Learning how to believe in yourself is a fundamental part of life if you want to better your situation. Whether it be in your career, in your marriage, or in your life in general, belief in your abilities is incredibly important in achieving your goals. Here is a step by step guide to changing your life.
How to Believe in Yourself
1. Accept reality
This sounds like giving up, but I promise you, it’s not. Your past and your current situation are what they are. But for your future, you have a choice. You can wallow in your reality, delude yourself into thinking your reality is what you want, or you can accept your reality, and choose to improve things.
Your reality is was it is, it is neither good, nor is it bad. But if you are looking for something more than what you currently have, you’re going to want to make sure to do something about it. Don’t think about the past and the reasons why you are where you are (unless its for objective analysis on how to improve). Become familiar with the phrase “It is what it is for now, what can I do to make it better?”
2. Reshape how you think about failure
There are many ways of thinking about failure. Many of us think about it as the worst thing that can happen. “I failed at this one thing, which means I’m a failure, and I’m worthless.” This is not a good way to be
The thing about failure, is that it is entirely up to you to decide if/when you fail at something. The only way to fail at something, is to decide that you’ve failed. What we perceive as “failures” are really nothing more than learning experiences.
Nobody is good at anything, until they make mistakes, and then learn how to not make that mistake. A mistake, or failure, is a good reminder of how not to do something. It means you improve.But only if you take the opportunity to learn, and don’t get down on yourself for making a mistake.
I personally like the mindset that failure does not even exist. It’s a concept that we make up to get down on ourselves for some reason. Some will say “you only fail if you quit.” But sometimes quitting one thing opens up doors for another thing. You didn’t fail, you simply chose to do something else.
If you think about intermittent “failure” as the only way to create success, you are on the right path to believe in yourself.
3. Recall past successes
Something that will help with your mindset on failure, is recalling your past successes. This is an exercise that is meant to pump yourself up a little bit, so you can gain confidence.
You haven’t failed at everything in your life, you have been successful before. Recall those moments to feel a sense of pride.
4. Identify your doubts
Identifying your doubts is an essential step in the process to believe in yourself. Every single one of us has doubts. No exceptions. Problems arise when you don’t take the time to think through what you doubts actually are.
Running away from your doubts, or pretending they don’t exist, is not accepting reality. It’s normal, and it is something that needs to be embraced.
Sometimes you think you are having doubts about one thing, but you doubt is actually rooted is something else. It’s important to take the time to understand what your doubts are, and why you are doubting yourself. Then realize your past successes and realize that you can overcome them.
5. Take fear head-on
Along with your doubts, we all have fears about changing things for the better. Fear is nothing but an acronym for false evidence that appears real. While the feeling of fear is real, it needs to be tackled head on.
The vast majority of the time, fear doesn’t protect us. Rather, it stifles us, makes us make irrational decisions, and makes us assume the worst. Fear is an incredibly dangerous tool people use against other people.
But for the context of believing in yourself, fear is the tool you use against yourself. You use it as an excuse not to do something you want, because you are afraid of the consequences. Face that fear head-on. It’s the only way to move forward with your life.
6. Baby steps
Now that we have established you need to face your fears head-on, how do you put it into action? The short answer: small steps. No matter what you goal(s) are, the first step is to just do it. After you start, continuous baby -steps are necessary to reach your goals. It’s not going to happen overnight.
I always equate it to the weeklong backpacking trip I went on. It was 72 miles one way. No turning back. I remember starting out on day one. I was getting sick, we were behind schedule, and had 16 miles to do that day.
When I got to the trailhead, I thought: This is it, 7 days. I couldn’t fathom what it was going to be like. I remember the first step vividly. Before I knew it, we were done. Just by simply putting on foot in front of the other. It wasn’t easy, but it was well worth the effort.
Thru-hiking is a beautiful metaphor for taking baby-steps to improve your life. You will have struggles along the way. There will be mistakes, but if you keep going, you will reach what you are looking for. Then, it’s time to plan for the next trip!
7. Be consistent
When taking baby-steps to improve your life, consistency is key. Developing the self-discipline to get up every day and work on yourself is incredibly important.
The thing about consistency is that its probably one of the most challenging things to do in life. Especially when you are trying to loosen up and have some fun from time to time (also important).
Sometimes you won’t be consistent. Give yourself a break, and get back on track. That’s all you can do. Don’t beat yourself up. You’re human. It’s like when you are trying to lose weight, and eat a cookie. Don’t throw away the rest of the day and just eat junk, get back on track.
If you throw away a day. Get back on track the next day. Adopting this mindset will help you be more at peace with hiccups, and help you avoid going down a rabbit hole of self loathing.
8. Let go of negative people
If you want to believe in yourself, surround yourself with others who believe in you (and themselves). This doesn’t mean to let go of anyone who has voiced concern or has doubts about their ability.
This means to let go of the toxic people in your life. Those that are negative all the time, ones that pity themselves and expect you to pity them, and get upset with you when you don’t.
This type of person is dangerous for your ability to find peace in your life. Distancing yourself from them could have a profound effect on how you feel about yourself.
9. Forgive yourself (and others)
Learning how to forgive yourself and others is probably the best way to improve your happiness, and thus, your overall confidence. Forgiveness is how you let go of residual anger, frustrations, and grudges. It is the most important step in learning how to move forward with life.