Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 26, 2020

5 Things to Remember When You Don’t Believe in Yourself

5 Things to Remember When You Don’t Believe in Yourself

When I picture life, I picture us all walking down our own winding path, pulling a wagon behind us. Each person’s wagon is filled with their self-belief and self-worth. Walking down the path of life, carrying our inner beliefs, we happily trundle along the path toward whatever our own goal is, but sometimes life isn’t so breezy.

It feels like it is so easy to get your wagon knocked over. You are there, trundling along with your wagon filled with nuggets of self-worth and self-esteem, walking purposefully towards your goals, and it can just take:

  • One person with one perfectly timed comment to knock your self-esteem
  • Someone you trust and respect to say something critical
  • A negative thought you have about yourself not being good enough
  • A comparative thought about yourself to other more successful people

…and your wagon gets tipped over.

You stand there looking at your self-esteem dumped all over the place, and you think, my god, how do I clean this all up? The wagon is too heavy to tip back up! I am not enough to do it all by myself. What if they are right? Doubt and self-loathing creep in, and instead of trying, you just sit down and look into the dark behind you, reliving all of your failures.

There can be many reasons that we don’t believe in ourselves:

  • We don’t believe in ourselves because someone told us we shouldn’t.
  • We fear failure, and we focus on all the times we have failed.
  • We focus on the lack in our life instead of the abundance.
  • We have never had the support to build up our self esteem in the first place.

It’s hard when you don’t believe in yourself. It’s hard to do anything when you don’t believe you can do it.

However, there have been so many times in your life where you didn’t believe in yourself and you had to prove yourself wrong. You had to get back up and flip the wagon over and prove to yourself that you could. You overcome obstacles before that were just a big as this one right now, so don’t be afraid of it.

When you’re having a hard time seeing the good in yourself, remember these 5 important things.

1. Opinions Aren’t Facts

At some point in your life, you believed in yourself, and you were feeling great. Then, someone came along and made you doubt yourself. They gave their opinion of you, and it hurt. You believed in yourself less and carried the hurt with you.

You need to understand that the comment was someone’s opinion, not a fact. Just because someone doesn’t see your worth doesn’t mean no one will. You can’t please everyone, so don’t even try.

Advertising

Someone had an opinion, and that’s okay. We are all entitled to opinions. But it wasn’t a fact. Don’t let that person’s negativity get absorbed into your estimation of yourself. Let it wash over you and float away.

Learn to take feedback critically and consider where there something you can use in the comment to change and grow as a person.

If the answer is yes, apply it and show gratitude that someone had the coconuts to tell you, and appreciate the fact that you have grown as a person.

If the answer is no, then let it go and ignore it. People perceive you from their level of perception. If they can’t handle you, that’s okay.

Here is an example:

Person 1: *Puts on a unique outfit with a bright floral pattern and walks out feeling confident.*

Person 2: “That outfit is really ugly; you must have no fashion taste.”

A critical comment appears and person 1’s self esteem is tested because something they care about and put love into has been received negatively.

Person 1: *internally thinks* Does this comment help me grow as a person? Is my outfit really ugly? Or is it just not to their taste? Do I stand by my outfit? Does it make me feel happy and cute?

It does, I like this outfit.

Advertising

Person 1: “Thank you for your opinion, but I love my outfit and it’s my unique style. See you in Vogue!”

They are just opinions, not facts. It’s your life, so live your truth. If people don’t like it, let it flow past you. By taking every negative comment and opinion personally, you won’t ever believe in yourself. If you are someone who is sensitive and takes comments on board easily, take a look at this article to help you understand and deal with your sensitivity: Why Am I So Sensitive.

2. Growth Takes Time

Give yourself a break. This is so important if you don’t believe in yourself. You are still growing, and you are learning, failing, and learning again. No one has all the answers, and there is no right way to do something. You are just growing, and you are going to make mistakes, and that doesn’t make you a bad person or a failure. It makes you a human who is growing.

Let go of perfectionism and the idea that you have to have it all together and be right all the time. That pressure is slowing you down and causing you to doubt yourself. Just breathe. You are where you are on your journey, and that is beautiful and it is enough.

Don’t let the pressure of expectation take away from your self-belief. You are not a list of all your successes and failures; you are so much more than that.

Failure is an event, not a personal characteristic.

Learn, grow, and let yourself fail. Don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect as that has never done anyone any good. Embrace your failure and know that you learned something and are moving forward.  There is comfort in having faith that everything will be all right in the future. Your self-belief will thrive when you release these unrealistic expectations.

3. Fear Can’t Stop You

Let’s chat about your fear. When you don’t believe in yourself, it is most likely that you are afraid to. To be yourself and put yourself out there, you risk being criticized for who you are. That is scary, and as we learned from opinions, it can really damage your self-belief.

