and would snatch it up before it became my responsibility.
I scored four baskets the whole season. But here’s how they happened: each time I scored once in a game, I scored again. In my entire amateur basketball career, I scored two baskets in two games and that was that. When I was given the opportunity and had no choice but to try, no choice but to go for the shot, I built up the confidence to do it again. I would score later in the same game because of the tiny inkling of confidence the first basket instilled in me. This happened twice, all season.
Safe to say my basketball career was short-lived and unfruitful, but it represents a mindset I have held since I was just a little kid. A belief that it is worse to look stupid trying than to try at all. A belief that I wasn’t good enough and shouldn’t even try at all. But every time I had that little flicker of confidence, it grew. Every time I fed the belief that I COULD, I believed it just a little bit more, and I succeeded.
You are what you give power to. Your view of yourself, your abilities, what you’re capable of achieving... Those are entirely made up in your mind. If you’re consistently telling yourself you’re a failure, that you’ll never amount to anything, you’ll prove yourself right. If you instead start telling yourself you’re beyond capable, that failure isn’t the worst thing, that you can be the best version of yourself, then once again, you’ll prove yourself right.
What you give power to has power over you. Don’t feed the limiting beliefs. Don’t willingly hand over your power... “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, and your actions create your reality.” -frickin GHANDI, y’all. Trust Ghandi. And don't forget to trust yourself.