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Published on April 16, 2020

How to Develop Self-Belief in 8 Steps

How to Develop Self-Belief in 8 Steps

Many people believe that a strong belief in one’s self is something we are born with. This suggests that people without self-belief can never develop one and are stuck living with having low self-esteem.

This, however, is wrong. self-belief is something that can be developed and rebuilt if lost.

So, if you do not believe in yourself or have lost your self-belief, remember that you can regain it with the right steps and actions.

For the importance of self-belief, circumstances that can make a person lose her self-belief, and how belief in one’s self can be redeveloped, keep reading below.

Why is Self-Belief Important?

As the name suggests, self-belief has to do with how much a person believes in herself. It encompasses the belief in your values, skills, knowledge, and abilities. Self-believe is very important because it affects a person’s lifestyle and choices.

A person without self-belief will constantly downplay their abilities while settling for less than what they deserve. Most times, the individual takes whatever blow life deals because they do not believe that they deserve better.

On the other hand, a person with self-belief knows their worth and value.

For instance, when people with no self-belief see a job vacancy with the skills they possess, they may pass up on it or apply half-heartedly because they believe that they are not good enough for the job.

People with self-belief, on the other hand, will pursue the job wholeheartedly because they believe that they are well-qualified for the job.

In the end, people without self-belief may end up working a low paying job and living at the mercy of others for the rest of their lives. Meanwhile, people with self-belief will move from that job to a better one and might eventually get to the peak of their careers.

This example shows that while self-belief might seem small or inconsequential, it can affect our entire lives both directly and indirectly.

Self-belief motivates people to explore their potentials and this motivation may lead to the achievement of goals and aspirations.

Why Do Some People Lack Self-Belief?

No one is born without self-belief. Most times, we find ourselves in certain situations and circumstances that can negatively affect our self-esteem – either temporarily or in the long run.

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To rebuild your self-belief, understanding the circumstance that made you lose it can help you learn how to proceed.

Here’re some common causes of lack of self-belief:

1. Unhappy Homes

Growing up in an unhappy home can reduce a person’s belief in herself. This is because as kids, the way you are treated by others, especially by your family, majorly influences the way you view yourself.

Kids who grow up with parents who never commend or congratulate them (but complain and tear them down) grow up lacking confidence in themselves.

2. Negative Peers

Being surrounded by people who constantly discourage you and make you feel like you are not good enough can make you lose confidence in yourself.

Sometimes, your peers may even convince you to do things you are not comfortable with and when you refuse, they may say and do things to make you feel odd. In order to fit in, you may find yourself abandoning your morals and values to please them. This can damage a person’s self-belief in the long run.

If you have a hard time distancing yourself from negative peers, reading this article about avoiding negative people may be helpful: 10 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Negative People

3. Traumatic Experiences

Physical and emotional abuse can tear down a person’s self-belief. If you have a partner who makes you feel like you are not good enough to attract and keep their attention, it may extend to you feeling like you are not good enough for anyone or anything.

Also, people who experience physical abuse may suffer from depression and anxiety, which will gradually eat away their self-esteem. Eventually, such an experience will make them feel unworthy of their goals.

4. Bad Decisions

Some bad decisions made in the past can affect a person’s belief in herself and cause them to doubt their ability to make decisions in the future. This mostly happens when the decision made turns out to have consequences that affect not just the person but also their loved ones.

For instance, a mother decides to move abroad with her children in hopes of finding greener pastures for them, but the father disagrees. After arguing for a while, the father gives in and loans some money to sponsor the trip. When they travel, the mother is unable to find a good job so her plan fails.

The failure of this plan, the disappointment, and the losses incurred might make her doubt her ability to make the right decisions in the future.

5. Negative Thought Patterns

If you always think of the worst-case scenarios, especially when it comes to yourself, chances are that you will lose confidence in yourself.

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If before a job interview, the only thing you can think of is all the mistakes you might make or how you might not be as good as other candidates, you will most likely take in that energy and discourage your interviewers.

Over time, such negative thought patterns might lead you to feel unworthy and inferior to everyone else. That is why you need to think positively and eliminate negative thoughts.

How To Develop Self-Belief

Once you understand the reason behind your lack of self-belief, you can proceed to work on how to build it.

Here are 8 ways to help you develop self-belief.

1. Know Who You Want to Be

When self-doubt or self-pity is not eating at you, who would you like to be? If you were not afraid, what would you do?

Boldly answering these questions is the first step to rebuilding your self-belief. This is because the doubts and negative thought patterns, over time, bury the real you along with your goals and dreams.

To gain self-belief, you need to work towards these goals while pushing away low self-esteem. So, give yourself the space to dream a little, and make a list of all the things you would like to achieve and believe. In the process of doing this, whenever self-doubts spring up, push them away until you create a comprehensive list.

2. Affirm Yourself

Self-affirmations are strong tools that reinforce your belief in yourself. This is because as humans, our self-image influences our behavior. If you see yourself as one of the most good looking people in the world, you will definitely behave like one.