Believing in yourself takes bravery; you have to be the one who pushes you forward and believes in you. If you don’t, you just stand still. You have to believe in yourself to move forward, and fear holds you back.

  • Fear holds you back from trying in case you fail.
  • Fear stops you letting go of opinions in case they are right and you will have to go through this again.
  • Fear stops you moving forward.

Let go of fear. Adventure forward with careless abandon. Face your fears one by one and say “I see you fear, and I know everything I want is on the other side of you. I see you, and I am afraid, but I am going to face you and move past you anyway and face the consequences of my actions because I believe in myself, and I can handle anything.”.

Advertising

Never fear failure; failure is just another opportunity to try again, except this time more wisely. It is the best teacher and the fastest way to succeed. Have a healthy relationship with failure and you will have a better relationship with your inner courage.

4. You Are Unique

You are unique, and I say this with all the passion in the world. You are different; you walk down your own unique and wonderful path. Not everyone is going to understand it, but that is how history is made. It is made by people who no one believed in, who stood up, defied fear and doubt and said what they believed.

You don’t have to have support to believe in yourself. You can connect with what you believe in, and if you believe it strongly enough, you can achieve anything. When you don’t believe in yourself, just remember, you are still important and unique, and you still matter.

Don’t give up on your journey because not everyone understands it. Keep connected to the knowledge that you are important and you matter.

5. You Are Capable of Restarting

Your self-esteem has been knocked, and you are at a place full of self-doubt. It’s time to let go of these doubts, fears, and self-loathing thoughts so you can move forward. It is time to reset your mindset and life. Draw a line in the sand and refuse to let self-doubt cross it.

Step 1: Acknowledge How You Feel

Acknowledge all of your fears, doubts, and negative thoughts or feelings about yourself. Write them down and face them, all of them.

Step 2: Redefine

Look at these fears and write counter statements.

For example:

Fear: I am afraid that if I try to build this new business, I will fail. I don’t think I have what it takes.

Counter Statement: I may fail, but the pain of not trying will be harder than the pain of failing. I would rather try and fail then never try. It is what I want, and it is worth the risk. I can do this. I have come back from failure before, stronger and wiser. I let go of this fear.

Advertising

Make sure your counter statement is empowering. Make it personal so when you read it, you feel passionate and energized. This will give you the energy to overpower the self-doubt.

Step 3: Let It Go

Let each fear, doubt, and negative thought go. Let go of the heavy weights that are holding you down so that you can move forward with excitement rather than dread.

Now that you feel 100% times lighter, you can pick yourself up and keep moving along your path. Step by step, focus on the next right thing to do to work towards your goal. Don’t look up the mountain and become overwhelmed.

If you want some tips on how to improve your self esteem, here’s is an article that can help: How You Can Improve Your Self-Esteem Instantly

Bonus: Simple Steps to Believe in Yourself More

Check out this episode of The Lifehack Show where Justin talks about how to believe in yourself more:

Final Thoughts

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. When your self esteem is low, it can be really hard to nurture it all by yourself. Sometimes you need a confidence boost from someone who does believe in you. Don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling and ask for support.

Something to always remember is that your self-belief comes from you, and no one can take it away without your consent. You have the power to validate yourself and your self-esteem and the power to ignore the negativity in the pursuit of your own goals.

More Tips on Believing in Yourself

Featured photo credit: Artem Maltsev via unsplash.com

More by this author

Jade Nyx

Qualified Life Coach

How To Stop Failing Your Goal And Achieve Success in 2021 Why Does Life Suck So Bad Sometimes? (And How to Fix It) How to Finally Reach Your Goals by Creating Dependable Accountability Want to Stop Procrastinating? Think Like a Rhino. Is Social Media Ruining Our Lives, Or Are We?

Trending in Mental Strength

1 How To Embrace Change In Life (Even If It’s Hard to Change) 2 6 Things You Can Do When You’re Mentally Exhausted 3 Midlife Crisis for Women: How It Makes You a Better Person 4 10 Positive Affirmations for Success That Will Change Your Life 5 How to Develop a Can Do Attitude and Succeed in Life

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on November 24, 2020

How To Embrace Change In Life (Even If It’s Hard to Change)

How To Embrace Change In Life (Even If It’s Hard to Change)

The very nature of life is change, think of the seasons, life and death, the passing of time constantly marching forwards, it’s upon us and our duty to embrace it.

Now I know what you’re thinking, “but I don’t want to embrace it, I didn’t ask for it, I like things the way they are”.

If this is you, I hear you, I was the world’s biggest fan of knowing where to get my coffee in the morning, cruising through life on autopilot, enjoying the steady flow of consistency, routine and familiarity… until I wasn’t.

One day, I had the realization that my resistance to change was holding me back, keeping me from exciting opportunities that were rightfully mine yet seemed always slightly out of grasp.

