I can’t speak for everyone but I would think that we all struggle with self-belief at times. Some days are better than others but life definitely has a tendency to throw things at us. Maybe you’ve noticed? ;) You can be cruising along on this crazy journey when all the sudden something comes across your path that makes you question everything. (Or maybe just a few things.) If your self-doubt has been chipping away the self-belief you once held, it may be time to kick things up a notch.
These are just a few things that I came up. It is by no means a complete list but I hope you will find at least one good takeaway that may apply to your situation.
Recognize what you are good at.
We are all good at something! Sometimes it feels like other people are better at more things. Well guess what? They have probably put in a lot of time to work on various skills. We cannot begin as experts. Malcolm Gladwell famously said that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. That’s almost 417 days of solid work. You are already good at something. If you’d like to become better at it, put in more time and effort.
Create small goals.
I’m talking small. Instead of saying I want to start working out 4 days a week, begin by telling yourself you will start exercising 1 day per week. That’s better than ZERO! Or instead of saying I want to eat healthier, create a goal to drink one or two more glasses of water every day.
Once you’ve mastered one small goal, create a new small goal. Small goals get you started and can be attained quickly which gives you a little boost of confidence pretty quickly. Those successes will start to add up and you will gain confidence and belief in yourself because you have achieved some great things – no matter how small!
No matter what infomercials or reality weight-loss television shows tell you about how fast you can lose weight or gain strength, remember to be realistic. Each body is different. Each person is different. Results always vary. If you’re trying to lose weight, shoot for losing one pound per week. That is considered healthy and doable. All you need is a caloric deficit of 500 calories per day.
That could be created with an intense workout or if you prefer not to workout much (or at all) you could cut out your daily pop, doughnut, a big bowl of cereal before bed (or whatever it is) and take a walk. Weight loss is not a race to see how quickly you can drop the pounds, it should be more about learning what works for you to start losing weight and keeping it off.
Don’t let the word “no” throw you off course.
This quote from Karen Quinones sums this up nicely:
“When someone tells me ‘no,’ it doesn’t mean I can’t do it, it simply means I can’t do it with them.”
Spend time with people who care about you.
They say that you’re most like the 5 people you spend most of your time with. Think of those people. Are they who you want to be like? If so, you’re on the right track. If not, it might be time to think about the people who encourage you and emulate what you aspire to become.
Sometimes all it takes is one person. One person who believes in you no matter what and is always there to celebrate your accomplishments and be there for you during the failures. We can all use some encouragement. It shows that people care about us and that feels good!
Love who you are.
You’re only ever going to be you. Don’t try to be anybody else because you’ll never be truly happy with that. Belief in yourself starts with loving who you are – the good and the bad. We all have things we don’t like about ourselves, we all may wish we had done something differently or we wish we had a physical feature that somebody else has but truthfully, if you are always seeking to be somebody else, you will never be content with yourself. Be proud of you. The real you.
See failures as lessons.
There is not one person on this earth who has not failed. We all fail. You can choose to beat yourself up over failures or see them as lessons. I can confidently say that all of my toughest/biggest/hardest/most important lessons came from my biggest failures.
This makes me think of country singer John Michael Montgomery’s song that goes, “Life’s a dance you learn as you go, sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow. Don’t worry ’bout what you don’t know. Life’s a dance you learn as you go.” The important thing to remember is to learn from them and move on. It happens to all of us.
More great lyrics from that song:
“…sink or swim you’ve gotta give it a whirl.”
“…and you might have to crawl even after you walk.”
“…been knocked down by the slamming door, picked myself up and came back for more.”
Realize you aren’t alone.
If you are human, you have struggled with belief. – Paul C Brunson
Don’t trash talk yourself.
Negative thinking is the easiest thing to do and the best way to feel like crap on a regular basis. How can you ever believe in yourself if you treat yourself so badly? If you mess up, don’t talk down to yourself. Create positive affirmations to counteract the trash talk. Is it hard? At first. Will it take time? Yes. Anything that’s worth doing takes effort.
If you tell yourself you’ll never be able to workout because you’re lazy and overweight and you’ll never look like the women in magazines, well guess what? You’ll continue to be lazy, overweight and comparing yourself to women in magazines. Here’s a dirty little secret: the woman on the magazine doesn’t even look like the woman on the magazine so there’s no point in comparing. Took me a LONG time to realize that. There are a lot of people working some pretty amazing magic behind the scenes.
Sometimes it’s hard for us to accept compliments. When somebody says something nice to us like, “Oh I love your shoes!” and then we’re like, “Oh these old things…” and then we make up some kind of blah blah blah story to follow the compliment. Instead of doing that, just say thank you. That’s it! You don’t have to say anymore. Accept the compliment that somebody cared enough to give you! You deserve to feel good about yourself and your styles or interests or talents.
Whatever the reason is that you are having a hard time believing in yourself, realize that it isn’t always easy for everyone. It’s just not something people always talk about. It can be a constant battle but the things I’ve listed above can really help if they’re applied on a regular basis. Feel free to jot them down as reminders when you need a little boost. It won’t always be perfect but that’s not the point. Just keep working at it. Such is life. :)
You are worth it.