The Surprising Face of Belief

Believe in people if you expect greatness from them. But what does it look like?

4 faces of disbelief:

  1. Accepting mediocrity. There’s nothing inspiring about being average when people are capable of remarkable.
  2. Coddling rather than encouraging. Coddling accepts poor performance. Encouragement says you can reach higher.
  3. Accepting average performance from youself while demanding exceptional from others. 
  4. Ignoring tough issues and destructive patterns.

You can’t demoralize people and expect them to rise to greatness.

The surprising face of belief:

Abe, our eight year old grandson, lifted his shirt to show me the bruises and scrapes he had on his left side. He’d fallen out of a tree. I winced, “That must have hurt.” He nodded sheepishly.

He lifted his left elbow to show me a scab that made me cringe. He’d crashed his skate board during a race. Finally, he showed me bruises on his right side from the same crash.

I looked him in the eye and gave him a congratulatory, “Gooood for you!” He looked perplexed.

“You’re a manly man!”

His eyes sparkled. He smiled and ran off. A little later he came back to show me a fresh scrape on his upper arm. I said, “That’s gonna make you tough. Way to go.”

He looked proud, “It’s not much.”

Later in the day I said, “Let me see that arm. Way to go!”

Abe loves climbing trees, being in plays, and racing his skate board. I believe in him so much that I refuse to feel sorry for him when he falls. Pain makes him resilient and tough. 

I don’t want life to be easy for Abe. I want him to see strength in himself. It takes grit to find greatness. Ease is the enemy.

What does it mean to believe in the people on your team?

Abe showing off his elbow.