“Some people say I have attitude – maybe I do… but I think you have to. You have to believe in yourself when no one else does – that makes you a winner right there.”

When are you going to start using that talent? You know what I’m talking about. It’s the gift everyone says you have.  It’s that thing you do that comes so naturally to you. You were born to do it. A purpose is defined as the reason something is created. You were created because you have a purpose to fulfill.

No one will believe and care more about your life than you do! To believe in yourself, you need to know who you are and what you really want. If you don’t know who you are, the opinions of others will direct your life and destiny, and you will end up somewhere you don’t want to be – a life unfulfilled!

You can’t be or do anything if you don’t believe in yourself. You are what you believe; not what others think. If you believe you will be successful, you will be successful. If you think you will fail, and I am sorry to say, you will fail.

In life, you will come across people who have opinions about everything. Those same people will try to put negative labels on you. They will put you down for no reason at all. Or, because of their envy or jealousy, they will try to deter you from achieving your goals with their derisive remarks. Some may even be offended by your success. Unfortunately, these people may be your friends or family. They may never understand your purpose no matter how many times you try to explain yourself.

Dr. Kerri-Ann M. Smith, an author and award-winning educator, once said, “The people closest to you will doubt and discourage you. They are not haters; they just don’t understand. Don’t wait for them to validate, recognize, or even support you. Be your biggest advocate, and even more, your own loudest cheerleader.”

There are times you may seek encouragement and approval from others before you do something. When you share dreams, ideas, plans, or visions with others, they may not share or express your same enthusiasm. Just because one person says that you’re not good at something doesn’t mean you should stop pursuing it. All that matters is that you believe in you who are and your potential to do great things.

There’s the story of a man named Joseph in the Bible. One day, he told his brothers about his dreams that he would one day become a leader. I am sure Joseph was not prideful when he related the details of his dreams. In his excitement and joy, he shared his visions because his family was all he had, and he thought they would support him. But, his brothers got so angry and jealous that they were willing put him in harm’s way. They eventually sold him to slavery!

Joseph faced many trials and tribulations. He also encountered accusations, but through it all he never compromised his integrity. He stayed true to himself and his convictions. Eventually, he rose to become second in command to rule over an entire nation.

Despite his hurt and pain, Joseph was able forgive and be reconciled with his brothers. He saved his family (who originally wanted to see his demise) from starvation while the nation struggled with a terrible famine. If you’re experiencing some shellacking from others (including your close friends and family), don’t get discouraged. “Your dream ignites a flame, and your passion keeps it burning,” Dr. Smith once said. Keep the embers of your passion burning and continue to encourage yourself. It may be all that you need to achieve your goals.

Excerpts from the book, “How to Stay Motivated,” by Cindy Similien-Johnson.

Cindy Similien-Johnson is the founder of CSJ Media Publishing, and author of the bestselling e-cookbook series and popular cooking classes, "Cook Like A Haitian." She's also the founder of the women empowerment grassroots initiative, Goal Chic.

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