CAROLINE SMAILES

Natalie Wills talks about: The Power of Underlying Self-Belief

I wanted to start 2012 with a series of posts from people who MIGHT just inspire you to be a bit brave. This is the second in the series. Let me introduce you to Natalie Wills, as she talks about ‘Believe in Yourself and You Will Not Fail’:

There are things we know in life and things we choose to believe in. Caroline’s sign-off message at Christmas time got me thinking about the word ‘believe’ so I asked a few friends what the word meant to them?

Replies were varied and included a seasonal reference to Santa, talk of fairies and angels and the goal of Premiership survival for an avid football supporter. A strong belief in the holy trinity and life eternal and a cinematic Field of Dreams reference to the whisper of ‘If you build it, he will come’ were also mentioned.

One friend commented that believing means, ‘having confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, without absolute proof that one is right to do so‘.

One asked for proof in order to believe and another felt believing doesn’t always make things turn out the way you want them to.

So, what happened to us lot growing up? None of them mentioned self-belief and that really surprised me. We encourage children to believe in themselves to rounds of applause no matter what their singing or dancing is like. We tell them ‘of course you can do it, just try’. If they fall at the first hurdle we reassure them that practice makes perfect. My children ooze self-confidence because underlying self-belief, ‘USB’ as I like to call it, is repeatedly instilled in them. As adults we don’t receive as much reassurance or as many compliments, least of all in business, hence we lose some of that ‘USB’. We shrug it off for fear of appearing cocky or arrogant.

Don’t get me wrong, I falter where ‘USB’ is concerned, as I’m sure we all do from time to time. However, I fully believe – there’s that word again – in the need for ‘USB’. When I falter I try my best to pick myself up again. When my self-belief is restored I won’t be told by anyone that something is beyond my reach. I must, from the outset, believe I can reach my aim or realise an ambition otherwise I will fail.

During 2011, my role at work was made redundant at a point in my life where I felt I could least cope with further upheaval. I was struggling to accept the sudden and unexpected death of my mother, my compass in life, six months prior to redundancy and was petrified that more enforced change would shatter my world.

So, I spent the summer with my children before my eldest started school. What should have been precious time was, in fact, a very confusing time – grieving, playing, worrying about the future. I clung on to the belief that all would be ok. I have to believe because it has to be true. I have to believe I can accommodate grief into my life and I do believe I will succeed in my new business venture. My new business began on a memorable day, the day my son started school. I know it might not be be plain sailing but I believe I will get there and I’m prepared to give it my all.

With Vivian Greene’s words in mind I’m hoping and believing 2012 is not going to be, ‘about waiting for the storm to pass’. It’s going to be about ‘learning to dance in the rain’.

I hope the new year sees me believing in myself more consistently whilst I strive towards my goals. If I believe a little more and doubt a little less I know 2012 will be a better year.

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About Natalie: Natalie Wills is a Publishing Consultant and Writer with over 15 years of experience in the publishing industry. Having forged a successful career in international sales & marketing, including product development, she started her own business in 2011.

NSW Consulting is her business consultancy which specialises in flexible, focused and affordable project management support to book publishers.

For more information and to contact Natalie details are:

Natalie Wills

Publishing Consultant & Writer

NSW Consulting

Tel: +44 (0) 7957 198967

Email: natalie@nswconsulting.co.uk

Website: www.nswconsulting.co.uk

You can follow Natalie on Twitter (@nswconsulting) and Facebook.

 

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9 Comments

  • Posted January 4, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Oh goodness, I can so relate. Self-confidence and self-belief. I’ve just been writing about that myself.

    Great post. Thanks Natalie. (And Caroline.)

  • Posted January 4, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Great article Natalie. Brings to mind a quote from Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t; you are right.

  • Posted January 4, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Helen and Kris! Love the quote!

  • Kirsty Cranfield
    Posted January 4, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Great article Natalie. Such a powerful thing to believe in your self and you are providing great motivation at such a tough time in your life. Thanks

  • Posted January 4, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    That is so interesting…self-belief was something I thought a lot about whilst at Uni (I actually wrote a paper about it during one of my modules that encouraged much navel gazing). My lack of self-belief motivated me to work my socks off…I spent most of the time in a state of ‘OMG I’m not sure I can do this’. I graduated with distinction but still don’t have much USB…its something I’m working on!

    C x

  • jacqueline twamley
    Posted January 5, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Dear Natalie,

    In my experience of things that have gone wrong in my life is that you just get on with it. Since Ellen has been diagnosed with epilepsy, there is nothing we can do we just have to live with it and make things as easy for Ellen as possible. My stepmother says you’re coping with this so well and I just say, so what am I going to do, just give her back, get of and get back on when its over, there is nothing you can do, you just have to get on with it. I have never thought about self belief in my life, in fact I have always believed I am rubbish because I am not an academic and I am not a business woman. But since I have had Ellen, I have learnt that I am a brilliant mum, a good cook and a enthusiastic crafter, bordering on being good at it and I not a useless business woman either. My dealing with people at work have got better and easier. And yes I suppose I do have self belief and in a round about way I now appreciate that.

  • Posted January 10, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Dear Natalie, dear Caroline,
    I have read this great post a few days ago and have since thought about it. (I can be terribly slow at times…) I think that self-belief is crucial for succeeding in life. You can be extraordinarily talented at something, but if you are giving up at the first hurdle, because you don’t believe in yourself, you are not going to get anywhere with your talent. However, if you believe in yourself and don’t give up, you will succeed. Simply because you are getting better and better each time you pick yourself up after you have been turned down. A little bit of talent and a lot of determination will get you a long way. At least that’s what I am telling myself.

  • Posted January 10, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Thank you to ALL of you for taking the time to write. I am thrilled my article got thoughts in motion and I think all of your comments lead to a common point. Self-belief is inextricably linked to perseverance. Choosing not to give up at the first hurdle, or having no choice but to carry on, gets us all there in the end. As my father has always told me, ‘It’s not failures that matter, it’s the one success that counts’. Good luck to you in all your endeavours.

  • Posted July 31, 2013 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much Natalie for sharing some quite raw thoughts. Most people would not dream of admitting their vulnerabilities – especially to strangers. When I was seriously looking for my own business ten years ago, I was told by a very successful self-made individual in the organisation that I subsequently affiliated with, “Humphrey, we will not let you fail. The only way you can fail is if you quit.” Nobody had ever said that to me before, and I have to say that did a lot for my own USB. I am also a very strong believer in the philosophy that when one door closes, another one opens and I think that the secret is not to spend all your waking moments looking for the door. Instead cultivate the belief that something will happen – it always does – and then you can boldly go through, confident that it opened for you. I wish you great success in your new venture.

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