I get it. Believing in yourself isn’t always easy. In fact it can be downright difficult or nearly impossible at times. But the only way you’re going to get where you want to go – whether it’s to succeed in a new business venture, to attract your ideal mate or whatever dream you have floating around in your head– you need to start by believing in yourself.
No matter your starting point, you can start believing in yourself. Here are some time tested methods to help you get started.
The quickest way to stop believing in yourself is to compare yourself to others. We all do it but stop. Seriously. Nothing good can come of it. Everyone is on different paths moving at different speeds so it does you (and everyone involved) no good if you compare yourself to them. Instead dare to be yourself and track your progress based on yourself alone.
Take some time to acknowledge how truly fabulous you are right now. Write out all your fabulous qualities, accomplishments and talents. Set a timer for 20 minutes and don’t stop writing until the time is up. This will allow you access to qualities and accomplishments that you may not come up with if you didn’t push yourself a bit. Include every little fabulous thing that comes to you. Don’t edit as you go. Just write. Once you’re done, you can go back and organize them if you like, grouping them into categories or whatever feels right for you. This is a great exercise to do whenever you’re feeling down on yourself.
Failure is a part of life. In fact, if you’re not failing, you’re not growing. How unrealistic is it to think that you’ll be perfect at what you want to do right out of the gate without any missteps or mistakes? Do you think anyone whose achieved greatness has done so without lots and lots of failure? If you want to achieve something, you’re going to fail. That’s how it works. The more you fail, the closer you are to getting to where you want to go. Look at Edison and the lightbulb. He tested out over 6,000 materials before finding the one to make things work. Without those 6,000 “failures,” he wouldn’t have gotten to the one that mattered. This is true for you, too. Fail. A lot.
While it’s important to not be afraid to fail, you can also help booster your belief in yourself by setting realistic goals. Want to lose weight? Chances are you won’t drop 20 lbs in a week. Make your goals realistic. You can achieve anything you want but if it’s a larger goal, it’s going to take steps to get there. Start out by setting up realistic goals that create steps towards your larger overall goal. These will help keep you on track and help you feel a sense of accomplishment as you move through them.
Ideally your belief in yourself would come from within yourself but it never hurts to surround yourself with people who support and love you, too. When I can’t get out of my negative thoughts, I ask my husband to say some kind words to me (and even about me). You can’t take in what other people say unless you believe it but it helps to hear how fabulous you are from someone else. Also be careful not to subject yourself to negative people and those who put you down, especially when you’re feeling vulnerable. Remove yourself from such negativity as much as you can.
Just as you’ve removed yourself from negative people, remove the negative thoughts you have about yourself. We’re all guilty of focusing on the negative but you have it within your power to switch that around and start focusing on the positive. Even if you don’t think there’s anything positive to focus on, there always is. Start simple. You’re breathing. If you’re reading this, you’re breathing. That’s positive. You have a roof over your head, etc. There is always something positive for you to focus on. And the more you focus on the positive, the more positive you will have to focus on because whatever you focus on expands. How great is that?
Believe it or not, challenging yourself is one of the greatest things you can do. Not only does it increase your level of happiness, it also proves to yourself that you can do more than you thought you can do. I’m not talking about taking crazy scary risks or jumping off a building (with a parachute, hopefully) but challenging to do stuff that you’ve always wanted to do even if it’s scary. Every time you challenge yourself to do something, you increase your comfort zone (making similar things far easier to do in the future) and prove to yourself that you have the power to do whatever you want. You will also increase your belief in yourself. Win/win.
You will increase your ability to believe in yourself if you honor your commitments to yourself and are consistent with your efforts. Everyone slips once in a while, makes mistakes, etc., but the ones who succeed in their goals (and in life) are the ones who get back up and continue to push forward. As you do this, you will learn to trust yourself more and more, knowing that once you set your sights on something, you will follow through. This will allow you to start new ventures with confidence and trust yourself to push through.
Stay on top of things. Don’t let things get out of control. Tackling a little bit every day is much easier than trying to tackle a whole lot all at once. Schedule things out if needed. Chunking time to do things also helps. What I mean by chunking is allowing chunks of time, like 15 minutes, to do or start a task, like cleaning the house, writing a business plan, or whatever. Doing a little bit whenever you can squeeze it in is better than doing nothing. Sometimes you won’t have big sections of time to do the things you want so you’ll need to put them into smaller sections of time, knowing they’ll all add up to what you eventually want to accomplish.
That’s it for now. Let me know what works for you. I’d love to hear. And whatever you do, keep believing in yourself. You can do it!
Laura Kinker is an intuitive life coach, designer, akashic practitioner, writer and photographer who helps people design the lives they want.