In business and your personal life, self-confidence is a prerequisite for taking massive action. You need to be able to believe in yourself – your abilities, skills and passions – to take the leap into entrepreneurship or any other aspiration. Believing in yourself is the lynchpin of exceptional leadership, because self-confidence lets you manage and inspire others with assurance and direction. Learning how to believe in yourself is critical to creating the life you desire.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BELIEVE In YOURSELF? “Can I learn how to believe in myself more?” Learning how to believe in yourself entails building up confidence in your abilities as well as falling in love with yourself – the parts of your personality, perspective and experience that make you uniquely you.
At the core of self-belief is realizing that you – and only you – are the driver of your own success. This is where personal power is built: in claiming agency to overcome challenges in your life. Believing in yourself isn’t about uninterrupted success. It’s about finding your inner strength so that you can embrace the journey that is life, with all its ups and downs, and realize that each challenge brings new skills, understanding and strength.
THE POWER OF BELIEVING IN YOURSELF
If you’re struggling with self-doubt, it’s likely you’re focused on mistakes you’ve made in the past. The Association for Psychological Science reports that you must believe in yourself to learn from your mistakes. Researchers studied the brain activity of study participants to observe what happens when someone makes a mistake. Participants were asked to identify the middle letter in a series of letters (like “MMM” or “NMN”). Participants repeated the task several times in a row. Researchers observed two reactions in the brain – one when participants realized they’d made a mistake, and a second when they went to fix the mistake. After the experiment, researchers asked the participants what they’d learned from their errors.
Here is where the power of believing in yourself came into play: Unlike participants with little self-confidence, participants who believed they could learn from their mistakes improved their performance on tasks they completed after they made the mistake. Those participants were also more successful at fixing their mistakes than their counterparts with little self-belief.
What is the lesson for how to believe in yourself? Realize that believing in yourself is a physiological process that impacts your brain circuitry, creating the ability to handle failures with grace and certainty.
10 WAYS TO BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
1.Realize it starts with you
Believing in yourself is all about finding your inner reservoir of strength and resiliency – but how? To get in touch with your personal power, you need to adopt new routines. Consider building a meditation practice into your routine. Mindfulness meditation is shown to reduce anxiety and help you focus on your core competencies. Or, start your day with priming. By incorporating a practice of self-affirmation into your morning routine, you can set the tone for a day filled with confidence.
2.Examine your limiting beliefs
Asking how to believe in yourself opens the door for a deeper question: What are the beliefs that are causing these emotions in the first place? Negative emotions like self-doubt or anxiety are deeply connected to the opinions we have of ourselves based on our life experiences. They’re your brain telling you that it’s time to examine these limiting beliefs and replace them with empowering ones.
3.Learn to respect yourself
Self-respect is the basis of self-belief. If you don’t respect yourself, how can you ever learn to believe in yourself? To master the art of self-confidence, make a habit of treating yourself like you’d treat an esteemed mentor. Change your self-talk by catching your inner monologue when it turns negative and replacing those comments with positive thoughts.
4.Use the law of attraction
Learning how to believe in yourself is like running a race set on an uphill course. You’ll need fuel for the journey. To fuel self-belief, surround yourself with people who inspire and support you. This is the law of attraction – the idea that, “Proximity is power.” Whatever you want to achieve in your life, find people who will elevate you, not bring you down.
The law of attraction isn’t just about who you associate with. It’s also about your environment: what you read and watch on a daily basis. Make a point to seek out advice from others who have achieved your goals. Watch documentaries about people who have done great things in life. Read inspirational quotes and write down your favourites. You’ll condition your brain to believe in yourself, just like they do.
6.Remember past successes
Sometimes, you don’t need to seek support from outside sources in order to believe in yourself. If you’re feeling discouraged, remember moments in your past in which you were successful at a similar task. Or, remember moments in which you faced obstacles and overcame them with grace and courage. By focusing on the positive, you can change your mind-set from one of negativity to one of abundance.
7.Face your fears
It’s human nature to experience fear and anxiety. But when you believe in yourself, you realize that those emotions are there to encourage you to take action, not to hold you back. People with self-belief turn fear into action by focusing on their goals as part of their overall purpose in life. When you have a vision for your life that you truly believe in, you can accomplish anything you desire.
Creating goals is part of facing your fears. Setting and achieving goals that help you overcome your fears will give you a sense of accomplishment. Your goals don’t have to be huge – taking small steps that add up to big results will improve your confidence and boost your ability to believe in yourself.
9.Learn a new skill
Whether you learn how to write code or how to play the piano, learning a new skill can increase your feelings of self-efficacy – your belief in your abilities to execute tasks, control your own behaviour and attain your goals. Research has even shown that learning is directly related to happiness – it releases dopamine in the brain, known as the “reward molecule.
10.Always keep going
We all have times when we just don’t think we can do it. As you practice believing in yourself, the most important thing is to never give up. You’ll inevitably encounter obstacles, but it’s how you react to them that matters. You must dig deep and realign your focus on what you really want in life: discovering how to believe in yourself. It truly is within your reach.