The Beginning of Everything

Today is the day.

This is the beginning of anything you want.” -Unknown

Tomorrow is going to be an absolutely surreal day for me.

On May 20, 2013 (a year ago, tomorrow), despite near-crippling self-doubt, second-guessing, and a unhealthy dose of my arch-enemy fear, I made a life-altering decision:

I launched The Positivity Solution.

364 days later, I can say that it was easily one of the best decisions of my life.

Since that day, the Positivity Solution has been read in 162 countries and counting, I’ve reached thousands of amazing people all over the world who have told me that my words have deeply impacted them, and I’ve experienced a soul-nourishing joy that is only exceeded by the births of my two little girls.

But before all of that goodness, I remember sitting with my laptop at my kitchen table a year ago facing my self-doubt, a blank screen with a flashing cursor, and an annoying question that wouldn’t go away:

“What if I fail?”

If you’re in a place where you’re dealing with the same self-doubt, this is the blog post for you.

The Start of Anything Meaningful

This might sound simple (probably because it is), but every meaningful accomplishment in the world started from a belief that it could be done. Don’t let anyone tell you any different–that’s where it all starts.

I don’t know what your big life goal is, but do you believe that you can do it?

Before you answer, know this: everyone, and I mean everyone, has self-doubt. I have it, you have it, your favorite author/athlete/actor/musician has it. We ALL have it, and that’s okay.

So, the question isn’t “do you doubt yourself?” The real question is, “will you let your self-doubt stop you?”

The only way that self-doubt can turn into unshakable belief is through taking action. 

For most of my adult life, I wanted to create something that would help to make the world a more positive place at work, home, and every place in between. Also for most of my adult life, I believed that I wasn’t talented enough, well-connected enough, or influential enough to make it happen.

And then after dipping my toe in the blogging waters for a little while in 2012, I decided to completely dive in, take real action, and go fully after my dream on May 20, 2013. Nearly a year later, my self-doubt is still with me, but it is so much smaller and quieter than it was at this time last year.

So, what does this have to do with you?

Everything.

No matter what you want in your life, I’m telling you that you can have it if you’re willing to do two things:

Believe in yourself and take action toward your goal.

That’s it.

The First Day of the Rest of Your Life

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” -Henry Ford

So, let me ask you again–when it comes to your life’s dream, do you believe that you can do it?

Like Henry Ford said, you’re right either way.

I don’t believe that life is complicated at all. Everything will always begin (and end) with our belief in ourselves, so if there’s something that you want out of life, then you must start there.

Do you want to lose weight or quit a destructive habit? Then believe that you have the discipline to do it. Other people have done it successfully–so why not you too?

Do you want to leave your soul-murdering relationship and find real love? Then believe that you’re deserving of it. Stop settling for the scraps that life has to offer. You deserve the best love that this world can offer, and there is someone out there looking for someone just like you…but that person can’t come to you while you’re stuck in your crappy relationship.

Do you want to write a book/start your own business/share your talents with the world? Then believe that you’re every bit as good as the success stories that you see in the magazines. Remember, before they became “somebodies” they were nobodies just like us.

Do you want to finally get your college degree, run a marathon, or travel the world? Then believe that this dream came to you for a reason. Stop buying into the insanity that “it’s too late” for you to go after anything that you can’t stop thinking about.

Do you want to experience inner peace and unshakable joy? Then know that it’s possible and completely within your grasp if you choose to go for it. There are no special certifications or qualifications needed to experience peace and happiness–everything that you need is already within you.

In the end, here is the simple truth–all of the above can happen if you believe in yourself, and then start taking action! This is the simplest “magic formula” in the world and anyone can use it to positively change his/her life.

I’m completely cool with sounding like a Miss America contestant right now, because deep down, I know how transformative this simple truth can be if it’s acted on.

Here’s the kicker though–even if you don’t completely believe in yourself yet, just by taking action (no matter how small that action is), it will help to make your self-belief strong.

Today can be the first day of your new life, just like May 20, 2013 was for me.

The reason why I created The Positivity Solution is because I desperately want that for you, and for everyone else who visits this place.

My Unshakable Belief

Can I be honest with you? I have no talent.

