Do You Believe in Yourself and Your Dream?

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Do you believe who you are?

A few recent events in my life has me wondering if I’ll ever truly believe in myself.

This past weekend found me back in LaCanada for the float’s annual “pat-ourselves-on-the-back” dinner.  This was my 25th float, which is more float experience than the majority of other people in the room. However, I’m still surprised when everyone knows who I am, wants to talk to me, and asks me to sit at their table. Giving my “thank you” speech made me so nervous that I had to put my red Hawaiian hat on my head.  Silly, huh?

At work the other day, my colleagues and I were talking about a difficult case that may become mine. The attorney who is currently handling the case mentioned that the parents are unhappy with how the case is going.

I said, “Well, if they’re so unhappy, why don’t they go hire a trial attorney?”

My other colleague pointed out to me, “You’re a trial attorney.”

Oh yeah.

I tend to forget.

Maybe I should write “attorney” on my hand to remind myself – you know, like how you wrote notes on your hand in school to cheat on a test.

Another work situation – I’m trying to learn bankruptcy law.

I worked through my first chapter 13 bankruptcy the other day and ended up with the fact that the clients are going to owe a ridiculous amount of money per month. I immediately assumed that I had screwed it up somewhere along the line, reminded myself that I’m not good at numbers, swore about how much I hate bankruptcy, and started working on convincing myself that I’d never be able to learn it.

Can’t learn Spanish – can’t learn bankruptcy.

Because they’re the same, you know, and that’s logical.

I went over the file with my supervising attorney today.  Turns out that I did it right; client simply may not be eligible for Ch. 13.

This sort of thinking gets in the way of my dream all too often.

Along with

Is Nikki ever going to be better?  Am I ever going to get my confidence back?

I can be so confident in my Deco Chair, float setting (except for giving thank you speeches at the annual dinner) – why doesn’t that confidence carry over?

How can I make it?


I read somewhere that to think confidently, one must act confidently. They say to “fake it until you make it”. And research has shown that faking confidence actually leads to the real thing. If we are in a situation where we are not sure what to do, we are suppose act like we know what to do. But what do we do when we don’t know how to act like we know what to do?


Then what?

Where do you find your confidence to dream?

‘Til next week.


Danelle left 8 Women Dream in March of 2010 and is still working  on her dream is to become an accomplished equestrian

  • H

    You have been unusually quiet on the blog. I am assuming you are really busy these days.

    Sometimes when I am introduced as a CEO I turn around to look for the person they are talking about and realize it’s me.

    At least we get some of you and your fun humor in your posts!


  • Hey Danelle, sending good thoughts to Nikki… and YOU!

    You are so amazing and need to remember that… Two great books that I love – and refer back to when doubting myself – are “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay and “Creative Visualization” by Shakti Gawain.

    Lots of great exercises to help us remember how awesome we are, when we forget…

    (of course, WE will keep reminding you too!!!).


  • Rachel

    Danelle, I love your sense of humor. Spanish => bankruptcy — of course! :D

    Don’t be hard on yourself for being hard on yourself, though! As women, learning to believe in our own abilities can be especially challenging, since we’re socialized to downplay our own strengths, and build up others. That’s not all bad — modesty, and building an equitable environment where people feel comfortable to share, are valuable social traits. But it becomes a problem when we internalize the modesty so much that we can’t recognize our own strengths.

    One thing I’ve been learning from the meditation is to cut short that automatic process of jumping from “something isn’t quite right” to “my whole life is awful and always will be.” When the results of your work are unexpected, it is natural, and very functional to question whether you did something wrong. That’s just being careful. The problem, of course, comes from assuming that 1 mistake = I’m a screwup and can’t get anything right. We would never respond that way to someone else’s mistake. Why do it to ourselves?

    Re “fake it till you make it” — I don’t believe it’s necessary or desirable to pretend you have answers that you don’t have. I think the key is telling yourself (and others) that you have the ability to figure out what to do. You can solve the problem. The first few times, you project that even though you don’t believe it. After it turns out that you did solve the problem you said you could, you begin to believe it more and more. It helps, too, if you can come with a reason in your own mind for that confidence. Something like, “my boss thinks I’m capable of this, and she knows my abilities, so it must b true.”

    If it really means lying, and you’re a fundamentally honest person, it won’t work. You find a way to convince yourself you can succeed, and then… show no fear. Pretending not to be afraid isn’t as hard as pretending to have answers you don’t have.

  • Remy G

    Hey Danelle – such sad news about Nikki and we’ll think good thoughts thru the 16th. The way you think about your success supports becoming successful for sure. Its similar to people who smile at themselves in the mirror to change their attitude – i never used to think that it worked but one day i woke up in a crappy mood, stared in that mirror, and went about 20 seconds before i started giggling at myself. Something about that made it possible to change the way I was feeling…may sound dorky but it worked for me – and I know it may not work on the big things…one day at a time right??
    Good luck! R

  • Kim, the traveler

    Sorry about your horse! Hope it works out soon.

    I think confidence is something you’re born with, but can also be built with environment.

    I look at my two girls. One is quiet and reserved but her environment has made her a little more confident.

    The other is naturally confident. Her confidence attracts people to her all the time. She gets what she wants because that’s her way of thinking. Not in a spoiled way but more like a confident way.

    I love the statement, “fake it until you make it”. I always wished I was a better actress! It would make things so much easier!

    Good luck!

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Your poor horse. I hope everything comes out OK with all that.

    I think you are experiencing what we moms call the brain dead years – those years when your kids are small and EXHAUSTING. Once when my son was in pre-school I put him in the car in the morning and drove straight to work – completely forgetting to take him to school. It wasn’t until he said, “Look – it’s mommy’s work!” that it dawned on me what i had done.

    They are crazy years with working, caring for them and a home. I think it begins to ease up starting at 3rd grade lol.

    I am surprised we are able to have a coherent thought at all during those years and you are trying to accomplish a dream

    My hat is off to you.