Believe in Me

What inspires change?

I think part of the change equation involves…


Anyone who has played competitive sports understands this. You push your body to its limits; you strategize and analyze, but also realize it may not be the right move for the play; you anticipate and equate; your personal, emotional boundaries are tested. You collapse, and you break.

Yet, you keep playing.

Why? Why do you put yourself through this?

Because you believe you can do it. If you’re lucky, this belief comes from within, but for many, it comes from the people who surround us.

As a teenager, I played varsity volleyball. We practiced hard, and what pushed us was the belief we felt. A lot of this belief came from our coaches. They saw something in us we couldn’t see. They believed in our strength and our skills. They saw the potential and knew exactly how to bring it out. They were able to bring it out because we recognized their belief in us. Their belief translated into personal belief: into a belief in each other. This shifted into change.

With this belief behind us, we were unstoppable.

I was inspired to write this post after watching Invictus. Nelson Mandela understood the power of belief. In this story, we see how the trickle-down effect of belief could shift a nation to change, even if for just a moment.

When I believe in you, and when you can feel this belief, shift occurs. It is at this moment that we gain inner-strength and are able to go beyond what we thought was possible.

These days, I’ve been feeling this familiar shift. I am extremely grateful for the belief my friends/colleagues, my personal learning network (PLN), have in me. They move me to push my boundaries. They move me to reveal the strength and creativity within.

With them, my unfolding becomes a reality.

What change would you like to see? Do you believe in your students/learners/participants? How do you help them believe in themselves?


Want to know more about change? Please read Tana Ebaugh’s exploration: A Model of the Process of Change: Model Development and Exploration and Implications for the Classroom


5 thoughts on “Believe in Me

  1. Josette,

    Every time I read your blog I’m reminded that there is always something more to teaching than the small thing I’m focusing on just this minute. Thank you.

    When I was a social worker I used to do a lot of work around risk-reduction and behavior change. Most of the studies at that time found that behavior change was highly correlated with volition. If a person felt they could change, there was a good chance that they would.

    But like you wrote, that belief often has to first come from outside, from a teacher, a friend, a coach. I would like, most of all, for my students to believe that they can be agents of change for each other, that their belief in each other is stronger than any positive feedback I might have for them.



    1. Kevin,

      In your blog The Other Things Matter, you often parallel your experience as a social worker with your current position as a teacher. I always appreciate the connection because so much about teaching is simply about care and welfare. So when you said that when you read my blog you are reminded of the deeper layers at play, I also resonate that sentiment in your writing :) Thank you for bringing your layers to this post.


  2. “I am the master of my fate! I am the captain of my soul!” LOVE IT!!
    Radio Lab has an amazing podcast about the outer limits of self-belief – how we somehow keep pushing ourselves to keep going even when it’s almost physically impossible! Check it out (you can skip the little add at the beginning)
    Listen from 2:30 – 12:30
    Good questions! Great post!


    1. Thank you Hailey! I love Radiolab but haven’t listened to it in a while. This will be a great way to get back into it.

      Yes! “I am the master of my fate! I am the captain of my soul!” <3


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