The fact of the matter is we dig our heels in because change challenges us to move out of our comfort zone and take responsibility for where we are going whilst trusting ourselves to handle what comes.

What if we could shift our interpretation of change?

What if willingness to embrace change could be our greatest advantage?

As Heraclitus said,

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man”.

Now more than ever it’s imperative we find new ways to embrace change because learning to embrace change gives you an incredible advantage, a winning edge and a sense of resilience that you never knew you had and once you discover, becomes your defining factor.

Let’s lean in to the discomfort, upheaval and uncertainty, after all, when we have nothing to fear that’s when we excel and produce outcomes no one thought possible.

Below are vital steps you can take to master the art of embracing change.

Think of these as tools to help you when you next get blindsided, caught off guard or dealt an unexpected hand as well as add flexibility to your repertoire

Your Response Can Quite Literally Save Your Life

Firstly, let’s ensure change doesn’t knock us off our game for good.

Research by Health Psychologist Kelly McGonigal has shown that it’s better to chase meaning and trust that you can handle the journey than to look for ways to seek comfort and mediocrity.

Advertising

Backed by data, this remarkable study tracked 30,000 adults in the United States for 8 years mapping stress experience against death records.[1]

What they found had huge implications!

The biggest contributing factor to death were people’s perceptions of the effects of stress on their health.

The results were shocking, when reviewing the past year participants who categorised themselves as ‘experiencing high stress’ and also ‘believed that stress was harmful for their health’ had 43% increased risk of dying.

What’s even more surprising is that by contrast, those that didn’t believe stress was harmful to their health even though they had also reported experiencing high levels of it in the previous year had the lowest risk of dying of anyone in the entire study.

This clearly shows that how we perceive stressful events (i.e. change) in relation to our health, matters, especially in times like these.

This begs the question, what if we could shift how we perceive change at the time it occurs?

Simple Solution Requires Practice

Breathwork has been well documented, but not nearly enough for the benefits it provides and the credit it deserves.

There’s a reason all top entrepreneurs and visionaries regard daily time in solitude and meditation as sacred. It allows them to focus on their breathing.

By breathing slowly (through the nose), especially when panicked, taken by surprise or in response to stressful news like a big change it causes tiny amounts of nitrous oxide (aka laughing gas) to be released.

This has a biological effect on the brain which expands the blood vessels and increases blood flow. All good things when dealing with change as more oxygen into the brain promotes clarity of thought, centeredness and feelings of safety.

Along with this sense of calmness, the long term benefit is that we create new neural pathways that can become our default for stressful situations and times of change.

Due to the increased ability to remain present and focused, we experience more successful outcomes as a result. Over time, this allows us to form a new association between the physiological signs of an anxiety response (sweaty palms, increased heart rate) and our ability to switch to slower breathing patterns. In essence, we learn to associate the physiological response with success.

The key here is to build muscle memory around this neural shift, so that when you experience stress and feel your heart rate start to rise, you automatically slide into deep slow breathing (6 breaths per minute).

The equation then becomes experience change or stressful event equals to getting ready to dominate and produce to our fullest potential.

Advertising

The Link Between Values and Change

When change is upon us (even though we might not like it at first) much like the unpredictable times we face now, it might feel difficult to look ahead without feeling overwhelmed.

The way to master this type of unprecedented change is to gain control over your mindset through heightened awareness and disciplined application for your values.

By getting closer to our core values and living in accordance with them, it makes it easier to make decisions, develop momentum and push through because we are driven by a deeper purpose.

Your values are your guiding principles and they hold the key to self-confidence and identity. For example, you might think, my family is important to me, so I will choose to look at this situation with a growth mindset. Which in turn allows you to create solutions and thrive in uncertainty because you seek to find ways to provide for them instead of being a victim of circumstance.

Adopting a growth mindset centred around your values makes all the difference, it elevates you to rise to the challenge, set a new standard for yourself and on top of that it’s fun!

Action is Key

One way to increase self-confidence in unpredictable times is by doing admirable things, like getting started on a project, taking action in spite of fear, giving more, this helps to construct a positive self-image that you feel good about.

This also makes another case for living in accordance with our deeper values and making time each day for goal setting to help us maintain worthiness and boost our self-confidence.

Remember why, not what.

Which brings me to my next point, in a similar vein by focusing on why you do what you do, not what you do, it adds a degree of flexibility to any situation.

Maybe you need to rethink that job transfer, relocation or being laid off as an opportunity to deliver more of your why to the world.

If you’re in sales, you deliver solutions and joy not the product.

Starting a new business? You relish the challenge not the security.

Leading a company? You inspire and give mission not title and prestige.

Whatever your chosen field, it’s the why, not the what, that keeps you going. You are not defined by your title, LinkedIn profile or awards, but why you do it – get closer to this and watch yourself overcome all manner of obstacles.

