Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on December 3, 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

What To Do in Quarantine? How To Beat Social Media Addiction And Focus on Your Life More 15 Daily Intentions to Set for a More Driven Life This Full Life Organizational Plan Can Help You Tidy Up Your Life Surviving and Thriving Amid the Pandemic: Personal Responsibility

Trending in Success Mindset

1 8 Greatest Obstacles In Life You Must Overcome To Be Successful 2 36 Quotes From Successful People About The Wisdom In Asking Questions 3 10 Reasons Why Some People Will Never Succeed 4 10 Movies You Need To Watch To Be More Successful 5 The Planning Fallacy: Why Your Plans Fail

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on February 19, 2021

8 Greatest Obstacles In Life You Must Overcome To Be Successful

8 Greatest Obstacles In Life You Must Overcome To Be Successful

Whether it’s planning a public speech or a kid’s birthday party, our intentions lean toward success no matter the endeavor. And whatever success we are hoping to attain, there will likely be obstacles that we must face. When these obstacles surface, we can either shy away and miss our chance or meet these challenges informed and ready.

Although obstacles can seem like the outside world is plotting against us, in reality, these external challenges are merely triggering hurdles that already exist within. They might be memories or beliefs we have about ourselves that act like mud and slow us down. We can be trapped by our own self-sabotage.

What could happen if you knew about and prepared for these obstacles beforehand?

If you knew what you were up against, perhaps you could come equipped with just the right tools to get through anything that threatens your chance at success. Perhaps you could take an obstacle that felt like a mountain and turn it instantly into a mere molehill!

Here are 8 of the greatest obstacles you must overcome on your way to success:

1. Perfection

One of the most common obstacles we face is the need for perfection. Elizabeth Gilbert, in her book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, shared that her mother always used to say, “done is better than good.” Anyone prone to perfectionism is going to find it difficult to remain on the road to success if everything has to be “just so” all the time.

Perfection is the killer of creativity, vitality, and accidental discoveries! There are so many instances of people fortuitously discovering things that we use every day.[1] If they had been so concerned with perfection, they may never have enjoyed the success of their “mistakes!” Plus, learning from our mistakes is how we develop and grow throughout our lives. Therefore, “perfect” will never provide a straight shot to success.

How can you stop going for perfection? Just as it may have taken years of practice to “perfect” a skill you have acquired, it takes practice to undo perfectionism.

Try the following:

Advertising

  • Try new things and let go of your expectations.
  • Don’t do everything on your “To-Do” list. See what happens when you leave it for tomorrow.
  • Learn how to prioritize (no, everything isn’t equally important all the time).
  • If you’re feeling particularly rebellious, send an email with a typo in it!

Have fun with this and learn how to laugh at yourself. Welcome to the wonderful world of being human.

2. Fear

Fear is triggered when we have a thought or perception that we are not safe and secure. This is quite a useful tool when there is a real threat to our safety. However, when the threat is imaginary, fear can actually prevent us from doing the work we need to do to achieve our goals.

As with perfectionism, the best way to deal with fear is to become more mindful.

Here are some steps you can try in working through fear:

  1. Sit with the emotion of fear and notice where you feel it in your body. Notice the thoughts that accompany the feeling.
  2. Ask yourself what you are afraid will happen and write down your answers.
  3. Visualize yourself experiencing your worst fears. How did you feel imagining your worst fears coming true?
  4. Ask yourself when you have felt this way before. How did you cope with it that time? What strengths could you use in your previous visualization?
  5. Imagine yourself using your strength with the imagined worst fear. How does it feel to know that no matter what happens, you have the tools and resources to handle it?

In this exercise, we’re trying to be okay with the emotion of fear. Fear is actually trying to help by keeping you “safe.” It calls upon memories of when you were threatened in your life. But when we spend all of our energy trying to prevent the feeling of fear, we make it stronger. We also deny ourselves the memories of all the times we have faced our fears and triumphed.

Allowing the fear to be present and calling upon memories of making it through challenging times helps to convince our minds that, as President Franklin Roosevelt said, the “only thing to fear is fear itself.”

3. Lack of Clarity

Imagine that you are going on a trip and you need to pack. Your suitcase is out, but you don’t know any details of the trip. You haven’t decided where you’re going, how long you’ll be gone, or what you’ll be doing. How easy will it be to pack for this trip?

If we’re trying to run our careers or lives without clarity, it can be nearly impossible to figure out what we need to be doing to get to our destination of success. So, how do we get clarity?

Author and speaker, Simon Sinek, had some excellent advice for businesses on how to get clarity, and it applies beautifully to just about any area of life. According to Sinek, when clarifying your “message,” you should start with your WHY.[2] In other words, why are you doing what you do? Once you are clear on your “why,” it will be much easier to figure out your “how” and your “what.”

Advertising

Let’s go back to the packing analogy. Perhaps your why for vacationing is to get some much-needed rest as you have been stressed out lately. That tells you that a quiet vacation might be better than one with lots of museums and crowded attractions. Your “why” tells you that you don’t want to be very active, but you do want to take care of your body, mind, and spirit, perhaps by spending a few days at a nearby spa. