What Can We Learn About Self Belief from President Biden?
The man may be the oldest president to take office, but his commitment to the cause highlights lessons for us all.
How do you feel about President Joe Biden? I bet you have lots of opinions and thoughts. But frankly, for this piece, it doesn’t matter.
He may have been sworn in on January 20th, on a blisteringly cold day in Washington, marking a significant turning point from Donald Trump’s administration. However, politics aside, Biden as a person, can be respected for his extensive career, intertwined with personal struggles along the way.
Regardless of whether you like the man or his politics, his journey of getting where he is today is signified by one outstanding factor. Self-belief. Throughout the years, he’s believed in himself and had the will to keep going and now, his career has finally culminated in the ultimate reward, being President.
If you throw your political affiliations out of the window just for one second, you’ll be able to appreciate Biden’s lifelong commitment to the cause. Here’s what we can learn about the newly crowned President of the United States about self-belief.
Determination can Go A Long Way
Biden has spent nearly half a century in US politics. Let that sink in. Although the history books will primarily remember him as the man who took a second term away from Trump, the past decades he has spent fighting for the same cause, should not be ignored.
Other than his two failed attempts at running for President, Biden has spent 36 years of his career in the US senate. That’s more years than I have been alive. Which may be insignificant, but still, it’s a useful measure to appreciate how determined the man is and committed to the cause.
Every day since Biden was elected to the US senate in 1972, as a member of the Democratic Party from Delaware, he has picked himself up and worked hard to get where he is today. He may be the oldest president sitting in office, but arguably, he is one of the most determined, committed and hardworking.
Politics aside, these are traits we should all aspire to — whether we dream of being president or not.
Overcoming Personal Struggles and Coming Out Stronger
Whether you think personal life should enter into politics is a matter for another day — but Biden has not hidden behind the many personal struggles he has faced in his life.
As a boy, he had a characteristic stutter, and his classmates called him, “dash” and now, he can deliver a speech under the spotlight in any given moment. Occasionally, he’ll stumble over his words here and there, but who doesn’t? I wasn’t even aware that Biden had a stammer as a young boy until I was researching for this article.
But Biden, believes in the power of words, declaring in his speech after the inauguration, “words matter” and indeed, they do.
In 1972, just as Biden’s career was starting, his first wife and three children were involved in a car accident which killed his wife and daughter, and severely injured his two sons, Beau and Hunter. But it doesn’t stop there. In 2015, Beau passed away at 46, after battling brain cancer. They had a particularly close relationship, and his sudden death was a huge obstacle that Biden had to overcome.
“Beau Biden was, quite simply, the finest man any of us have ever known.” — Joe Biden
However, like he always has done, Biden never gave up and continued putting everything into his career. His personal struggles and life experiences in many ways have allowed him to be perceived as more “human” and “normal” in some peoples’ eyes. He’s certainly a trooper.
Trying Again After You Fail
Not only has Biden spent a life in politics, but he also ran for president twice before his successful attempt in 2020. He first ran in 1987 against the backdrop of Regan America. Even then, he was harking on about healing the divisions in America,
“We must rekindle the fire of idealism in our society, for nothing suffocates the promise of America more than unbounded cynicism and indifference.” — Joe Biden
However, this was overshadowed by newspaper coverage of his plagiarism of a speech by the UK politician, Neil Kinnock, and this stirred up even more about his allegations of plagiarism back in law school. As a result, Biden dropped out.
However, he tried again in 2008, but this did not last beyond the first round. Instead, he was picked by candidate Obama, to run as his Vice-President, and the rest is history, so they say.
Biden could have ended his political career comfortably after Obama left office in 2017. But obviously, he was never satisfied. After failed attempts, knockbacks, personal struggles and a plethora of bad press coverage, Biden would try again, and this time, he would succeed.
Biden may be old and a bit haggard due to a lifetime spent in US politics, but regardless of where you sit on the political spectrum, it pays to appreciate the man’s self-belief and determination.
Too often (myself included) we allow ourselves to fall at the first hurdle and succumb to criticism. However, as Biden’s career has shown, we can all get to where we want to be in life with a little determination, will, and strength. Even if it takes several decades of perseverance.