Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

More by this author

Jacqueline T. Hill

Writing, Blogging, and Educating To Guide Others Into Happiness

How to Not Take Things Personally for a Happier Life Feeling Unappreciated? 7 Ways to End This Pain Why Do I Hate Myself And How To Stop It? How to Develop Self-Belief in 8 Steps What Is Self-Worth and How to Recognize Yours

Trending in Mental Strength

1 How to Live Your Best Life Starting Today 2 How to Not Take Things Personally for a Happier Life 3 How to Stop Being Passive and Start Getting What You Want 4 How to Fight Your Irrational Fears And Stay Strong 5 Feeling Frustrated in Life? 8 Ways to Get Back on Track

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Live Your Best Life Starting Today

How to Live Your Best Life Starting Today

As human beings, one of our deepest-rooted desires is to have a meaningful and happy existence. You’ve probably heard of the saying, “Live your best life.” It’s good advice.

We all want to feel connected to both ourselves and others. We want to feel that we’re part of something important and that we’re making a difference in the world.

We want to look back at our lives and our achievements and be proud. In short, we want what the saying says: to live our best lives.

But what does it really mean to live your best life?

You are a unique individual, so living your best life is exclusive to you. Your best life will reflect your true values. It will be made up of what makes you happy and will be colored by what making a difference means to you.

What Stops You From Living Your Best Life?

While living your best life is all about you, what other people think can have an impact on your quest to live your best life.

Social media, for example, puts us under a lot of pressure. There are specific expectations of what “happy” looks like, and we’re under pressure to conform to what society expects.

For example, we are pressured to look a certain way, wear the “right” clothes, have exciting adventures with eye-catching friends, eat ethical and healthy food, and do charity work.

These are only a few of society’s expectations. It’s a long list.

Social media claims to connect us, but often it can do the opposite.

We can spend so much time worrying about what other people are doing, trying to live the life that society expects of us, that it can be easy to lose track of what makes us happy and what our best life actually looks like.

Start the Journey

What does it look like to live your best life? The following are some practical tips and tools to move from living your current life to living your best life.

1. Be the Best Version of Yourself

To live your best life, you must be the best version of yourself. Don’t try to be something or someone else. Don’t try to be what other people want you to be.

Focus on who you want to be. Play to your strengths and be proud of what makes you different. You are brilliant.

Gretchen Rubin, in her book Happiness Project, created her own commandments. The first one was “Be Gretchen.” This gave her permission to follow her gut feeling and make up her own rules.

For example, she stopped forcing herself to enjoy parties, cocktails, and fashion just because that’s what she thought society expected.

So, inspired by Gretchen, create your own commandment: “Be more YOU,” and remind yourself of this every day, unapologetically.

Advertising

2. Observe Yourself

To work out what the best you looks like, you must get to know yourself better. It’s your best life after all – not anyone else’s.

Start to notice how you respond to various situations. What are your habits? What makes you happy? What frustrates you? How do you behave under pressure? What gives you energy? What drains you?

Spend a week simply noticing. Write your observations down so you remember.

3. Identify Your Bad Habits

As part of your observations, start to notice your bad habits. Consider the things that don’t ultimately make you feel good.

Does scrolling mindlessly through Instagram make you happy? For 5 minutes, perhaps, but for longer?

That last glass of wine was delicious, but do you pay the price later?

That chocolate was enjoyable at the moment, but now that the sugar high is over, are you feeling regretful?

Observe yourself first. Then, start to deliberately do more of the things that make you happy and give you energy.

At the same time, work on reducing then eliminating the habits that squander your time, drain your energy, and ultimately don’t make you happy.

Need help conquering your bad habits? Read How to Break Bad Habits Once and For All.

4. Set Intentions

After having thought about what makes you happy and what drains your energy, focus on what living the best life looks like for you.

One of the keys to this is being intentional about it. When you deliberately set intentions, you are more likely to act with purpose and drive.

Setting intentions is different from setting goals. Goals are your list of things you want to achieve. You can set them daily, monthly, yearly, or a combination.

A common practice is to define goals and write them down. This makes them more tangible and makes you more accountable, therefore, making the goals more likely to happen.

The subtle yet important difference between goals and intentions is that when setting intentions, you decide what kind of positive feelings and emotions you are seeking.

For example, “This week, my intention is to approach my admin tasks with gusto in order to complete them more quickly.”

Intentions can be more motivating than goals because if you don’t achieve your goal, it can feel like a failure and can ultimately hold you back.

Advertising

If you don’t achieve your intention to approach something in a specific way, you can more easily regroup and have another try.

Write down your intentions every month, week, or day, using whichever time frame works best for you.

For example, “I intend to enjoy going swimming three times this week” or “I intend to assertively build my network in my local area this month.”

Setting intentions gives you something to focus on, and it also helps to manage the feeling of being overwhelmed that often happens when we set ourselves goals.

5. Visualize Living Your Best Life

Visualization can help you to cement your intentions. It involves visualizing how it would feel to live your best life once you achieve it.

It can help you to further establish what you want and allow you to settle into a positive mindset.

To visualize, first choose your focus. Choose a specific intention and how you will feel once it is accomplished. Then, take the time to daydream and allow your imagination to wander.

For example, if your intention is going swimming three times a week, imagine what you will look and feel like:

  • What will you wear?
  • How do you get there?
  • What time of day do you go?
  • How do you feel when you’re in the water?
  • How do you feel afterward?