And if you see yourself as the future CEO of a company, you will also act like one. So, what you need to do is see yourself as someone worthy and amazing.

Affirmations can help you create that image. They are positive statements that knock out doubts, especially when recited aloud and with belief.

For example:

“I am worthy of everything I desire.” “I am smart enough to achieve my goals.” “I deserve all the best things life has to offer.” “And I will put forth effort daily to meet one specific desire and one specific goal to experience the best things.”

So make a list of affirmations, stand in front of your mirror and say these words to yourself. It does not have to be lengthy. Just four uplifting sentences can help you feel prepared to conquer the world each day.

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3. Face Your Fears

One effective way to develop self-belief is by facing your fears.

You do not have to face them all at once or go for the scariest first. You can choose to start little by little.

Start by figuring out the source of your self-doubt and tackling that problem. If your parent’s treatment of you as a kid is the reason you lost confidence in yourself, approach them and speak to them about it. Do not be afraid of being censored. Expressing yourself might help you get the weight off your chest.

Next, face the fear of failing to achieve your goals. Go for that interview and give it your best. Address that board of directors with your ideas and innovations. Walk out of that relationship that constantly beats on your self-esteem.

Once you face and conquer your fears, self-doubt will flee.

4. Address Your Inner Critic

If society is the reason behind your loss of self-belief, it can easily be addressed and rebuilt. If you are your own critic, however, your confidence cannot be regained if you do not shut off the criticizing voice in your head.

Most times, the lack of belief in oneself is a result of an overactive inner critic. You might have this amazing idea but while creating the proposal, you may start wondering if the idea is good enough. You then start to convince yourself that the proposal is not good enough, discarding the sheet of paper, and keeping the idea under lock and key.

Addressing your inner critic is crucial because until you do, you may keep undermining your abilities and settling for less than you deserve.

So when your inner critic asks you “why would they pick me for the job?”, ask yourself, “why shouldn’t they pick me for the job?”

And then go on to count out all the reasons why you are qualified for the position. Doing this repeatedly will shut your inner critic up and build your self-belief tremendously.

5. Be Prepared to Win

Before you take a step towards your goals and aspirations, make sure you are all set up to win.

Do not take things on a whim or have a ‘winging it’ mindset because these often result in failure. Instead, study hard for that exam, prepare to provide all the best answers at that interview, make an impressive presentation for that meeting, and cut off acquaintances who fill your mind with negative thoughts.

Preparing to win also fills you with confidence that will encourage you to put in the extra effort to achieve your goals.

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6. Encourage Others

Do you know that encouraging others can change your mindset about success? Most times, loss of self-belief can also lead to losing faith in other people’s abilities.

You might find yourself constantly discouraging people against going after their dreams because you doubt that they can achieve them. So make an effort to see success as something anyone can achieve.

Encourage your friends and family, and your mindset about success will also change over time. Soon your encouragements will turn inwards, and you will start feeling motivated to achieve your own goals.

7. Take Care of Yourself

To develop your self-belief, you need to take care of yourself and not just mentally and emotionally. Physical care can go a long way toward influencing your mental and emotional health.

So, go to a spa and get a massage. Go shopping for outfits that make you feel good and do your hair. Register at the gym, eat healthily and make sure you get enough rest. Also, talk to a therapist or join a support group.

Looking good and feeling good will surely help boost your self-confidence.

8. Cut Off Negative Acquaintances

So-called friends who make you feel unworthy or not good enough through their words or actions should be cut off. This is because keeping such people around you will destroy every effort you make to rebuild your self-esteem.

It should not matter who they are to you because if they cared about you in the same way, they would treat you better. So, make a decision to avoid them.

If your family are the ones treating you poorly, speak to them about it, and make it clear that you will not tolerate negativity in your life. If your partner is physically or emotionally abusive, cut the person off too because until you do, your self-belief may never grow.

While distancing yourself from negative acquaintances, draw your loving friends and family closer and cultivate healthy relationships.

Final Thoughts

Marilyn Monroe once said

“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.”

So, if the reason you lost your self-belief is that you believe others are better than you, you need to make a conscious effort into changing that mindset.

Think of all the amazing things you can do that other people cannot. And remind yourself that you are just as deserving as the next person.

More Tips About Strengthening Your Self-Belief

Featured photo credit: Conner Ching via unsplash.com

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Jacqueline T. Hill

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Last Updated on September 24, 2020

Feeling Like a Failure? 10 Simple Things to Help You Rise Again

Feeling Like a Failure? 10 Simple Things to Help You Rise Again

The idea of feeling like a failure grips us at our most vulnerable internal place—our inner sense of self-esteem and self-love. Although intuitively we know that in reaching high, we are guaranteed some degree of failure, when we fall short, that knowledge offers little or no consolation.

When we fail at something, all too often we think globally rather than in temporary terms. We think that we not only failed, but that we are failures. Feelings of unworthiness drag us down, leading to missteps and setbacks, defining us rather than merely offering feedback and educating us with useful information moving forward.

The good news is that we can build on our failures on the road to success.