I can’t sing and dance like Usher. Multiple knee surgeries derailed my basketball career. I’m not a lawyer, physician, or an accountant.

All that I have working for me is one thing:

I give a damn about people.

Somehow, that tiny spark created the blog that you’re reading now. I decided to fight through the “what if I fail?” question and through my self-doubt because I believed that I could use my caring about others to make a positive difference in the world.

And I have.

Trust me, I’m not bragging–actually, it’s the opposite. I’m sharing this because I’m no one special. I achieved more than I thought possible once I chose to believe in myself more than my doubts and fears.

If you’re struggling with believing in yourself, please know that I feel you more than I can ever express in this blog post.

May 20th is a day that I will never forget, and I want May 19th (or insert the day that you’re reading this) to be just as special for you.

If you make today the day where you choose to believe in your abilities more than your doubts, you will experience a happiness that will touch your soul in ways that will shock you.

We’re in this together and we’ll fight our self-doubts side by side, if you’ll let me.

Even though a year has passed, and even though a lot has changed since I sat down at my kitchen table with my laptop last year, one thing hasn’t:

I believe deeply in you, because you’re the reason why I started this blog in the first place.

Thanks for an awesome first year, and let’s get ready to do even more amazing things in Year Two.

Thanks for believing in me as much as believe in you!

Your Turn

Do you believe in yourself? How has your self-doubt slowed you down? Don’t hesitate to jump into the comments below and make your voice heard!

Shola

Shola

Founder of The Positivity Solution
Author, keynote speaker, and kindness extremist who is committed to changing the world by helping as many people as possible to live and work with more positivity.
Shola
Shola

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Comments

  1. Hi Shola
    Congratulations on the 1st Anniversary of ‘The Positivity Solution.’ It’s wonderful !

    • Thanks so much Kim! It’s a very exciting day!

      • Happy anniversary Shola!
        I found your website when I was in a life changing transformation, and by the way, I’m still at it.
        I just want to let you know that after I read some of your inspiring words and what you had to conquer in the beginning of your happiness it really helped me take some bold steps in my life. So, thank you! And I look forward to reading more about the wonderful experiences each and everyone of us are going to be a part of.

        • Right on, Angela! Helping people to make life-changing transformations is what motivated me to create this blog in the first place. I am so incredibly happy that my words have helped you to take some bold steps in your life. But the REAL person who deserves the thanks is the person in the mirror who had the guts to make those changes happen. Well done Angela, and here’s to even more powerful transformations coming soon!

  2. Happy Anniversary!!!

    Has it really been a year? In many ways, it seems you have been in my life for much, much longer. I have come to eagerly anticipate your Monday morning emails to the point that they are just part of my routine. They have helped me to stop dreading the beginning of a new work week and to look forward to what positive ideas you will share.

    Thank you so much for the hard work and dedication you have shared with all of us over the past year. We are very blessed to have found you. I hope more and more people will discover just how beneficial your words are. Positive change is not only possible, it is actually happening!

    As for me, I believe 100% I can do whatever I put my mind to. Unfortunately, professionally, I have not yet figured out what I want that to be. I have had so many different jobs/careers since finishing college 22 years ago. I know I have not figured out yet what my ‘dream job’ is, but once I do I am totally willing to do everything I can to get it.

    Any advice on figuring it all out? Not trying to take away from the excitement of your anniversary, I promise! You just have me thinking even more now about how I can move forward in making my own quest (to lighten the load of others) an even bigger reality!

    Hugs,

    kathy

    • Isn’t it crazy?? It feels like yesterday when everything got started here! And you are one of the few who have been here since the very beginning and I am VERY thankful for that. That’s a great question that you asked, and my advice is super simple, but it worked for me. Find the one thing that you love doing (in my case, speaking and writing) and the one area where you’re exceptional (modesty suspended for a minute, but I know that I’m pretty damn good at maintaining a positive attitude), and find the point where they intersect and work everyday toward making that your career. For example, my dream job is to travel all over the world speaking to audiences about how to make the world a more positive place at work, home, and every place in between. That’s my target, and each day I’m getting closer and closer to it. I hope that my example helped a little! Thanks as always for being a BIG part of the solution, my friend!

