Sometimes You Have To Encourage Yourself


Being in high school, you may have been among one of the smartest in your class. Involved in multiple organizations and extracurriculars while maintaining an outstanding grade point average at the same time. But then you got to college and you realized that you are surrounded by nothing but smart, intelligent and driven individuals. This can make you feel discouraged or make you feel like you are underqualified. This feeling can be really prominent at an HBCU. Yes, being surrounded by a plethora of smart, beautiful, black people is amazing, but it can also make you doubt yourself. As a community, we know that we have to work twice as hard to get half as far. Therefore, a lot of pressure is put on us to be great at everything we do.


As much as people may not want to believe it, rejection is a necessity. One can either take rejection as motivation to push harder or give up on themselves altogether. For many, it is really hard to come back from failure and rejection. However, it is important to remember one thing: you can not get everything you want. No matter how ready you think you are for whatever endeavor you are looking to pursue, you cannot get it every time on the first go round. You may have felt like you worked really hard and now is your time. Just because you didn’t necessarily succeed on the first try that doesn’t mean it’s not meant for you. I am a firm believer in things happening at the right time. Right place, wrong time can be very real. Just because it is not going how you want it to go as of right now, does not mean you will never prosper. Anything that you want takes determination, dedication, and perseverance.


In the words of Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers, “sometimes you have to encourage yourself. Sometimes you have to speak victory during the test.” This simply means that you always have to believe in yourself, no matter the circumstances. It is very important to have faith in yourself because if you don’t you’ll never be able to truly succeed. You have to trust in yourself that you have the tools to make it happen for yourself. Speaking things into existence is a very important aspect on the road to success. Words do carry a lot of weight, so when you frequently tell yourself that you can’t do something or that you are not qualified for something, you are putting that negativity into the atmosphere and it will ultimately become a reality.


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In the midst of rejection and what feels like a failure it is important to remember a few things:

Rejection makes you stronger. Just think if you were always given everything you went for. You wouldn’t be able to handle the slightest challenge that came your way. This strength allows you to persevere through the toughest challenges you face. And you will face them.

Do not focus on the “what if’s.” Spending all your time thinking about “what if I would have done this?” and “what if I didn’t say that?” causes you to hinder your progress. Stop thinking about you shoulda, coulda, woulda done and use this time as a learning lesson to alter your strategies and tactics so you are successful in the future.

Rejection and failure lead you to new paths that you never saw coming before. The ‘yes’ you were looking for could be the ‘no’ that leads you to the ‘yes’ you need. It is important to recognize that everyone’s path to success encompasses a different route. This is also to say, do not compare your progress to someone else’s. Stay focused on yourself and continue to do what is best for you.