“Believe in yourself” could very well be the most used piece of advice when someone comes around with a blurry image of their future. And guess what? It might not be so wrong.
As with anything, there must be a first step.
That first step is actually believing in yourself and that you can do it. By asking people around me I came to realize that the beginning is the most difficult part; sometimes it’s hard to see the good and capable side in you.
Let’s not blame someone else, not even ourselves, for sometimes forgetting who we are and what we are capable of. The walls we build around us have the effect of blinding us instead of protecting us. Not letting us see far beyond a certain point denies us the possibility of understanding who we can (and should) become.
We are still at the first step, don’t turn around.
There are two options here: go around the walls or tear them down. Both are valid and doable, but since these walls are just a representation of paradigms we believe we are inserted in, just going around might not be enough.
Walking around the wall is nice, but there is no certain way to pinpoint its real length; the walk might take longer than we intended. However, on such paths you can learn (and unlearn) so much about your capabilities and how to expand your limits.
It could sound aggressive but, why take a long time going around when you can just go right ahead? Yes, this is about tearing down the wall(s). Your mental barriers have been proved to be the one and only thing holding you back, since the only one deciding how far you can go is just you.
It’s not just about destroying barriers, you can use the rubble to build. Build a new you with the pieces of what was stopping you and go further. Let the bricks of the walls be the tool to turn yourself around to the version you always wished for but couldn’t quite figure out.
“In times of crisis, the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers[…]”
Go to aiesec.org to start knocking down those walls around you.2