That’s the million-dollar question, do you believe in yourself? But do you seriously, really and truly believe in yourself?
I’m not sure that it’s possible to maintain self-belief 100% of the time. If I reflect on myself, I would say that I definitely have high self-belief and the confidence that goes with it, however there are certainly moments or even days where my brain starts to question my ability, ambition and goals, and before I know it I’ve convinced myself I’m a failure, that I ‘”dream” too big and I’m out of my league…..the self-love goes completely out of the window.
Which makes me question, how connected are self-confidence and self-belief?
Henry Ford certainly had some thoughts around this:
“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right”
He was a pretty smart guy, and he was on to something. Both self-belief and self-confidence start with you, deep in that gorgeous head of yours.
Being mildly obsessed with language and having spent years working on those pesky doubtful thoughts in my head, I feel pretty good about taking control when those occasional moments/days try to challenge me. And trust me they do! However, just because I’ve learnt how to overcome these moments it certainly doesn’t prevent my brain from having a bloody good go at self-sabotage!
With that in mind, here are my top recommendations for learning to take control of your internal dialogue (those pesky negative thoughts) and grow self-confidence and belief.
- Journal– Every day! Learn to listen to your thoughts. Considering we only actually hear a small percentage of our daily thoughts, we need to learn to dial in and dig deep into what we say to ourselves. Journaling is a great tool to do this. Write down your thoughts and how you felt that day and start to recognise what happened to lead to that to thought or feeling. By becoming conscious of your thoughts and what triggers them, you have a better chance of changing them.
- Care for yourself– Self-love and care is not selfish, in fact learning how to care for yourself first provides you the tools to help others better. It’s putting your own oxygen mask on first before helping those around you. This can be done in many ways, taking time to do the things that you love by yourself, taking time for a walk, having photos of yourself around that house which you love, say no to others in order to put yourself first. Get creative with what self-love means to you.
- Self-coach– When that annoying, ugly, internal voice rears its head again, learn to ask yourself key questions. What has triggered these thoughts and/or feelings? What evidence do I have to support this belief? Can I think of a time when this did go well before? And my favourite….will this really matter in 5 years’ time? Find the questions that work for you, the latter is the most effective for me. If I’m feeling a little nervous about trying something new, asking myself if the way I’m feeling will really matter in 5 years, this helps dissolve the anxiety quickly.
- Re-frame your thinking. You tend to behave based on your beliefs and the image you have of yourself. Affirmations are a daily habit that will have a positive impact on your thinking and self-image. Saying these out loud to yourself each day will help change any negative self-image you have. One of my daily affirmations is “I add a lot of value” and I really believe I do.
- You are equal to others. People with low self-confidence and self-belief tend to compare themselves to those around them, which only further deepens negative thoughts and impacts your self-belief. This is simple, START seeing yourself as an equal. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, focusing on how others are better than you will not help. Comparisons are unhealthy, period. Focus on yourself and the things you do well, journal it and embed that as part of your affirmations.
Improving your self-belief and self-confidence will have a hugely positive impact on your health, relationships, performance at work and ability to achieve your goals and aspirations.
Be kind to yourself, it takes less energy to be kind to yourself than it does to give yourself a hard time!