Friday, May 30, 2008

I Believe In You

by Karen D. Swim

Photo credit: Flickr | darkpatator


Today I want to give to you a gift that has meant so much in my own life - the gift of belief.

My all time favorite teacher was Mrs. Lorna Hart. She was my first grade teacher and had a profound influence on my life. Mrs. Hart was the first adult other than my parents who truly believed in me. I always made good grades, but Mrs. Hart nourished my love of learning and filled me with confidence to keep reaching even higher. She set her expectations high and I rose to the challenge.

She did not believe that I was perfect. She did not believe that I would never fail. Like my parents she believed that I had the ability to keep moving forward, growing and learning along the way. Belief gave me the courage to eliminate "I can't" from my vocabulary. It gave me confidence to continually test the limits of capabilities. Her belief rubbed off on me and I began to believe in me too.

Over the years I have been blessed to have other people come along just when I needed the reinforcement to give me the gift of belief. Before I declared "I am a writer," someone else said "You are a writer." Those words echo in my soul every day giving me the power to pick up a pen and practice my craft. Having someone tell you that they believe "you can" is the ray of light that causes the bud of your talent to come into full bloom. A whispered encouragement can cause your heart to soar and restore your confidence.

"If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning."--Mahatma Gandhi

So, today I want to shine the light on you and tell you that I BELIEVE IN YOU. I believe that you can start that business, write that book, make that career transition, get that promotion or run that race. I believe that you are good enough, bright enough and strong enough to boldly go after your dreams. I believe that NOW is your time to shine and you will seize the opportunity. I BELIEVE IN YOU.

How has belief or the lack of belief impacted your life? Can you recall the first person who truly believed in you? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


Lisa said...

Karen, this post came at the perfect time for me. I am juggling so many things and literally just realized how overwhelmed I am, when I opened my reader and clicked on your post.

Thanks for the encouragement. I'm printing this out to hang in front of me for a reminder that yes, I can do this... *sigh*


Steph VanderMeulen said...

Karen: This post really touched me!! I can feel your kindness, warmth, and love in it. Thank you.

Words For Hire said...

@Lisa, yes YOU can do it. I am so happy that I was able to remind you of that today. Thank you for giving back to me the gift of encouragement.

@Steph, your comment warmed my heart! I am so humbled and thankful to be able to have this platform to share from my heart and to have the opportunity to meet and interact with wonderful people like you.

Joanna said...

Thanks for encouraging and inspiring us to be fierce Karen :-)

And for so many words of encouragement and support you've left me on my blog - you don't know how many times they've given me the courage, confidence and motivation to keep going.


Words For Hire said...

@Joanna, THANK YOU! You have given so much to me, lighting the darkness and helping me find my way. I owe so much to you and am truly thankful for your friendship. One day we (which includes dear Amy of course) shall walk along in the Scottish countryside (or perhaps in Sardinia :)) and laugh and talk about our cyber adventures. Until then we shall continue to inspire one another to be FIERCE! :)

Brett Legree said...


Awesome. When I read this, I can hear you say it. And it makes me feel good.

Thank you.

I believe in you too, my friend.


Anonymous said...

It's amazing the power that teachers have over us when we're young and impressionable.

I had an awful English teacher in High school, who constantly put me and other students down. He totally turned me off poetry and literature.

On the other hand, I had a great chemistry teacher. Mr. D. was so encouraging, I fell in love with the subject. I ended up going into Chemical Engineering. He probably had a little to do with that.

If the English teacher had been less of a tool, and more ike Mr. D, my career choices might have been totally different.

- Friar

Brett Legree said...


I agree with you, as I had a similar experience. My Grade 13 English teacher was very negative, and my Chemistry teacher was cool.

And of course, you choose what you want to do in Grade 13 (or at least, I did).

So I ignored the fact that I liked and was good at English. Hey, I was good at Chemistry too...

But I totally understand what you're saying.


Words For Hire said...

@Brett and @Friar it is amazing how good or bad teaching can influence you. Yet in the US we treat our teachers like bottom feeders. I was good in Math and Science too but did not realize how much I actually loved it until adulthood. If a teacher had encouraged me my career path may have been quite different too. However, I must say I'm really glad I ended up here. :)

@Brett, can and will my kilted wonder friend. I BELIEVE in YOU! Niebu!

Ellen Wilson said...

That is so nice of you Karen. I believe in you too!

Your writing is just getting better and better. Take care and have a good night.

Melissa Donovan said...

Karen, this is such a warm affirmation and I could feel my spirit rallying as I read through your post. I believe in you too! And I thank you for being so kind and supportive.

As for who believed in me, that would be my mom. The teachers never stood a chance because my mom taught me to read way before I started school. I am eternally grateful for that gift she gave me.

Nadine Touzet said...

Karen, this is a beautiful post, and I will most certainly print out that quote from Mahatma Gandhi and tape it near my computer to make sure I don't forget it.

Reinforcing your gift of belief, I have been a witness to the negative and sadly equally powerful effects of reinforcing someone's lack of confidence; it's devastating and long-lasting and once it's ingrained, very difficult to cure.

We need good people like you to make this world a better place. Thank you.

jamiegrove said...

Funny you should mention your teacher, Karen. I ran into my high school comp. teacher on Friday. Twenty years gone by now and I still remember her telling me that I had the writing bug.

Believing you can do it will give you the determination to try the supposedly impossible but it helps when others believe too. :)

Lillie Ammann said...

Thank you for this encouraging post, Karen, and congratulations on being named an SOB by Liz Strauss.

Words For Hire said...

@Melissa, thank you so much for the awesome words of support! Your mom did a phenomenal job! :) My mom taught me to read too and my Dad instilled a love of Shakespeare. I think the greatest gift you can give to a child is to instill a love of the written word. You have been doubly blessed as one who can write and teach. I am sure that too many you are their Mrs. Hart. :)

@Nadine, you are so right the other side of this has such ugly consequences. When you meet someone who has never had the gift of belief, they have no hope and it is difficult to cure. Thank you for the reminder to try to be a light to others. Every human being has potential for greatness.

@Jamie, that is too funny! Ha! I hope you gave her your blog url too. When teachers take time to notice your gifts and encourage you, it is a wonderful thing. I bet your teacher is proud of you and glad to know she was right. :)

@Lillie, thank you so much! I am bursting at the seams with excitement about the SOB award. I never dreamed... I always appreciate when you drop in Lillie,it's a bit like having royalty to dinner. Thank you! :)

I want to also thank the people who emailed me comments. I am so inspired by all of you who take a moment to encourage me in public and private. The absolute best part of blogging is all of you! You all rock!

Yvonne Russell said...

What a beautiful gift, Karen. Thank you.

I love your generous spirit and the positivity you share here.

Words For Hire said...

@Yvonne, thank you for those kind words. I get back so much more than I give and for that I am truly grateful!

Melissa Donovan said...

@Karen, You are too kind! And making me blush. And squirm. Well, thank you ;) for believing in me.

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