Growing up, I always looked at high-flying professionals, celebrities and those who had made ‘successes’ of their lives and assumed that they had got to where they were through pure talent and hard work.
I believed in the idea of meritocracy in society and assumed that people achieve what they deserve based on their abilities and efforts.
Naïve maybe but this led me to think that achieving the heights of those special few who got to the top of their industries or fields was impossible.
The thought that these people must be so talented to have gone so far meant I felt I could never reach those places. I have talents and I work hard but I doubted myself and tempered my ambitions because I never viewed myself as that special.
However, the older I get the more I realise that a lot of people who are ‘successful’ in their careers aren’t special at all. Many aren’t that talented and a lot don’t even work that hard. Some are just truly incompetent and it’s baffling that they are where they are!
Life isn’t fair and it isn’t always based on skill or work ethic. People go far because of who they know or based on a perception of themselves that they present and not the reality.
The biggest hurdle that they clear that others don’t though is just the sheer fact that they believe in themselves. That alone allows people to push themselves forward even when somebody more talented and better suited to a role may not go for it.
Imagine if we lived in a world where a musician like Lorde or Christine and the Queens didn’t believe in themselves enough to sing publically. What if they looked around and thought that because they are different to a lot of artists they couldn’t succeed?
There must be people out there who are also insanely talented musicians who haven’t got the self-belief to get on stage. Maybe even you? When at the same time, we’ve got someone like DJ Khaled shouting “We the best music!” over songs and making millions. It just proves how far you can go through nothing more than utter self-belief.
I mean we found out yesterday that even Nick Knowles is on over £300,000 a year with the BBC for goodness sake!
So what if you believe in yourself AND you have the talent and hard work to go with it!?
It’s easy to assume that you’re not that special because you see and use the talents that you have everyday. To you they are normal but in reality you have the ability to really make something of your life.
This is what I’ve realised over the last 18 months. I have gained so much self-belief since I accepted myself and my mental health conditions. I can see now that I am talented in so many ways and it’s up to me to make the most of that.
To me success isn’t based on money. My mission in life is to make the world a better place for those who experience mental health conditions.
As my self-belief has grown, I haven’t worried about being different or not being interesting enough to get my message out there. I’m no longer limiting myself in my expectations of what I can achieve.
Everybody has the potential to do something amazing. We all have self-doubt about our own qualities – some people just know how to hide it better.
Although society isn’t a level playing field by any means, we all have the same number of hours in a day and we all owe it to ourselves to have the belief to give it our everything to do what makes us happy.
I look around my network of friends on social media who promote mental health causes and see so much talent. If we can all just hook that talent and hard work up with a bit more self-belief then the sky really is the limit for all of us!
You can’t expect overnight success but every time you put yourself out there you’re taking a little step on a much bigger journey…