The other day, my NCT girls, who I have known for eight years, gave me a present for my 40th birthday. It was a beautiful framed print. ‘She believed she could. So she did.‘ A phrase that many of us will be familiar with. It’s meant as much to me as anything could, at this stage in my life. Because it’s how I’ve slowly started to live in the past year and how I intend to approach the next 10. That said, whilst self-belief is something we can (and should) have more of, the belief in you from others, alongside your own self-belief, cannot be underestimated. Having friends and family by your side, and all the love they encompass, makes your ability to ‘believe’ in yourself a real possibility.
Keeping the magic.
When we are really small, the concept of believing largely relies on magic.
In Father Christmas. In (unreliable, often gin-soaked) Tooth Fairies. In the Easter Bunny (who often eats all the chocolate several times before Easter Sunday actually arrives).
In fact, from the moment we are born, ‘believing’ is instinctive. Like breathing. We don’t question it. Then, somewhere along the line, we discover ‘the truth.’ Father Christmas doesn’t exist. Our parents were the Tooth Fairy (when they remembered). And the Easter Bunny was a big, giant fraud too.
Suddenly, that magic is gone. And often, in the process, our natural instinct to believe.
As we grow, we are told, continually, to believe in ourselves. It’s certainly a buzz phrase, these days. BELIEVE.
Yet, at this point, most of us don’t even know ourselves. We don’t know who we are, what we value, what we desire. ‘Believe in yourself‘ can feel like empty words.
They don’t make a difference to the bills that need paying, the relationship that isn’t working or the job that isn’t progressing as we’d hoped.
Or do they?
Doubt or Believe.
Then. One day. The s*** hits the fan. Maybe, we lose someone we loved. Our job. Our home. Our relationship. Our security. And we are as naked as the day we were born.
We’re presented with a choice. Sink or swim. Doubt or believe.
Suddenly, there is no fear in daring to believe. We are at our most vulnerable. What can be worse than this? And, what if, just what if, there is something to believe in, after all?
What if WE are the thing we were supposed to believe in, all along.
ME. YOU. US. EACH OTHER.
On good days and bad.
If you’re lucky, you might reach this point, without something huge happening to you. But I doubt it’s the case for most.
I can’t describe the exact moment it happened to me. It happened very gradually after my separation. An evening doing a mood board with two good friends about how we wanted our lives to look (a mood board, which has already manifested several, pretty amazing things). Another friend, unintentionally, taking me under her wing and showing me what can happen when you just choose to believe.
And that is pretty much how I live now. Every, single day. I choose to believe. ALWAYS. In everything around me. In myself. In the love extended to me so generously by friends and family. Even when things feel rubbish (which they still occasionally do, of course). I have decided that I can just trust in ALL of it. In the Universe.
That thing that is SO much bigger than me.
The power of human connection.
But. I am no fool. I know how I am here. And it is not down to me, alone.
I look at the people around me now and I know they are a big part of it. That it is down to the brilliant friends, real and virtual, who said, ‘It’s going to be ok. You’re going to figure this s*** out. Good things are coming. We believe in you. And we have your back.’ The brilliant friends that made me believe I could dare to believe in myself.
And my 40th birthday has humbled me, way beyond the celebrations and champagne. The love and thoughtfulness from others has been unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. On Monday, a beautiful friend left balloons attached to my letterbox with a card, ‘In case you’re feeling flat after your many days of celebrating, I love you.’
So, yes. ‘She believed she could. So she did.‘ But, that’s not the whole story. We can totally believe in ourselves. And we absolutely should. But we must also believe in one another. Connect with one another. And radiate that positivity and faith that we all have within us, even if we haven’t seen it for a while.
Because, what greater gift can you give someone else than helping them believe that they can dare to believe in themselves?
(From experience, I can tell you. There is none.)
All the love to each of you wonderful human beings.