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When Do We Stop Believing in Ourselves?
“Believing in yourself doesn’t mean you’ll never fail — it means that failing isn’t enough to make you give up.” –Ramiro Rodriguez, Jr.
What’s the secret to success? We all have dreams, so why do some people achieve them, while others don’t? Some people will blame luck and believe fate dealt them the hand they have to play with. I don’t buy it. I believe that in order to succeed, you have to believe that you can do it.
Weight Training with Conan the Barbarian
Believing in yourself doesn’t mean you’ll never fail — it means that failing isn’t enough to make you give up. There will always be obstacles in life and things that don’t go according to plan. But when you know in your gut that you can achieve your goals, then you don’t give up because of those obstacles. The people who are “lucky” are those who believe in themselves. Everything might not have always gone their way, but they were able to bounce back every time until they finally succeeded.
When the going gets tough, it’s not always easy to keep believing in yourself. It’s important to find ways to motivate yourself to keep working hard. When I was younger, I found a great way to motivate myself was by watching something that would motivate me. For example, when I didn’t feel like working out, I’d watch the movie “Conan the Barbarian” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Seeing Schwarzenegger battle across Hyboria always convinced me to hit the gym. I’d use this method of motivating myself later in law school. Whenever I was having a rough time, I’d turn on an episode of “Law and Order” and find my enthusiasm for the law again.
Of course, belief alone isn’t enough to guarantee success, no matter how many hours of inspirational TV you watch. You have to channel that belief into hard work. I wanted to be a lawyer so I could run my own business. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I was ready to start my own firm from my first class in law school. When I got my bar results and saw that I had passed, I used the last $300 I had in the bank to buy a printer and a fax machine. I came home that day and I told my wife that I was starting my own business in one of the rooms of our house. That’s when Karen decided to tell me she was pregnant.
This was our first child, and the news was equally surprising and wonderful. I went and watched an episode of “Law and Order” to jump start my motivation. I needed to get a better life for everybody, including my son.
I was glad to have such strong motivation, because the early days of my business were rough. The firm started in my house and my truck. Before I had my own office, I would take calls on my cell phone. Whenever prospective clients wanted to meet, I would tell them I had court the next morning at a courthouse in their area and offer to meet at their house. They thought I was the nicest lawyer ever, and no one ever found out I wasn’t really coming from a courthouse.
When I finally got my office 16 years ago, it was such a relief. The place looked horrible, we didn’t have any office furniture, and there wasn’t even a sign on the door, but we felt like top dogs. Here was the result of all that hard work, the product of all the years I kept believing in myself.
Every day, I come into work proud of what I’ve accomplished. It was a long hard road, but I knew I could make it and that kept me going. Today the firm continues to expand, becoming greater than even I imagined it could be. It’s proof that when you want something in life, the first step is to believe you can get it.
And if you need some extra encouragement, “Conan the Barbarian” still holds up.
–Ramiro Rodriguez, Jr.