Believing in yourself is a fundamental component of self-trust and self-esteem. In order to trust yourself it is important to act according to your own values, to accept yourself and even love yourself for who you are.
Believing in yourself means putting your own vision first and taking a positive decision to eliminate negative influence from others who may not understand or appreciate you. This does not mean you should not listen to others’ opinions, especially if they are trying to give you precious advice for your future. Believing in yourself is about taking responsibility for your own life choices and believing that you are capable of accomplishing your own personal goals. It is about not limiting yourself and not letting restrictive opinions of other people put barriers up for you.
To summarize, believing in yourself is all about choosing to listen to yourself first.
What stops you from believing in yourself?
People find it difficult to believe in themselves due to a mistaken understanding of their own personality.
Your personality develops based on prominent or striking experiences throughout the course of your life which can impact you in a positive or negative way. The way you interpret these experiences will affect the development of your personality. Over the years, these interpretations become reality which is no longer questioned.
To start believing in yourself, it is necessary to understand how you may have wrongly interpreted events in the past and how this has caused you to limit your own personality and life in general.
Sometimes it can be useful to backtrack your personal development in order to understand, and correct past interpretations which have restricted your potential. Your personality is therefore your perception of yourself or the perception others may have of you.
You may have heard someone say to you: that’s just how I am, there is nothing I can do about it, this isn’t meant for me, etc.
Your objective is to work on your true nature, who you really are, in other words, your identity. It is your identity which makes you unique. So your objective is to redefine your choices based on who you really are and not what other people think you should do.
You own convictions are another factor which make it difficult to believe in yourself, that is to say, whether you consider yourself capable of doing something or not. Personal convictions are ideas which are supported and validated by events. As is the case of personality, convictions tend to become an absolute truth. It is common that any later event which is linked to such convictions can be interpreted by someone as proof of their own convictions.
You will surely have heard people saying: I just can’t do it, I’m not up to it, I’ll never manage it, I don’t think I was made for such things, I can’t cope etc.
Personal convictions are not the only ones to worry about. There are also social convictions which are even more powerful as they influence how millions of people choose to believe in themselves. Fortunately, there are some exceptional people who break these conventions and show the world that what they thought impossible, is possible.
To sum it up, it is difficult to believe in yourself if you do not recognize your true nature, if you impose limits on yourself and if you are too strongly influenced by others.
How can I believe in myself?
In order to believe in yourself, it is necessary to know how to listen to and benefit from your internal dialogue. The first person you communicate with each morning is you! If your internal communication is downbeat, it will be hard to believe in yourself.
Have you ever told yourself: what an idiot I am, now it’s too late, I’m a failure, I can’t cope, I haven’t got what it takes to deal with this, it’s better just to give up, I’m just wasting my time, etc.
If this is how you communicate with yourself, you’ll never be able to believe in yourself!
For this reason, you must absolutely improve your internal dialogue. To do this, try writing all your demoralizing thoughts in a notebook. Do this for a week and notice if there are elements that come up regularly. Deal with these first, trying to understand where they come from (fear, major life events, other people’s opinions, personal convictions, etc.). Then try to call these demoralizing thoughts into question by making a list of arguments that contradict them. If you can’t manage this by yourself, try doing it with someone who values and appreciates you.
Then make two columns, one with the negative thought, and another with the positive contradiction opposite. Whenever you think the demoralizing thought, immediately follow it with the positive one.
Sometimes, however, life becomes too difficult and your belief in yourself can take a battering. Perhaps you have an important event to prepare for and you need some extra support to continue believing in yourself. In which case, it may be useful to make a presentation of encouragement to yourself. Such a presentation should be done as if you were speaking to an audience but with two differences: the public is you and the speech is spontaneous.
I advise you to give your presentation of encouragement out loud as this way your words will have a more positive impact on your unconscious. Speak sincerely with yourself, make positive and supportive statements focusing on your capabilities. Forget about your weaknesses and things you’ve done wrong as these have no place in a presentation of encouragement. This is the time to blow your own trumpet and celebrate why you are unique. This is the time to make a new start. This is the time to remember that you were born to be happy, to make a contribution and to be successful.
Try making your presentation in front of a mirror. This prop will enable you to be more convincing. Here’s why:
Simply because by looking at yourself in the mirror while you talk, you will be more honest with yourself and you will avoid finding excuses to not give your best. Also you will find that the more you speak to yourself encouragingly in front of the mirror the more your arguments will become convincing. This is because you will not only be able to develop your verbal communication skills, but also the tone of your voice and your non-verbal communication. Your communication with yourself and with others will become more efficient because you will, yourself, be more convinced of your own potential.
Another great method to believing in yourself is to think over your past successes. The mind has a tendency to forget many positive and negative events in life. Sometimes it can focus in on a bad moment in your personal life or a professional defeat, and this can cause you to judge yourself harshly.
This can often lead you to making bad conclusions regarding your real potential. At such times, people tend to get stuck focusing on a particular problem and they don’t see a way out. In moments of stress, it can be useful to focus on results you have been able to achieve, no matter how big or small. I therefore suggest you take some time to think about past goals which you have accomplished in your life. Draw out three columns on a sheet of paper and write as follows:
- In the first column, write in the goals achieved of which you are the most proud.
- In the second, write why you are pleased to have reached these goals.
- In the third, write what the challenges were that you overcame, and what you learned from these experiences.
Once you have all this information written down, think again about the challenge or objective facing you today, and make a list of the actions which could help you begin to resolve it. Make sure you structure the tasks in a manageable way, decide on a time by which they need to be completed, and try to anticipate any potential obstacles to realizing the tasks themselves. In most cases you will resolve your problem before completing the tasks on your list.
To conclude, you are the first person with whom you communicate and it is important to tender to the quality of your communication with yourself. To do this efficiently, improve the quality of your internal dialogue, give presentations of encouragement to yourself, and focus in on past achievements. Doing this will help you regain confidence in your ability to meet the challenges you choose yourself and those that life throws at you.