It takes constant work to maintain self belief let alone increase your self belief. We live in a world that is well set up to erode our confidence on a daily basis. Rejection, failure, constant comparisons to others, the media showing the lucky few who have made it, leaving the rest of us feeling inadequate and deprived…the onslaught is endless.
How to increase your self belief is relatively simple but it is something you need to repeat. Eat, sleep work on self belief, repeat…
No one has all the answers
I used to think people older than me and those in authority were clearly more competent and more clever than I am. Ageing has helped to prove this belief wrong. Personal experience has taught me a lot too. I have witnessed managers who were awful at managing people. Just because they have earned the title does not necessarily always mean that person is competent. I personally know of two corporate high-fliers who have both told me they don’t always know what they are doing. They have both told me, “it’s okay to be wrong, just be wrong with confidence”. I learned a lot from this. Some people are just better at presenting a more confident facade but ti doesn’t mena they are omniscient! When you remind yourself of this, you tend to raise yourself a few levels up and don;t see yourself as ignorant. It’s possible that you will know something that an ‘expert’ doesn’t. Don’t allow back and white thinking to hold you back. If you know your stuff, believe in it. It’s okay to be wrong, it’s not okay to believe you know everything. Those people are dangerous.
Focus on your strengths
I watched a programme a few years back on the characteristics of millionaires and have interviewed many over the years for research. I would estimate that 95% of these people have unwavering self belief in themselves. They had thick skins and did not give up at the first sign of resistance. This is part of the ‘lucky equation’ – persistence! It’s normal to have self doubt but if you ask yourself, “if not me, then who?” you find less excuses to get stuck in and work towards your goal. What are you good at? Good with people? Good technical knowledge? Great problem solver? Instead of focusing on your weaknesses, make sure you keep yourself regularly focused on what you are good at. Maximis strengths and minimise weaknesses.
This is your own unique path and you will be doing it your way. Try not to compare yourself to others as that can be self defeating. You are a unique individual bringing a unique mix of skills and talent to the endeavour. Use the efforts of others to teach you and to learn from but don’t compare. Different timings, different people and a different approach make comparisons inane.
Get used to rejection and resistance. Some people are threatened when they see someone close to them trying to better themselves. They can see it as threatening as it can be a reminder of the lack of fun/ adventure in their own life.
There will also be rejection from people that you desperately want to take you seriously. Take it on the chin. Just because they do not see your vision does not mean that your idea isn’t valid or a good one. All you need is to find one person with the necessary contacts to share your vision and help you move forward. Don’t give up easily. Don’t take rejection personally. Take on board any feedback, re-assess and try again.
Believe you are capable
Your beliefs will help you through when the going gets tough. Mentally strong people get knocked back but they get up again, dust themselves off and try again. Getting through the tough negative days are when you will need to be the most mentally strong. Distract yourself temporarily to give yourself a breather. Watch a comedy, dance to some music. Sometimes we need a change of scenery to blow ‘fresh ideas’ through or minds. Try to see the funny side of life, a sense of humour can be a valuable asset during tough times and when you feel everyone and everything is against you.
The reality is that it’s impossoble for everyine and everything to be against you all at the same time – you just haven’t uncovered the right formula just yet.
Don;t give up hope, believe you can and that is a 50% win right there.
“Whether you believe you can or you can’t, you are probably right” – Henry Ford.