Believing in yourself - 6 ways and tips to get started!
Believing in yourself is a concept that many of us are aware of. It has links to confidence, self-esteem and motivation. It can be described as the fuel to motivate us to do any given activity; for when we believe that we can do something we are much more likely to try and do it. However, when we are lacking belief in ourselves; it is almost impossible to even put 20% of our effort into a challenge. This article gives us 7 ways we can use to believe in ourselves, and how to kick-start these methods. If you’re lacking belief right now have a read of the methods below and focus on applying the methods that resonate with yourself and use the tips to get started. Belief can be a tricky area, especially when you’re low on it, however, once you develop honest and genuine reasons to believe in yourself; you will start to see more joy, peace and energy in your life.
Self-love is the appreciation of oneself whilst focusing on feelings of compassion, forgiveness and support. Practising self-love requires you to share the love with yourself, just as you do your family, friends and wider support network.
Self-love is one of the most powerful ways to power our inner belief. Self-love requires sending love to our body, mind & soul. This means we are not looking for external sources of love. Love can be healing and when we send it inwards, we feel loved, stronger and more capable. All of these factors contribute to self-belief. We are less likely to be worried about our inner judgement and are more likely to try again with encouraging self-talk. Finally, when we are appreciated by others for our efforts, we have a belief to do similar acts. The same applies when we appreciate ourselves. We believe we can do whatever we set ourselves up to and if we don’t, through self-love, we’ll simply try again.
3 ways to practice self-love
There are many ways to practise self-love. The easiest way is to appreciate your efforts. That means whenever you put effort into any activity; whether it is education, job, or relationship, you recognise your effort and commend yourself for the effort you have put in. Often we get into a cycle of beating ourselves down when things have not gone how we’d like them to.
Another method is to promote encouraging dialogue; this follows from the point before. Here one would speak kindly to themselves and eventually replace negative mind chatter with kindness.
Judgement. We all live with inner judgement, and it is often the judgement that can cause us to feel inadequate. Our inner judgement comes from the ego, and it is our way of beating ourselves when we are not superior in a given field. Try and become aware of this judgement and when you spot it ask yourself why.
Set realistic goals and celebrate the granular ones
We often see grand visions of what we can do with our lives and the thought about how that would make us feel. However, when we begin to work towards it we set lofty goals with extremely short time frames. This can leave us feeling overwhelmed and we can lose motivation if we do not hit these short deadlines. Setting goals is the hallmark of the process and celebrating granular victories helps instil self-belief.
By doing this method, we are more prone to get lost in the process. This is something we must do, as we begin to fall in love with the journey rather than the destination itself. This is key to our inner belief, as we stop letting the destination overwhelm us and we begin to take action. Once we see the action and we are in motion, we are much more likely to believe we can achieve whatever goal we have set for ourselves.
By celebrating the granular goals. We are giving ourselves a genuine pat on the back for every sub-task that we complete. This may seem excessive, however, by celebrating the small wins we can keep ourselves genuinely motivated as we become less obsessed with the bigger picture. This will help us believe in ourselves as we become excited with our capacity in an everyday way rather than only when we accomplish our bigger goal.
How to set realistic goals & Celebrate the granular ones
Understand what you are working towards, and define your vision
Set a realistic time frame using other people, who have achieved similar goals, as a benchmark
Set tasks/goals that break your vision down into monthly, weekly and daily goals
After a month see how you are progressing, and adjust your timeframes
Whenever you accomplish a daily task in the day, appreciate your efforts and reward yourself
Share & Practice your Talents
We are all gifted & talented in our way. These gifts and talents are not always fully known, but our dedication to any particular craft is a telling sign. When we are working in an area that isn’t where our talent lies it shows. In our motivation, in our effort levels and our genuine passion. This is completely reversed when we work in areas where gifts lie in. Sharing your talents with others and practising them is a sure way to boost your inner belief.
One component of our inner belief is feeling adequate or good enough. This is natural as deep down we know that we are competent. Even more than that, we can tap into our gifts and share them with others. This helps us believe in ourselves as we can appreciate the skill-set that we have. We enable ourselves to feel valued just by knowing that there is an area in that we have a natural talent. Our belief rises further when we begin to share our gift with others as, more often than not, we can help others with our talents and see ourselves making an impact with others. By practising these gifts, we are then able to enhance our ability and eventually become an expert in a specific given area. In time this will result in you feeling more comfortable sharing your talent which could benefit so many others. This builds our confidence and our self-esteem. Two major components to believing in yourself.
How to share and practice your talent
Make a list of all the things you love doing (Communicating, playing or listening to music, sports, studying etc.)
Highlight the areas you enjoy doing and are good at
If you have a couple, prompt yourself to do them more – wherever you are (school, work even at home)
See if there’s a way to do your talent for a living or in your spare time
In doing this process notice to see if your belief within yourself has changed
Work on overcoming limiting beliefs
Limiting beliefs are beliefs that prevent you in some way. They could be anywhere from “I’m not good enough” to “I will never be successful”. They often stem from ourselves and when we say them constantly to ourselves we begin to make them our reality. These types of beliefs affect your state of mind and prevent you from fully believing in yourself. Eventually, these beliefs can affect what you do and stop you from attempting things out of fear of failure.
