5 thoughts on “Self-Confidence, Self-Reliance, Self-Esteem, Self-Expression

  1. I believe that hard work pays off. My parents always preach this quote to me by David Bly “Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted”. They have always installed this belief in me since day one. I follow this belief full heartedly that if you give one hundred percent into a given task that you will either eventually succeed or something else good will come of it. My family is the type of do it yourself people who always believe that working towards a goal will lead to success.
    The Leominster Devil Dawgs race team also brings out my strong work ethic. I build, design, and race electric race cars for Electrathon America. Our whole team collaboratively comes up with ideas and concepts for the new car. Both Devin Rogers and I design this in our CAD software AutoDesk Inventor. The next part is to do drawings of all the parts and subassemblies for the fabrication of the car. Dimensioning and tolerancing everything correctly makes for a tedious and hard process. Collectively engineering something takes a lot of effort since we try to incorporate the best of everyone’s ideas to make a great car. Once we get the planning stage done the next step is to start fabricating. The building process takes several months of after school work to ensure that our race car makes the guidelines of Electrathon America and that it performs properly. Our hard work and determination always pays off because once we are done then we can see how well it performs. This is not the end though we try to improve on the minors things that can be tweaked and tuned. Last year the car that we made earned third place in the Electrathon America race at Limerock Connecticut. We also beat the school record with our aluminum car, The Flying Monkey, for the most laps around the race track. None of this could have been done if it wasn’t for our team’s effort.

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    • Shawn, Nice use of quotation as evidence. I absolutely believe in hard work– I remember watching my grandfather in awe as he continued to work up until the month he passed away. Great post. And the car sounds awesome!

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  2. I believe that the key to truly achieving peace is through being the most authentic version of yourself. Having to keep a part of your true self hidden, whether by choice or by force, can get in the way of you feeling all of your possible emotions and can lead to stagnation, stress, or worse. Every day I ask myself if what I’m doing will allow me to completely be myself.

    I grew up in a Catholic household. I was baptized, I received my First Communion, and I received my Confirmation. Though I don’t doubt for a second that plenty of people can find happiness and fulfillment through faith, it just wasn’t for me at all. Something always felt wrong. Once I left the church and took a closer look at myself, I realized that the teachings of the church had caused me to repress some of the most pivotal parts of myself: my bisexuality and my disconnect with stereotypical gender norms. These parts of me had kept themselves hidden for so long because some part of me, way in the back of my brain, knew that something might go wrong if I were to make them public. It lead to me falling down a path of bigotry and closed-mindedness as a fear response, making me believe that these parts of me were wrong and bad. I didn’t get out of this cycle until I started living my life as who I was really meant to be.

    Coming to terms with the parts of myself that I once considered less savory was far from easy. It took years of questioning, denial, and emotional turmoil. But now I have unearthed the things that I kept buried for so long, and I have never felt more free than I do right now. I might still be in the process of making these things known to others (I’m still very far into the closet at home), but simply accepting these parts of myself as my truth and my reality has done wonders for my well-being and my mental health. I might not always be happy, or confident, or strong, but I’m content.

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    • Beautifully written, Emily. I especially like your realization that “Coming to terms with the parts of myself that I once considered less savory was far from easy.” Nice job!

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  3. I believe that individual willpower alone is not enough to overcome complex obstacles. Self reliance is an important tool in modern society, however, sometimes it is insufficient for conquering certain challenges that have been set ahead of you. When I was a child, I had trouble with pronouncing words, whereas the other kids around me were speaking fluent English for their age group. No matter how hard I tried at school, I couldn’t quite seem to enunciate my words as efficiently as the other children around me. I went to a charter school that was quick paced and expected each student to constantly be on top of their game. The school was training children to become self reliant at a young age which had benefits such as learning more efficiently and being more responsible at a young age. Unfortunately, the pace at which they were going superseded the pace at which I could keep up with them. Luckily, my mother was able to find a speech pathologist who would ultimately help me reach the same level of verbal success my classmates around me had achieved. The speech pathologist and I would read books, paint pictures, and walk around, all while talking about the captivating details found within what we were doing. For example, when I drew a picture we would talk about what I drew and then branch off into talking about other topics, enhancing my vocabulary and improving my speaking skills simultaneously. I remember one day my speech pathologist made me recite the phrase, “Teamwork makes the dream work…”, by John Maxwell. This cliche phrase which I learned at a young age perfectly encapsulates my belief, as it can be seen that the bridge between my willpower to communicate and the guidance to my speech pathologist yielded tremendous success, more so than me trying to enunciate words all by myself. All in all, though self reliance is a good virtue to possess in the twenty first century when solving issues, it is always better to collaborate with others in a joint effort to find solutions.

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