Education — Having knowledge of the subject matter you are undertaking is instrumental in fortifying you to believe in yourself. I faced many challenges as an engineer, being a female in a male-dominated work environment. But, I knew my engineering intellect could measure up to my colleagues and supervisors. And at the same time, even if I had less experience than my peers, my knowledge encouraged me to keep my head held high and protected me from condescending egos.
Starting something new is scary. Learning to believe in yourself can be a critical precursor to starting a new initiative. Why is it so important to learn to believe in yourself? How can someone work on gaining these skills? In this interview series, we are talking to business leaders, authors, writers, coaches, medical professionals, teachers, to share empowering insights about “How To Learn To Believe In Yourself.” As a part of this series we had the pleasure of interviewing Renee Goodwin — Goodwin Global Publishing.
Renee Goodwin is an award-winning author of GG Life Lesson Storybook Series ® books and a published novelist and children’s book author with Goodwin Global Publishing. Renee is the recipient of the 2021 Texas A&M University Aggie Women Legacy Award.
Through the years Renee has become an accomplished teacher, engineer, businesswoman, author and artist. Renee believes her undying passion for education has motivated her to believe in herself to achieve life fulfillments.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
I grew up in a loving household with my parents, three siblings and always encircled by extended family members. As a child, I observed my parents’ high moral character and hard-working standards. My parents believed that one’s education was their path to success. No matter the sacrifice, my parents ensured my siblings and I attended schools that afforded the best education.
I received my upper-level education at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas graduating with undergraduate Bachelor of Science degrees in Curriculum and Instruction and Petroleum Engineering. I received a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Tyler.
Then, following my parents’ examples, I set out to work hard building my career(s).
What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.
With my careers beginning with teaching and rounding out with authorship and artistry while exploring engineering and business along the way, key mentors inspired me through this arduous journey. While my older sister and I were in grade school, my mother was a teacher. I witnessed the rewards of helping others learn watching my mother and her students.
A family friend recognized my potential for engineering observing my relentless study habits and my eagerness to learn. He encouraged me to pursue engineering and business. This background led me to be the first woman offshore drilling engineer supervisor in the Gulf of Mexico for a major oil company and to establish my own oil and gas corporation that I managed for thirty years.
Divine intervention with the help of my puppies GG and Leo inspired me to create GG Life Lesson Storybook Series ® children’s books. Painting and sculpting creating beautiful works of art are God-given gifts that add joy to my life that I am truly thankful for.
It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When I begin an artwork, I have a vision in mind. However, sometimes, my vision and my physical abilities don’t align. As I am working and notice the piece does not look like the image I had in mind, my first instinct is to become exasperated with the artwork and myself. My second inclination is to start over. So, I stop, take a deep breath and fight the negative thoughts and actions. I push through making adjustments here and there. Usually, at the end, the artwork created is better than I originally imagined. Believe in Yourself — Push Through!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
Creating GG Life Lesson Storybook Series ® children’s books, catapulting me into publishing. I established Goodwin Global Publishing, LLC. With my publishing company, I can oversee the illustrations and book layouts for my storybooks. With this, I was encouraged to write and publish two novels. My publishing company offers authors contract publishing services producing quality products while establishing loyal and long-term relationships.
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. This will be intuitive to you but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to believe in yourself? Can you share a story or give some examples?
You should believe in yourself for endless reasons. It may sound redundant, but, most importantly, you should believe in yourself, for yourself. You are your best mental, physical, emotional and spiritual cheerleader. Unfortunately, human instincts first find faults, then maybe, just maybe can see the positives. With that said, the odds are others are more apt to state the negatives about you before the positives. Know you are awesome, inside and out and believe it.
What exactly does it mean to believe in yourself? Can I believe that I can be a great artist even though I’m not very talented? Can I believe I can be a gold medal Olympic even if I’m not athletic? Can you please explain what you mean?
As you grow and mature, you will recognize your God-given talents then recognize your passions. Your passions will be the key, the driving forces for you going forward achieving your imaginable dreams. Regarding myself, I was blessed with skills for engineering and business but also creativity for teaching, writing and artistry. As my life has progressed, I have encouraged myself to seek enjoyment in these passions.
Was there a time when you did not believe in yourself? How did this impact your choices?
There have been many times in my life I have doubted myself. I experienced those doubting feelings unfortunately at times when I listened to others telling me I can’t do this or that. I truly thought they meant me well although they were discouraging me from following my life’s paths. It was not until I would find myself at the low of all lows that I would be able to turn myself around, back to the positive thoughts I have for myself. The loving thoughts I feel for myself. Then, I was able to go forward again.
At what point did you realize that in order to get to the next level, it would be necessary to build up your belief in yourself? Can you share the story with us?
