Beliefs have a major effect on today's society. Our life seems almost entirely based on institutions and beliefs like marriage, religion, and fate. With nearly the entire world taking part in some sort of belief system, how is it that an intelligent young woman like me believes in absolutely nothing?
I cannot believe in gods, heaven, ghosts, destiny, magic, or any other non-tangible concept – not because I do not want to, but simply because my mind cannot fathom it. To me, facts are critical. Yet, I would never say that those who choose to believe in faith-based concepts are wrong; rather, they simply do not think like me and are able to maintain faith without proof to back it up. In a way I envy them. I wish for one minute I could believe in something spectacular and paranormal.
As humans, we are constantly changing. Who we were two seconds ago is not who we will be two seconds from now. Every situation, every word, every thought, and every blink changes who we are. This is the part of humanity I find the most fascinating: we are always developing, always growing, always evolving.
As a result of this amazing phenomenon, I cannot, and will not, make a long-term commitment such as marriage. In my eyes, these commitments are fundamentally immoral. Simone de Beauvoir once said, “The horror of the definite choice is that we commit not only the self of today but also that of tomorrow.” By giving yourself over to marriage, you are compromising and throwing away yourself as an individual. How can you promise yourself to someone when you have no idea who you will be in five years? You have no idea what you will want or what the other person will want. The only way you are going to last “'til death do us part” is if one of you completely stifles your personal growth.
Hence, the only relationships that last forever, besides those very rare lucky ones, are ones in which one person stops developing him or herself, and instead follows the direction of the other. One remains a flower, while the other turns to gardening their partner. This is no way to live. We each need to be a flower; we each need to develop ourselves to our full potential and grow in whatever direction we want. We cannot prioritize another over ourselves, for if we do, we will soon become their gardener, rather than our own being. I long to be my own individual, so the only commitment I will ever make is to myself. I promise to never compromise my growth and independence. I am committed to myself and my development.
People always tell me, “You have to believe in something. Everyone believes in something.” My response is: “I believe in myself.” Although that may not be considered a “belief” per se, it does require faith, understanding, devotion, and everything else your religions and marriages have. Every single day I whisper to myself, “Self reliance, self reliance, self reliance,” usually multiple times a day. Or even, “Ne te quaesiveris extra,” which is Latin for “Do not seek outside yourself.” I am full of substance, possibilities, and burning intensity. I am an individual who strongly believes in individualism.
When a large portion of the world believes the same exact things about religion and fate as you do, you are not unique: you are simply a part of a group. People always say that groups are stronger than individuals, that there is strength in numbers. However, I believe the opposite. There is more strength in myself alone than there would be if there were a thousand people just like me. Because I am an individual – rather than part of a group – my thoughts are mine alone. I am not influenced or pressured by anyone but myself, and this creates a refreshing comfort and strength I can only find within. I am my own best friend, and becoming true best friends with myself is probably the thing I am most proud of in my life. No matter what happens, I will always have myself.
All that love and devotion people put into marriage, religion, and all those other beliefs, I put into myself. I put it into my thoughts, my dreams, my work, my writing, my art, my ability to love: my everything.
People turn to beliefs when they feel they have nowhere else to turn, because beliefs justify their actions and bring them comfort. I view believing in marriage and religion to be the same as eating an entire box of chocolates when you are down: comforting at the time, but unhealthy in the long run. I do not waste my time on comfort foods; instead I invest all my love, faith, and strength in myself. Growth and development are what I emphasize in my life. Every day I change and I learn about myself. Infinite possibilities lie ahead of me. I am my own best friend, for I am all I have in this world. I love myself, and I believe in myself.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.
This piece won the November 2012 Teen Ink EBSCO POV Contest.
It's All About Believing in Yourself
Have you ever seen someone who didn't buy a car because he failed to learn how to drive? Or have you ever met someone who tried to learn how to drive then decided not to try again after failing for few times?
Personally, I have never met anyone like that. Almost everyone who starts learning how to drive ends up being able to drive well. Although not everyone becomes a driving expert still everyone who tires learns the basics of this complex skill.
The question is, why you succeeded in learning how to drive yet failed in achieving some of your other goals?
The answer is simple: because you were sure that you were going to be able to drive long before you sat in the driver's seat. You saw everyone around you succeeding in doing it and so were convinced that there's nothing particularly hard about it, even though it really is a complicated skill.
Believe in Yourself and People Will Be Forced to Believe in You
Billions of people fail to live the life they have always wished to live. They fail to realize their ambitions and give up on their big dreams as soon as they encounter the first obstacle. One of the strongest causes for this attitude is that they do not believe in themselves.
Believing in yourself is all about being sure that you are going to do whatever you want even if others were against you. Usually, when you decide to take a big challenge or to do something that people failed to do you will find that everyone is putting you down.
Under the pressure of this criticism some people start to doubt their own abilities and eventually give up. The few people who manage to believe in themselves and who continue moving along the path they've chosen are the ones who succeed. Check out these real life examples and see for yourself:
- During the Dot Com boom, practically everyone was buying internet stocks madly. One of the few people who didn't buy was Warren Buffet. At the time, everyone criticized Buffet for his extreme caution and skepticism when dealing with these new stocks. Few years later, after the Dot Com bubble happened everyone lost a lot of money while Buffet ended up being the second richest man in the world!!!!
- Alex Haley received 200 rejections before he published the novel "Roots" which was published in published in 37 languages, won the Pulitzer Prize and become a popular television miniseries in 1977.
- In the early development stages of Microsoft, the company was going to be sold. The buyer turned the offer down because he thought that people wouldn’t need to put computers in their homes. Now bill gates is the richest man in the world!!
How to Believe in Yourself
The previous examples were not of people who lived on other planets. They were just normal people like you, the only difference is that they believed in themselves and so they had the last laugh. If you want to be like these people and if you want to believe in yourself then stick to the following guidelines:
- Learn about the psychology of convincing people: In almost all the cases where people give up their goals half way through, they usually start their task being completely convinced with their ideas and are then put down by other people. Being put down is no more than being convinced that you are moving In the wrong direction. The problem with convincing people to believe in something is that it can easily be done regardless of which opinion is right! If you don't want to allow anyone to affect your decisions or to put you down then learn about the psychology of convincing people. In my book how to make someone fall in love with you i mentioned how can you become more convincing by just speaking confidently and assertively. just as you can convince people to believe in something you can convince them to believe in you and to even love you. The continues repetition of the idea in a confident way can convince lots of people to believe in it even if it was not that convincing.
- Stop thinking that people’s opinion are important: Some people think that unless everyone agrees with them then they are wrong. This is completely wrong. No one ever succeeds without being rejected. If people think that you are wrong or that your efforts will yield no results then just go against them by either convincing them with your point of view right away or by waiting until they believe in you by force when they see your success.
- Build self-confidence in your judgment: In the Solid Self confidence program i said that If you challenged people once or twice and went against their opinions then succeeded, even if that was a trivial task, then you will end up being more confident in your abilities and your ideas. At this point their opinion won't affect you anymore.
- Believe In God: Ask God for guidance and help and you will feel that you are backed up by a power which is superior to anyone who rejects you
If you don't believe in yourself you will end up discarding your ideas and no one will remember you. On the other hand, if you believed in yourself and continued fighting for what you want then people may reject your ideas in the beginning but they will be forced to believe in you in the end after seeing your success.
2knowmyself is not a simple article website nor it’s a place where you will find shallow fixes, but it’s a place where you will find effective techniques that are backed by psychology and that are presented in obvious and understandable format. If you think that this is some kind of marketing hype then see what other visitors say about 2knowmyself
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