Even if we know that failure is surmountable, it does not change the way we feel about ourselves when we experience it. Failure can take a toll on our self-esteem and feelings of self-love, diminishing our sense of optimism about our future.

So how can we feel better about ourselves? Below are 10 acts of self-love to try when you are feeling like a failure.

1. Forgive Yourself

The ability to forgive is perhaps the greatest gift we can give to ourselves to help us recover from our regrets and missteps.

Instead of beating yourself up for not knowing what is so obvious now, see yourself as a work in progress and give yourself the gift of forgiveness. You can’t see into the future, so you can’t plan every step to perfection. Give yourself a break and allow room for mistakes.

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Try a loving-kindness meditation to prepare yourself for forgiveness. This will open your heart up to the possibility of accepting your mistakes.

2. Practice Self-Compassion

Self-compassion[1] is perhaps the most important element of self-esteem and resilience. It used to be thought that achievement and success—rising above the norm—was the road to high self-esteem.

However, that road to self-esteem is far too conditional and assures that anyone at or below the norm is not as worthy or special. Self-compassion gives all people—high achievers as well as lower achievers—the assurance that they are worthy of love anyway, with no conditions.

3. Stop Judging Yourself

Suspending the labels you put on yourself is an act of self-love. Instead of calling yourself “a failure,” be more specific and less global[2].

Feeling like a failure? Talk yourself up!

    Feeling like a failure does not have to define you and your worth. Change your self-talk from “I’m a failure” to “I could not get things to work out this time” or “I made some mistakes and will use this experience as stepping stones going forward.” Label the experience for what it is instead of labeling yourself based on one mistake.

    4. Turn Your Failures Into Goals

    Instead of saying “I failed at my marriage,” you can say “I had trouble communicating in my marriage and am learning to communicate better now.”

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    The first statement is anchored in the past that cannot be changed, while the second has an eye to the future and is more empowering of what you can do now. If you can identify what caused your past failures, you can work to develop goals based on those shortcomings.

    5. Give Yourself a Hug

    Instead of letting your inner critic have full reign, how about just giving yourself a hug?

    Science has suggested that hugging increases production of oxytocin, one of the feel-good hormones, which may also help reduce stress and depression[3].

    We all need hugs sometimes—especially from ourselves! If this feels like too much, give yourself a mental hug by writing down five things you like or love about yourself. This will give you the same sense of warmth and acceptance.

    6. Imagine Yourself as a Young Child

    Keep in mind that no one thinks of children as worthless or unworthy of love or happiness. And the truth is that we possess the same worth that we had when we were born.

    Sometimes we need to look behind the scars and wounds to see that preciousness and innate worth is still inside of us.

    Thinking of yourself as a child may also shift your mind and allow you to offer more forgiveness. Try to realize that you are still like that child, growing as you move through life.

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    7. Switch Your Mindset From Victim to Victor

    When you’re feeling like a failure, you see yourself as a victim of the past instead of focusing on your resilience and ability to spring back.

    After all, it’s not how many times we are beaten down and fail that matters. What really matters is how many times we get back up and try again, each time a bit wiser. Try to leave the victim mindset behind[4] and view yourself as a victor after overcoming failures to move on to something bigger and better.

    8. Become More Mindful

    Mindfulness is not just about meditating or breathing deeply and quietly in isolation. Rather, it is staying fully in the present in our daily lives with non-judgmental awareness in whatever you do.

    When you are mindful, you stay rooted in the present instead of looking back at your past missteps or feeling anxious about the future. As the saying goes, “Today is a gift, and that’s why they call it the present.”

    9. Calm Yourself with a Calming Box

    Sometimes we need something tangible to sooth us when we are feeling like a failure. As a therapist, I would sometimes have my clients create a self-soothing box to help them cope in stressful times.

    Using actual objects that serve to distract and self-soothe can provide soothing touchstones.

    A journal, a stress ball, or a polished stone to remind you of your self worth are all examples of things that can be placed inside a calming box and used to soothe you when you’re feeling down.

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    10. Connect With Others

    When people feel like a failure, all too often they isolate themselves, closing themselves up instead of opening up to others, but this is a fast way to damage your mental health.

    Seeking social support is one of the best choices you can make when you feel like a failure. Getting another person’s perspective will help you stop the tunnel vision that distorts your self-view.

    Asking for help and having the courage to open yourself up instead of closing yourself down will pave the way not only for avoiding loneliness, but it will also deepen your connections with others.

    This short TED Talk with Robert Reffkin offers some tips on how to create stronger connections to enhance your life:

    Final Thoughts

    These 10 tips to stop feeling like a failure will serve as a springboard for a resilient and full life. Instead of focusing on the failure that comes with falling short, be proud that you dared to pursue your dreams with courage and enthusiasm.

    We must stop thinking in all-or-nothing, global ways, so that our mistakes and failures become stepping stones for success rather than millstones around our neck.

    Use failures to help you move closer and closer to success.

    More Tips for When You’re Feeling Like a Failure

    Featured photo credit: Ethan Sykes via unsplash.com

    Reference

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