Leverage Different Domains

When you’re facing a challenge in one domain, yet are experiencing success in another, leverage it!

Advertising

For example, an acquisition sees your company taken over (which makes for a lot of change) leaving you feeling uncertain and doubting your abilities, yet at home in your family life you are the rock and have it together, this is an opportunity.

It is possible to bring the confidence you feel at home into the workplace to help you navigate the new challenges in this domain. Then, your overall self-integrity is not compromised because you allow your success in one area of your life to flow through into another.

Focus on Delivering Value

When change happens, consider it an opportunity to bring value. When we shift from victim to value adding crusader, it develops a new perspective and builds confidence.

Giving becomes a gift to yourself as well as others and like a self-fulfilling cycle we reap what we sow. This has synergies with the philosophy taught by Tony Robbins which is based on not falling in love with your product but falling in love with your customers and the process of delivering value to them instead.[2]

This is where transformation in the midst of change and adversity occurs and it is where you can gain a huge competitive advantage whilst others are descending into victimhood and wallowing in despair.

Creatively Mix It Up

As Matthew McConaughey says in his new book Greenlights, you must learn to respect winter.

Once a week, force yourself to work from a new part of town, you will have new ideas, meet new people and build your resilience muscles. Do this even if you don’t feel like it.

Once you have mastered prioritizing taking action above your emotions, dealing with the unexpected winds of change won’t be difficult.

By getting creative and taking the initiative to work from a new location, it interrupts your normalised pattern of behavior and you will have to rely on your gut instinct again.

This is much like the Stoic philosophy that Seneca used to impart,

“Set aside a certain number of days, during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with coarse and rough dress, saying to yourself the while: “Is this the condition that I feared?”

This helped Seneca respect winter and also increase his confidence that he could, if he had to, after all if we aren’t afraid of the worst case scenario then we are liberated.

The thing about change that causes us to feel so uneasy is it feels like it is happening to us, like we don’t have a choice, much like a tide swiping us out into the ocean, no matter how hard we try it forces us in that direction.

To deal with this, we must flip this feeling on its head. Trick the mind into believing that it is what we want, it’s part of our grand master plan and that we have the wherewithal to deal with whatever might be to come.

This is where self-trust, self-identity and self-confidence come in, variables we must ensure to instil and nurture in droves.

Advertising

It’s this choice of perception that gives us control because by going with it, we bring our awareness to the opportunities for advancement, we take more courageous actions as a result and have higher expectations of ourselves and the situation.

We have removed the fear from the equation and as a result, it has lost its power over us. This is what having an open mind in the context of change does, it free you up to witness the miracles and by moving with it creates a self-serving cycle of ascension amidst crisis.

Small Actions Make a Difference

Research by Yeager & Walton (2011) has also shown that even the smallest of actions can help to boost our self-confidence and perceived ability to handle future challenges.[3] This in turn helps you become more resilient and cope better, in a self-fulfilling cycle.

Anything from focusing on simple tasks, spending time with friends, serving a high purpose, being there for family members or even shopping for high status goods, has been shown to make a difference.

This brings me to my next point.

Tap Into The Positive Feedback Loop

There’s a deep link between self-identity and social reinforcement that promotes high performance.

For example, imagine your company is going through large scale change but because you are self-affirmed (i.e. you have confidence in your abilities) you achieve better performance at work. As a result, you feel even more self-affirmed and because of this top performance, your boss expects more from you.

Due to this expectation, your own standards are raised and others in the workplace draw out even higher performance from you through recognition feedback and rewarding behaviours as well as recognising your position as a top performer. Then, you feel more self-affirmed and seek opportunities for growth, training and development which leads to producing even better results.

This is the type of positive feedback loop that if developed early can have dramatic and advantageous effects even in the midst of change and disruption as long as you begin at once.

Your Go To Outlet

Finally, there’s a powerful tool right at your fingertips, available to you at every stage, that can help you have mind-blowing ideas, improves productivity and focus throughout the day and helps you have more confidence in who you are and where you are going.

I’m talking about journaling.

Here are a couple of activities to get you started.

  1. Write about the situation you are facing and how you can align with your core values.
  2. Commit to journaling for 10 minutes a day on topics like creative ways to solve problems.

In conclusion, these are some powerful game-changing strategies to help you embrace chance and reach your full potential.

Want To Know More About Embracing Change?

Featured photo credit: Camila Cordeiro via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Business Insider: This Incredible TED Talk Shows How Changing Your Perception Of Stress Could Save Your Life
[2] Tony Robbins: Don’t Fall in Love With Your Products
[3] Yeager DS, Walton GM. 2011. Social-psychological interventions in education: they’re not magic. Rev. Educ. Res. 81:267–301

Read Next