Ask yourself these little questions and allow yourself to feel the same feelings you would feel if you were currently fulfilling your intention.

10 Ways to Live Your Best Life

Now that you’ve decided and visualized what your best life looks like, let’s look at some more practical steps you can take to achieve it.

1. Focus

Whatever you do, focus. If you swim, swim. If you study, study. Multitasking is a myth. It’s not possible to do more than one thing at a time well. Focused work is the least tiresome and the most productive type of work.

Michael LeBouf, the author of The Millionaire in You, said,

“Winners focus, losers spray.”

2. Take Responsibility for Taking Action

Taking action can feel scary. We fear failure, but we can also fear success. It can be easy to feel too busy to achieve your intentions.

However, you have the choice to take action and live your best life or stay the same. It’s up to you, so take responsibility to take action.

3. Live in the Present

Every day is a new opportunity to live your best life. We so often get stuck because we put things off.

We can think, “When I’ve lost 10 lbs I’ll go swimming,” or “When I feel more confident I’ll look for a new job,” or “When I get my new running shoes I’ll start running.”

Advertising

How about starting from where you are? How about using what you already have?

We often put off taking action until we have the newest phone/camera/game/course/book/shoes as if they are the keys to happiness. In the process, we forget about what we already have.

Grab the camera that you have, put on your old running shoes. Go and do something interesting today with what you’ve got. Fancier gadgets, better clothes, or a slimmer body won’t make you better.

Action will.

4. Declutter

This applies to the environment you live in as well as the people you spend time with. Use Marie Kondo’s decluttering method of asking, “Does it bring you joy?”[1]

If your answer is yes, you keep the item. If you hesitate or say no, you donate it or throw it out. Simple.

This also applies to people. If there are people in your life that make you feel bad, drain your energy, and don’t bring you joy, let go of them.

Instead, spend time with the people and activities that give you energy and make you feel good.

5. Relish the Simple Things

When we’re busy, we can forget to appreciate what we have. Take time to focus on the simple things. Even when you’re feeling low, there’s always something to be grateful for.

In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness.[2] Be deliberate in being grateful for what you do have, rather than resentful of what you don’t.

6. Journaling

Journaling

is simply writing your thoughts down.

According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, writing your thoughts and feelings down on paper not only helps you get your thoughts in order, but it can also help ease symptoms of depression and manage stress and anxiety.[3]

In the chaos of life, it is easy to overthink, feel anxious, or not appreciate what you do have. Journaling can help you manage your thoughts and feelings and productively cope with life.

Be curious and keep learning. Ask more questions and keep pushing yourself to step outside of your comfort zone and learn.

What are you interested in or curious about? Perhaps it’s learning more about where you live, or reading up on a particular topic? Maybe it’s traveling to a new town or country?

According to Dan Pink’s research, learning is a key motivator.[4] Whether you feel like you’ve gotten stuck in a boring routine or you’re stressed by the tasks of daily life, learning something new is a way to step outside yourself and your comfort zone.

Advertising

Create a bucket list of all the things you’d like to do and learn and the places you’d like to go to, and start ticking them off.

7. Make Someone’s Day

Being kind to others makes them feel good, and it also releases chemicals in your body that make you feel good. Think about a time you gave someone a gift that they loved. How did you feel?

You don’t have to start giving people gifts to make someone’s day. Think about small, thoughtful gestures: a genuine compliment, opening the door, offering to help someone.

All these things can make a big difference in someone’s day.

8. Look After Your Body

Eat what nourishes you, including plenty of vegetables and fruit and food that’s natural and unprocessed. Drink plenty of water.

Exercise because you like it, not because you’re supposed to go to the gym.

Reject the idea that you have to push yourself really hard at exercise, and instead try out a variety of things – for example, walking the dog, gardening, yoga, swimming, or dancing.

Find what you enjoy. When you enjoy something, you’ll be motivated to do it more.

Get good rest! We’re all different in terms of the amount of sleep that we need. However, most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep.

If you’re not getting that much, then check out healthy sleep tips from the Sleep Foundation.[5]

More tips for staying healthy: Powerful Daily Routine Examples for a Healthy and High-Achieving You.

9. Manage Your Inner Critic

Most people have an inner critic that tells them they are not good enough, that they’re a fraud, and that they are going to be found out.

This happens especially when we step out of our comfort zone and change things. If you are living your best life, your inner critic likes to jeopardize that.

The next time it appears, acknowledge what’s happening and call it out. Whatever it is telling you, list all the reasons it’s wrong.

10. Be Prepared to Change the Plan

You may have set intentions to live your best life. However, life is not linear, nor does it work in lists. You must expect to be flexible and change the plan as life throws things at you.

The end game remains the same: to live your best life. It’s just the route to get there that will inevitably change.

Conclusion

Live each day like it counts, and remember, it’s your choice. Your best life is unique to you. Don’t compare yourself to others – focus on living your best life, and enjoy the learning, exploration, and experiences along the way.

More Tips on How You Can Live Your Best Life

Featured photo credit: Juliana Malta via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Kon Mari: Tidy your space, transform your life
[2] Harvard Health Publishing: In Praise of Gratitude
[3] University of Rochester Medical Center: Journaling for Mental Health
[4] Daniel H. Pink: Dan Pink on Motivation
[5] Sleep Foundation: Healthy Sleep Tips

Read Next