The Power Of Self-Belief
I BELIEVE IN YOU...What a heartwarming and empowering four words those are. What an incredible difference they can make to your life. Writing this I can honestly say that without the belief of others around me, I would not be who or where I am today. If you’d have said to me 10…5... or even 2 years ago that I’d be sat here a recently promoted band 6 midwife, happy in my job, with a 2:1 in my midwifery degree and starting to become happy with who I am as an individual, I would have been the first to laugh. But that’s exactly where I am and its all thanks to a huge amount of belief.
Expecting The Worst
I’m not ashamed to admit that I am the type of person who goes through life generally expecting the worst to happen, because for a long time that was what actually happened. When good things occurred I’d either be sat there waiting for the massive downfall coming ahead or thinking that I was watching someone else’s life (something that actually still happens and I struggle to get my head around). So, when I was at school, as a way to try and boost my positivity about life, my teachers used to tell me that if I said/heard something enough eventually I would end up believing it, even if at the time it seemed like the most ridiculous prospect. Sitting here now I can tell you that, just as they used to be when I was at school, they were right!
It can be a frustrating thing to begin with. People around you constantly telling you to believe in yourself because you’re more capable than you think you are. But because of the person you are, you're not believing it and just wanting to shut them away. It fuels the internal battle you have with yourself over believing in or putting yourself down. But as time goes on and as you grow it becomes one of the most helpful things people can tell you. You end up becoming eternally grateful to those people for having so much belief in you and for taking the time to tell you about it.
I think the turning point in self-belief for me was 3 years ago, if not then, then definitely within the last year. During my university degree I had to take a 6 month break following a truly traumatic event. Throughout that time off I seriously doubted my ability to return to my degree and complete it, but that’s exactly what I did do and here I am now. I'm a community midwife, with my own caseload, running my own clinic and a member of the best Clubbercise group around. How did I do it? Belief!
When I was due to return to university I was overwhelmed with the number of supportive messages/phone calls that I received telling me how strong and brilliant I was and how going back to lectures was just like riding a bike and that I would be absolutely fine. The same happened when I finished my degree and started my first job as a qualified midwife at a hospital trust different to the one I trained at. All these people wished me luck and told me I was going to be fine and the more these little messages were seen, the more they became engraved in my mind and the more I took it on board. I started to think that all these people supporting me couldn’t be wrong, that maybe it was me who was thinking in an unhelpful way.
One Step At A Time...With Support
As a newly qualified midwife a large part of your early development is rotations, working in all areas of maternity which naturally is something that raises anxiety levels. For someone who has never worked in this place and who already suffers from mental illnesses, sometimes it can be absolutely crippling. However, with the support and belief of the most amazing family, friends and brand new colleagues each rotation becomes a little less daunting and the idea of self-belief starts to become something that is second nature. It grows little by little with every new thing learned and with every day that passes. It’s important to remember that we’re never going to get everything right, we’re humans, not robots. But, it is almost more important to remember to believe that this is true and that actually you can do so much more than you think you know.
When you first start to truly believe in yourself it feels wrong. It feels big headed and almost like you're boasting about your own abilities, but when it truly starts to sink into your heart it is magical. Even the slightest bit of self-belief makes it feel like you’re untouchable, like nothing can pull you down and it really does carry you through. Self-belief is something I wish everyone had as it would truly make the world a happier and more positive place.
Hayley Wheeler is a band six midwife based in Reading. She enjoys walking and clubbercise. She also plays flute and sings...when time allows. When she was at the University Of Surrey she was very active in the Latin and Ballroom scene.