It matterers how you see yourself

Many a time people have been written off before they have even started, cast away before the summer rains; so called wise people who hold the higher echelons of public opinion spoke and said "he will never be as good as …","he will never amount to much" and "he will never rise to…".

When all is said and done, the bottom line is that it does not matter how others see you; what matters is how you see yourself.

Joseph defies the odds

Whether you believe in the stories of the bible or not, the story of Joseph has a very potent life lesson. It’s a story of a young boy who had a dream that he would one day be a ruler and rule over a nation, even over his older brothers. When Joseph shared his wonderful vision with his brothers, the intriguing part is that instead of supporting, motivating, encouraging and helping Joseph achieve his vision, they did the complete opposite. Firstly, his brothers hated the thought of Joseph ruling over them as their younger brother, and secondly they did not believe that he could be a ruler, even if it was possible. Funny enough, despite doubting the credibility of his vision, they envied him and decided to work against his vision on the off chance it did materialise. To cut a long story short, Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery into a foreign land (Egypt) in an attempt to assassinate his vision. Ironically, however, the very place where his vision was meant to be assassinated, was the place his vision came to fruition. He eventually became a ruler in Egypt, second only to Pharaoh, and yes he did rule over his brothers.

The reality is that not everyone believes in your dream, our problem is that many of us crave external affirmation so desperately that we are easily destroyed by someone else's opinion of us. In fact, one of the leading causes of depression in modern society is largely caused by low self-esteem as a result of peoples' opinions of others. The worse mistake we can make is permitting these external opinions to shape and decide our destiny. We have all been told at some point in our lives that what we have set out to do, cannot be done, but let me encourage you by saying that history has it, that those who have blazed trails and delivered greatness as we know it, refused to believe that what they set out to do could not be done. They were naïve enough to press on despite the proverbial walls of negative opinion which surrounded them. Despite being "up the creek without a paddle", they stayed put and simply kept on keeping on.

Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientists of all time, was discarded by many in society and considered by the intellects of his time that he was mentally disabled. He could not read until he was seven years of age and his primary school teachers had settled that he was academically challenged, and would not amount to much. However, Albert Einstein grew up to be an iconic modern physicist, a calibre of scientist the world has never known. He won the Nobel Prize for his great works in science. His brain has been preserved in museums for future studies designed to unearth and understand what made his brain functionality and capacity so great. Needless to say, Albert Einstein single handedly changed the face of modern physics!

In conclusion, if you think you are going up, you are; if you think you are going down, you are; if you think you will make it, you will and if you think you will not, you will not. Like Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, guess what, you are right”. Believe in yourself because nobody else can believe in you the way you can. Make a resolve that you will look forward and not backwards. See the opportunities in every challenge, be empowered by your circumstances instead of being impeded by them. In every setback, dig deep to find a lesson. Give yourself fully and unsparingly to every task at hand because life has taught you that no achievement of any real worth is obtained without real self-sacrifice and perseverance; if it was not so we would all be left to question its worth.

Stop allowing other people’s negative perceptions of your life negate your progress.