By overcoming limiting beliefs, we can rewrite the narrative that we have in our heads. If someone had a limiting belief that they are not smart enough they may struggle in exams, often giving up in revision when things got too hard. Their mind would then justify giving up by saying “I’m not smart enough” and if that then resulted in a poor grade they would just repeat “This makes sense, as I’m not smart enough”. Now when this individual overcomes their limiting beliefs, they would be able to try that much harder when it came down to the revision and it would naturally reflect in their grade and thus they can break the cycle of the limiting belief. By overcoming the limiting belief, you can rewrite the belief from “I’m not smart enough” to “When I try my hardest I can do it” which leads to your self-belief rising.
How to overcome your limiting beliefs?
Write down all beliefs that stand in the way of your life
Take time to reflect on why these beliefs are there, and what makes you think that
Rewrite the limiting belief changing the “I’m not” to “I can”
Attempt the area in which the limiting belief affects you
Notice any subtle changes in your attitude.
Ultimately limiting beliefs are something we have made up, and so simply, we can just make something else to take its place. Something more positive and encouraging this time!
Accepting all aspects of ourselves
Accepting all sides of ourselves means having the courage to look at the whole of us. In life, we often get to a point where we have to hide certain aspects of ourselves to fit into society. This can be extremely draining, as we have to constantly think about what to say, do and act to live up to the image we want to portray. Ultimately this adds pressure, and anxiety and tanks our self-belief.
Embracing our whole self can impact belief in several ways. Most importantly, we do not feel the need to hide anymore. This can free space in our minds and allow us to be. Additionally, we are prioritising the expression of ourselves over fitting in. This will make us feel more confident sharing different aspects of ourselves and eventually you will not care what others think about these sides of you. Naturally, this will also allow you to form more genuine connections with people who appreciate these sides of you. All these factors will boost self-belief and make us feel more complete.
Embracing our whole self
To kick-start this method, it is important we take time to understand what parts of ourselves we have hidden from the world. We may have been hiding these parts since we were children and therefore they may be hidden from us. Here is a step by step process to finding these hidden aspects and embracing them
Write down times when you have had to adjust yourself to fit in with society, peer groups, colleagues, friends and family.
Understand what those parts of yourself are, and what you were trying to express through those aspects of yourself
Imagine you’re having a conversation with those aspects à These parts of yourself feel rejected, so you have to use compassion to bring them back into the fold
Find ways to express these aspects
Notice any changes in how you feel and your self-belief
Understanding good is good enough
Perfectionism is a strange concept, what is perfection? Is it getting everything right? Is it just doing things to the best of your capabilities. The latter seems to be more realistic. Getting everything right or “perfect” seems unrealistic and it almost sets you up for failure. When you are living when a mindset of perfectionism everything short of that is not good enough. This can seriously impact your self-belief, as you may never feel you can do quite enough.
Overcoming perfectionism is understanding that good is good enough. That means you can give 100% of the energy you have. As energy is physically intangible, we know that doing your best will vary from time to time. Ultimately, you know whether you have given it your all and that is enough. This notion can help free ourselves from the shackles of perfectionism. Accepting that doing our best is enough will impact our self-belief as we are no longer chasing a moving goal. Perfectionism works in such a way that even if you did this good, you can always do better and thus you will never feel satisfied. When you accept that you can only do your best, your motivation will remain more consistent and you will naturally start believing in yourself.
How to accept good is good enough?
Notice your attitude when you try an activity or challenge
Check whether you are judging yourself after each missed chance or opportunity, or are you simply encouraging yourself and telling yourself to keep trying
If you find yourself judging yourself, immediately send another thought of encouragement, support and appreciation
Eventually, the support should start coming more naturally and the judgement will have less power
Notice any changes within yourselves, and adapt your inner dialogue accordingly
We know how important self-belief is to our daily functioning. When we believe in ourselves we can give our full effort and thus give ourselves the feeling of fulfilment. Sometimes we can lie to ourselves and say we do believe in ourselves even when deep down we know this is not true. It is our duty to ourselves, to try and be more honest so we can start finding real belief in our capabilities. We only have one life, and everyone wants to feel like they gave it their all. Believing in yourself is the simplest way to get there.
There are many more methods for finding self-belief but the methods above are a good start.
Try the methods that resonate with you, and see if there is any noticeable change.
Do you feel self-belief is something that you struggle with?
Have you found it difficult to kick-start self-belief?
Remember we as humans are interdependent beings, and it’s okay to lean on others – be it friends, family, coaches, counsellors, colleagues etc.
Click here to find out more about Self Love Clinic’s coaching and counselling sessions, for more ways you can be supported on a journey of self-love!