Who first believed in you?

Inspired by a commercial I saw last night. I searched and could not find this topic.

Who was the first person that believed in you? Maybe parents should not count as I have learned many people actually grow up with those that believe they will succeed in life, I didn’t. Who first said, “You can do it.” and meant it?

In High school I met my wife and to this day, 38 years later, she inspires me to be better than I actually am. With her we both rose from abject poverty living in the Appalachian region of East Tennessee, both completed college, both became something no one in either family ever had before, successful.

If parents don’t count, I can’t answer this question. The amount of support and belief my mother has in me makes everything else pale in comparison. And that’s saying a lot - Mr. Athena is no slouch when it comes to those things. But my Mom… I think she thinks I can perform miracles if I put my mind to it.

My case is just like yours. My life was overcrowded with people telling me why I couldn’t do things, and not extending me any opportunities to try, and shooting me down when I did. Lowered expectations and all that.

The first person to believe in me was my wife, who married me when I was 39. I have achieved more in the last nine years than I ever did in the past, thanks to her love and support and belief that I can do whatever I set my mind to do. I’m also the only person in my family to succeed at marriage, and in a career.


Well, my parents and teachers certainly thought I could be successful, and let me know, but it wasn’t until *I *decided I could achieve my dream of being a science fiction writer, nothing happened.

I’ve got Me too. Growing up, I was told that it didn’t matter I wasn’t smart by parents and teachers alike.
There were some teachers who made a differance though. I’d proably say it was Mrs Ross, an R.E. teacher who taught me community studies.

Lanzy, yours is a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing; the success you and your wife have made of your lives is an inspiration.

I really must credit my parents. It’s funny; I’ve told my mother this and she really doesn’t remember saying it, but … I grew up knowing I could do anything I wanted. If ever I expressed some desire, my mother would always tell me, “when you grow up and have your own house and your own life, you can do that.”

Looking back, and now a mother myself, I can see this sort of response to something Typically Ellen, “Mom, can I have another cat? Can I have three puppies? Let’s get more animals!” And Mom :rolleyes: “If you want a house full of animals when you grow up, be my guest. You can do whatever you want, when you grow up.

So, I transferred this to everything! When I grew up, if I wanted it, I could have it. I could succeed in college and become a veternarian (well, if only it weren’t for Calculus … :wink: ). As it turns out, what I wanted to become was a writer, and I’ve been one all my life, now. So, thanks Mom, for telling me I could.

[Re-reading: this isn’t the most gorgeously composed thing I’ve ever written. :o But trust me, I actually have made a living as a writer.]

“You can do it” triggers anxiety in me, but the first people to listen to my questions and give me wings instead of trying to clip them were several of my teachers. One was one of my Religion teachers, that guy could make anybody feel well within his own skin; two others were Science teachers. One of the science teachers, I’d known him for years as a neighbor before being his student; he loaned me I, Robot and Alice Through The Mirror and a Heinlein novel and…

My father never believed in me. My mother still doesn’t.

It sure as hell wasn’t my parents, nor any of my family. I remember once trying to tell them about the value of self-esteem and having them laugh at me. “Silly girl. Loving yourself is being stuck up. No one should love themselves.” The memory of it still stings, fifteen years later.

The first person who believed in me was my best friend Beth. And she never came out and said it but just knew I was better than that, and helped give me some self-esteem.

Other than myself?

Likely my wife. Or some friends.

Do you still live in E. TN?

I don’t even really understand the question.

Believed what? That I would be able to clothe, feed and house myself until I died?

Pretty much every person I’ve ever met in my life, although I suspect most of them didn’t give it much thought.

My husband. We’ve been together since I was 22 (I’m 45 now), and he’s never told me anything I wanted to attempt was silly or pointless. At every turn, his response has been “How can I help you succeed in this?”

It was his attitude, all those years ago, that allowed me to believe in myself, and do a real turn-around, breaking out of the cycle of abuse that I was raised with. Hopefully, years from now, my kids (when asked this question) will be able to answer “My parents”.

Trunk, my parents never believed that I’d be able to make correct decisions… much less clothe, feed and house myself. They were doubtful that I’d be able to get into college; my HS GPA was actually good enough for any school in the country, but they’d been badgering me so hard and for so long about my bad grades that I actually believed I had bad grades.
ETA: way to go, norinew!

Ditto. Plus they felt I was kind of stupid, and inherited my real mother’s genes, who was admittedly not very bright.

If parents don’t count, then I don’t know. A couple of wonderful teachers, some friends, and then first and foremost, my husband.

No, I left a long time ago, and didn’t leave anything there to bring me back.

As far as humans are concerned, no one in particular. I was expected to do well and when I did I was just doing my job. I knew I had to support myself because I had no home to go back to, because my parents had done what they felt was necessary for me to support myself and wouldn’t do more.

Maybe the folks who let me into graduate school with money believed in some vague way that I would do something worthwhile with the opportunity.

If no one has ever tried to tell you that you can’t then I guess the question doesn’t make a lot of sense. Apparently some of the people are somewhat kindred spririts and know what I was asking.

Maybe I could rephrase it as, If you’ve had a history of being told you can’t accomplish your dreams and then someone changed your life by telling you that you could, who is that person. and Yes it could be yourself after all that is what really counts eventually.

I don’t presume this has happened to everyone and in a perfect world no one would have the slightest idea what I was talking about.

My parents, especially my dad, believed in me altogether too much, if you want my opinion. He (in particular) pushed me very hard and insisted I take on goals that were beyond my capacities and succeeded in doing nothing but frustrating the hell out of me.

My parents have always believed in me to the extent that I take it for granted sometimes, and I regret that, because it’s been one of the best parts of my life.

Aside from both of them? The sixth-grade teacher, Susan, to whom I owe a bear hug, and my eleventh and twelfth-grade history teacher, to whom I owe a trip to Amsterdam to bring back a tulip bulb–which he did for me.