To get to the next level, it has to begin with you. No one else can go through the motions for you. You have to believe that you can go forward and go. Becoming a children’s book author, I had very little if any emotional, physical, mental support from people around me. Even though I was surrounded by doubt, I reached deep within, found the courage, took the leap of faith, contacted a publisher, and my manuscript was accepted. Now, my first children’s book, GG Cleans House — Learning Teamwork is an award-winning book. But most importantly, I am thankful I believed in myself to write my books that I can share for the joy and betterment of others.
I learned the times you find yourself out of your comfort zone are the times you find yourself growing the most. I remember the moment I took the stage speaking to a room of hundreds of people to receive the 2021 Texas A&M University Aggie Women Legacy Award. I was honored, humbled, excited yet very nervous. Beginning with shaking hands and a crackling voice saying “Howdy” I ended with a mighty “Gig ‘Em” Aggies and a thunder of applause. It was a wonderful occasion and I learned I truly enjoy speaking engagements. I look forward to participating in more.
What are your top 5 strategies that will help someone learn to believe in themselves? Please share a story or example for each.
- Education — Having knowledge of the subject matter you are undertaking is instrumental in fortifying you to believe in yourself. I faced many challenges as an engineer, being a female in a male-dominated work environment. But, I knew my engineering intellect could measure up to my colleagues and supervisors. And at the same time, even if I had less experience than my peers, my knowledge encouraged me to keep my head held high and protected me from condescending egos.
- Mental — Committing yourself mentally allows you to go forward with your endeavors, strengthening your belief in yourself. It is imperative that you have a positive mindset. There will always be naysayers. Just remember, the accomplishments you make will nullify the negatives surrounding you. Stay focused on you.
- Physical — Staying healthy is key for overall personal wellness. Our bodies, our beings need to be nourished with hearty foods and hydration, moderate exercise, and sunshine. If you just have time to walk around the block, do it. Soak in the warmth of the sun, breathe the air around you, move your body forward one step at a time.
- Emotional — Ones’ emotions, I think are the most difficult to control especially when struggling with negativity. When you keep your mental and physical self in check, your emotional self will follow. However, there will be times you just want to give up, quit. Don’t! Take a few deep breaths. Concentrate on the true you, the you, you love and the you, that others love. Focus on the you, you believe you can be. Think about all of the great attributes you have that need to be shared with the world. Smile. Put on that happy face. Go out into the world and conquer!
- Spiritual — Your inner being is so important helping you believe in yourself. Knowing I have a spiritual surrounding of love gives me encouragement and enriches me to continue on my journey. Others may attack me from the outside but they cannot get to my spirit. Your spirit is your main driving force supporting you through your most difficult challenges. Your spirit is your secret defense.
Conversely, how can one stop the negative stream of self-criticism that often accompanies us as we try to grow?
Centering your perception of you around a positive attitude focusing on your strengths not your weaknesses, can stop the negative system of self-criticism that accompanies you as you try to grow. It is easy to dwell on the negative, find fault with yourself, listen to others doing the same. To grow, you have to separate yourself from the cons of the world, the cons of your life and give endless attention to the pros of your life. Putting yourself down definitely does not help you or anyone around you. Know your strengths: knowledge, strong mind, good health, patience, kindness…and the list goes on and on if you let it. Allow yourself to grow, to share your goodness with yourself and others. Start with the little things and build upward. You can believe in yourself and others will believe in you, too.
Are there any misconceptions about self-confidence and believing in oneself that you would like to dispel?
There are those that may argue that having self-confidence or belief in yourself doesn’t matter when it comes to personal success. I have faith in the fact that your self-confidence and your belief in yourself is the cornerstone, laying the foundation for you to build your life of successes. It may not be easy, but using your God-given talents fortifying yourself for victory you can conquer all challenges.
What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with imposter syndrome?
My advice to someone struggling with imposter syndrome, I would recommend they look in the mirror and remember who they are, what they are about, where they have come from and where they are going. They should start from square one focusing on the truths about themselves, not falsehoods. They need to figure out how they want to go forward to achieve their goals. They should work from the inside out, not the outside in.
Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I would encourage people to examine their own conscience. Decide what is important now. Decide the path they want to follow. It is great to seek guidance and advice. But, then make your own decisions based on your personal beliefs. I know firsthand, your education makes a huge difference regarding what doors are opened for your future. Use your strengths to catapult you forward. Follow your passions, learn as much as you can. When you spend your time doing something you love, you will love yourself for it. And at the same time be able to help others.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂
If I could be so blessed, I would love to visit with Pope Francis. Pope Francis exudes belief in himself. He embraces his God-given gifts reaching out to all mankind. He is well educated, knows he must stay mentally focused and be as healthy as possible at his age. He follows his passion sharing love and kindness to all people. His spiritual well-being fortifies himself to go forward spreading good news to all. Pope Francis believes he can carry-on God’s work on earth. Pope Francis believes in himself.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
My social media links:
Twitter: @ReneeGo23655106; @rtgoogw; @goodwin_global
Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.