Today a lady asked me how I instil inner belief in the people I work with.
How do I help them find hope, confidence and strength within themselves?
The question came about because I was explaining the common myths about development. She asked how often I was overseas. I said never. I work in the office here in Australia. She asked me if I get sad when I see pictures of children with flies on their faces. I explained that this was rarely what I saw and in fact I’m constantly blown away by the courage, determination and resilience of the people and stories I encounter.
I told her my Nan always said to believe in myself. She said that inner belief would see me through. And it has. For most of us here in Australia we are told we can achieve anything, be anyone and if we work hard we will get what we want. But this isn’t always the case in other countries.
I’ve struggled to explain to children why their lives are the way they are without giving the, ‘life isn’t fair spiel’ and it’s hard to tell them to dream big when they say they know they will never be a doctor, lawyer or teacher due to their circumstances.
The lady said she couldn’t do my work because she doesn’t want to believe that life is this way.
She wouldn’t know how to tell a person who is in their worst moment that they must find the strength to carry on.
I replied by saying that you can’t force someone to believe in themselves, or be hopeful and that I would never try. Just like I wouldn’t force anyone to go to school or go to a clinic. It’s their choice. I explained that finding their inner strength is something they must do on their own.
I don’t think she liked my answer as she asked the question again. So I shared with her a saying my Nan once told me and then left.
“It is a powerful feeling knowing others believe in you but it doesn’t compare to the feeling of believing in oneself. When everyone else is gone it stays, everlasting.”
Featured image by Rachel Kurzyp.