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dreams

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Confidence and Self-Perception

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One of my friends constantly repeats this famous Marcus Garvey quote to me whenever I begin to wallow in self-pity. It portrays a very powerful message that I'm only now beginning to embrace. If suffering from a severe lack of confidence was a recognized psychological condition, I would be diagnosed with it. Lacking self-confidence only produces defeat and causes you to see every challenge as an insurmountable obstacle. Don't get it twisted though. Having confidence doesn't mean being narcissistic or full of too much pride. Confidence requires having a healthy view of one's self and abilities while humbly accepting the fact that there will always be others out there who are better than you. So, how can someone who has a negative self-image develop this healthy sense of confidence? This is a question that I constantly ask myself and I think I have finally discovered some possible answers.

Find What You Love

There is something magical about finding something that you're truly passionate about. I have found that I truly enjoy writing and I function at my best when I am sitting in front of my laptop pouring my thoughts onto the computer screen. When you realize that something really comes to you naturally, you begin to truly believe that you have something to offer to the world. Finding a passion is more difficult for some people than others. However, it isn't impossible. Keep dabbling in things that interest you and one day you'll truly discover what really makes your heart sing.

Constantly Look for Learning Opportunities

Oftentimes the areas where we lack confidence are the areas where we have the most inadequacies. It's easy to be confident in something you're naturally gifted at, but it's much harder to feel that same level of confidence in something you feel you lack the ability to do. I fervently believe that each of us can do anything that we set out minds to. I know the areas in which I feel most inadequate and I have decided that, instead of lamenting on how incapable I feel, I am going to constantly look for advice from those who are gifted in the area and do my own research. Once I do these things and implement what I've learnt, I am sure improvement will follow.

Believe in Yourself

No one else is going to feel as strongly about your dreams as you do. You are the master of your happiness and emotions. It is amazing how simply saying the words "I can" with great conviction can change the way you perceive and act on things. The word can't should not be in your vocabulary. Believe in the beautiful person you are and have the potential to become.

Don't be defeated by your lack of confidence. Make a decision today to truly believe in who you are so that you can move forward into your destiny.

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Following Your Dreams

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Dreams make the world come alive. They provide us with hope and give us a reason to live. It was Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream to see his children live in a society of racial equality that ultimately resulted in greater freedom for blacks in America. It was Steve Jobs' dream to create a high quality product the world could enjoy that resulted in the creation of the technological giant, Apple. It was God's dream to create a species in His image that resulted in you being here today to read this article. However, our dreams can often seem like fantasies that are far beyond our reach. The more we think about the obstacles in our path is the more our dreams seem more like fantasies. If you are realizing that your dreams are slowly becoming mere fantasies, hold on to the following tips that can give you the courage to move forward.

Your Contribution is Valuable

The central principle from Dr. Myles Monroe's book Understanding Your Potential that has stayed with me from the first day I read it over 5 years ago is the fact that the richest place in the world is the graveyard. In graveyards worldwide there are thousands of people who have died not realizing who they were truly meant to be. Some of their ideas could have been the things that changed the world. Similarly, your idea could be something that greatly impacts the lives of others. Never give up on your dream because you never know the difference you could make.

Obstacles are Only Temporary

Think about an athlete who competes in the 400m hurdles. Each of those hurdles is an obstacle between her and the finish line. She knows that if she does not clear the hurdles correctly, they can cause her to stumble. Nevertheless, she doesn't let this deter her because her eyes are on the finish line. Eventually, those hurdles become surmountable obstacles that take her towards her ultimate goal. Similarly, every obstacle you face is a challenge you can overcome. My major obstacle is finances. I want to do an MBA in Strategic Human Resource Management at the University of Wisconsin, but the tuition fee is something I could never afford in my lifetime. However, I am determined to find a way to source those finances and enter that program. I will not allow finances to prevent me from becoming who I know I am meant to be. When faced with the challenges of finances, fear, health, or lack of support, develop the courage to find a way to leap over those hurdles and make it to the finish line.

View Your Dream as a Reality

If you view your dream as unattainable, you will never achieve it. Instead, view it as your present circumstance. Claim it and believe that it is yours. For instance, if you want to be a doctor, begin calling yourself Dr. [insert name here] and read books and articles related to medicine. I am not suggesting that saying these things means that they must happen.  After all, if you don't put in the work you  won't be able to achieve much. However, when you begin to believe that it is possible, it is more likely that your dream will become a reality.

 

If we all failed to dream, there would be no hope in the world. Everything would lack meaning and life wouldn't be worth living. Don't allow fear to squash your dreams. Instead, follow the tips I have outlined to keep your dream alive. One day, it will become a reality.

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October 2013- Cecile Black

Image Music is life and has the power to calm your soul and keep you in tune with your emotions. This month’s inspirational post is about Cecile Black, a young woman in her early twenties who believes that music is the only language that everyone in this world can understand which therefore gives it the power to bring life by transcending boundaries and bringing people together. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in History in 2011 and is currently in the third year of her Bachelor of Law degree at the University of the West Indies. However, what makes Cecile stand out from her peers is her spectacular musical talent that led her to cofound the two and a half year old band BlackasCole with her boyfriend Craig Cole. I caught up with her recently to find out the progress her band is making and any words of advice she could give to people reading this blog.

What inspired you to form BlackasCole?

I wanted to share my love for music and my words of love with the world.

What has the experience been like for Black as Cole?

We are a young band so we are still in the developmental stages trying to find our sound and understand our identity. The journey has its challenges and it is very difficult for us to make our mark as musicians in Jamaica. However, I have come to realize the importance of patience in this business and I have accepted the fact that my style of music has its niche and with time it will catch on.

How do you balance the demands of school with the demands of your band?

Life is all about balance so planning and time management are key. I try my best to distribute my time equally to both areas so that neither will suffer.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

When I dream I dream BIG. So, in five years I see myself performing at the Grammys or on some other international stage.

Would you say that you are on the path to accomplishing your dreams?

Yes!! At times when I get discouraged something amazing happens that pushes me a step further so I know I am on the right path. Success is so near I can smell it. Lol

What advice would you give to people reading this blog to help them to follow their dreams?

Believe in yourself and push hard against all odds. Also, dream big because if your dreams don’t scare you then they are not big enough.

What advice would you give to people reading this blog to help them with relationships?

Relationships are delicate, once they break they are hard to mend. Love is the only thing that can keep them strong and alive. Neither money nor any material thing is as good as love for self and love for others. So, with love as the weapon you can win any battle.

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