WING TIPS

The Power of Belief

February 15, 2021

The benefits of having a strong belief in yourself are real. The self-esteem, confidence, and conviction you build are vital components to achieving high levels of sustainable success in life. When you believe in yourself, you’ll make an effort and put in the work to do the things necessary to accomplish your goals.

Even more important is the determination that flows from a strong belief in yourself. When faced with difficulty and seemingly insurmountable challenges, this belief gives you the willpower to continue to forge ahead. When you experience the inevitable setbacks, and you get knocked down, belief in yourself gives you the drive to get back up and continue the journey—because you are determined to arrive.


Finding Spence Field

During Air Force pilot training, a part of our syllabus required me to fly my jet solo to a remote base, do three touch-and-go landings, and then return to my home base. I had flown to Spence Field several times before but always with my instructor pilot and usually in the mornings when the visibility was clear. This would be the first time I had flown there by myself. I took off and headed west, with the summer sun in my face. The South Georgia haze made it almost impossible to see my reference points on the ground, and I couldn’t locate the checkpoint where I needed to make the turn to get to Spence. When I realized I was lost, a mild panic began to set in!

I knew that I could use my instruments to return to the home base, but if I didn’t complete the Spence Field mission, it would be a significant failure that would put my training status in grave jeopardy. Becoming a jet pilot was my dream, and I had already put too much time and effort into the program to see it all go away. So, I began to talk to myself, out loud and with conviction: “You can do this ‘T.’ You can do this! You’ve done this flight several times before. Pull it together and find that damn point! You can do this!”


Backtracking

Knowing I had gone well beyond where I was supposed to make the turn, I started to turn the jet around to backtrack the route I had taken. As I rolled out in the opposite direction, it was like someone had lifted a curtain! With the sun now at my back, the points on the ground were crystal clear. I was able to find the turn point, get to Spence Field, and complete my landings. Believing in myself had given me the motivation to put the panic aside and keep flying that mission. Belief had kept me from giving up and returning to the home field and putting my dream of becoming an Air Force pilot at risk.

It has been said that the best way to determine your future is to create it, and the power of your belief is what is required to make that happen. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect someone else to believe in you? You must believe that you are more than you ever imagined and better than you now think you are. Believe that you can do more, have more, and be more before you will ever get what life has to offer.


A Quote to Consider

“Belief is the ignition switch that gets you off the launching pad.”
- Denis Waitley


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