  3. Congratulations Shola!!!! I found your blog a few months ago by surfing the internet looking for “positive” websites after breaking up with my ex-boyfriend. Thank you for starting this blog 1 year ago because had you not, I wouldn’t have been able to experience your positivity and encouraging words! Believe me it has helped me tremendously throughout this process 🙂

    • Philly, that is SO awesome to hear. Thank you for sharing that with me! It’s an honor to know that my words have helped you to get through a tough time in your life. Thanks for being here, and I’ll keep encouraging you for as long as you’ll have me!

  4. Gustavo Fragoso says:

    Thanks a lot, Shola! I’ve been reading your posts since a page from Facebook, The Optimism Revolution, shared your blog, and so far I’ve found it very stimulating and enpowering! As for your today’s post, it came out exactly at the time I needed it. That serves to show me something I already believed in: everything and everyone is connected.

    Thanks again, and happy anniversary!
    Gustavo Fragoso

    • Thanks Gustavo! Any fan of Jim Willett’s is definitely a friend of mine. I’m so happy to hear that today’s post hit home with you. You are ready to make any goal of yours a reality if you’re willing to believe in yourself. Thanks for your comment!

  5. Michelle says:

    Happy Anniversary Shola!

    Thank you for sharing your gift with the world, your words of guidance, truth, and positivity are invaluable.

    -Michelle

    • Thanks Michelle! You are so sweet to say such kind words, and believe me, they are deeply appreciated. Thank YOU for being a part of the solution!

  6. Happy Anniversary Shola!!

    I can’ believe it’s been a year and yet it feels like I’ve been reading your wonderful words forever. I am so happy that you decided to take the plunge. I have to tell you this: Whenever I am out or even in and a “situation” comes up, I always find myself wondering “What would Shola say?” When I have an issue at work, when I witness something mean, when I hear people complaining about everything under the sun…I always think “What would Shola do?” I think that your blog is awesome. I think that you are awesome. I feel blessed every day to have found what you are sharing. Thank-you! And here’s to many more years to come!! <3

    • Spring, you have NO idea how surreal it is to read your comment! A year ago, if someone told me that a woman on the other side of the country would think “what would Shola do?” when faced with an issue at work, there’s no way that I would believe it. Honestly Spring, it’s because of people like you that The Positivity Solution has made it to its first birthday. I am so thankful for you and everything that you’ve brought to this community–it’s you who is the awesome one, my friend!

  7. Hi Shola, thank you so much for this post. It has touched my soul… My dream is to be a musician,and I’ve decided to share my talent by going to the auditions of a talent show next month. I believe in my self and I’m so going to take action. You’re a blessing!

    • That’s awesome, Siza! Please believe that your dream came to you for a reason, and I’m so happy that you’re going for it. I’ll be keeping an eye out for you on my television in the near future! Rock it out my friend, you got this!

  8. Congratulations! Thank you for creating this website. I love reading your articles. Please keep writing.

  9. Happy Anniversary, Shola! Thanks for being that voice in the wilderness that says “Being a nice person isn’t a waste of time.” 🙂

    • Thanks Maria! The cool thing is that I’m not completely alone in the wilderness, because you’re here with me! Thanks for being a star on Team Positivity–the world needs more of your awesomeness at work, home, and every place in between :). Being nice, for the win!

  10. Hi Shola,
    Congratulations on the anniversary of The Positivity Solution. Your writings are really insightful, touching and honest. I stumbled upon your site when I found your article about bullying. It was one of the most challenging periods of my life. I felt strengthened by reading what you wrote. (That battle was luckily won ☺) I wish you a lot of success in the years to come!

    • Aparajitha, I’m so glad that you won your battle with workplace bullying! It’s such a miserable thing to have to go through something like that and I’m so happy to hear that you didn’t let it destroy you. If I did anything to help you in that process, then that has truly made my day 🙂 Thanks so much for the kind words and congrats to you for finding the strength to reclaim your career!

  11. CONGRATULATIONS Shola! Thank you for creating The Positivity Solution and sharing your incredible spirit and loving support with us all! You have made an incredible difference in my life and from all of the comments I have read,I’m not alone! You are the perfect example of someone who takes negativity and turns it into Positivity! I’m so grateful to have found you!

    • Thanks Maxine! I’m giving you a virtual hug across the internet right now :). I’m grateful that you found me too and I promise to pumping out the positivity for as long as you’ll have me. Thanks so much for the support and thanks for being a part of the solution!

  12. Happy Anniversary, Shola!! Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful inspiring wisdom with the world via the Positivity Solution! I look forward to the blogposts every Monday. They put a smile on my face and in my heart! Blessings and peace to you! 🙂

    • You are so sweet, thanks Kari! Thank you so much for allowing me into your world each Monday, it’s great to hear that I’m adding some positivity to your life–but believe me, the pleasure is ALL mine 🙂

  13. tara dupont says:

    Congrats shola!!!
    I don’t know how i stumbled upon this site but I am glad I did. I am a firm believer in the glass is half full and appreciative inquiry. THANK YOU for having the courage to follow your dreams and continue share your vision!!!

    • That’s right Tara! As you know, I’m right there with you when it comes to the “glass half full” philosophy ;). You are so welcome and THANK YOU for being part of the journey to make the world a more positive place!

  14. Katherine says:

    Happy Anniversay. Good for you!
    I am full of doubt, full of pain, full of if I could only go to sleep and never wake up. I was fired for being bullied. I simply don’t understand. We are teachers trying to teach those children how to survive being bullied. Yet, this was the worst position in my life. I’ve experienced the worst co-workers ever (and some of the best).

    • Ugh, I’m so sorry to hear about your workplace bullying situation, Katherine. It still amazes me how many people in this day and age still don’t think of workplace bullying as a serious issue–it absolutely destroys lives. The good news is that you’re out of that soul-murdering situation, and even though no one ever wants to be fired, I’m confident that in the near future (if you’re not there already), you’ll look at this as a big-time blessing in disguise.

    • Krista Schwabe says:

      Oh Katherine…..that is just SO WRONG in so many ways (and I am on the advisory board of an anti-bullying organization so I’m truly angry for you).

      It’s ok to feel hurt, grieve, express the pain you’re going through. But please please please do not let those bullies steal your joy for life. Not for a minute. If you find you are overwhelmed to the point it’s beyond your abilities–reach out. To a friend, doctor, spiritual advisor, therapist. I’ve been in that kind of soul-sucking pain and am finally on the other side of it (thanks to a wonderful doctor and pharmaceuticals). YOU are TOO PRECIOUS to let the bullies win.

      You can do this. You are not alone. Hurt, confused, bewildered, yes, but never alone. I’m on FB, if you need someone to talk to, come find me please. I mean this with my heart. Take gentle care of yourself dear.

  15. Krista Schwabe says:

    If you told me a year ago that I would shave my head I would have laughed, HARD. While I’ve had bad hair days that have made that idea tempting, me? bald? NO WAY.

    And yet that is what I did in March. Now before you think I’ve jumped off the deep end, I did so after raising $2610 for St. Baldricks Foundation, for pediatric cancer research.

    And that simple act set me free and changed my life.

    I had quizzed friends about it, most thought (I know) that I was crazy, even for a good cause. And while I am talented in several things, fundraising has always been the bane of my existence, from school to girl scouts and now my own children’s fundraising efforts.

    So I set a meager goal of $500. My friends said that seemed reasonable if I was going to shave my head (and I mean BALD).

    Then something spiritual happened–God took over. My words flowed in emails, FB statuses, private messages. And before I had nearly begun, that goal was met. BOOM. Dare I raise it to $1000??

    I “stepped out in faith” and did it. Over and over I kept raising it. And when I found out that amount was equal to half the summer tuition for a fellow to study with a pediatric oncologist specialist, I wept. Me. 44 years old, a stay at home mom, disabled, imperfect broken woman. I did this.

    And now I’m on fire–between the anti-bullying organization I volunteer for, my mission in life is that I will be raising money to end pediatric cancer until I take my last breath. And I will shave my head every year. Because really, my hair on my head is worth nothing. And slowly, the white and grey and brown hairs are growing back and I’m already planning on how to go bigger next year.

    I think I just spoke enough for two minds but thank you for all your encouragement. The doubts are there but I defeat that by not thinking about myself and thinking about the kids.

    Here’s to another amazing year for you! Blessings!! xo

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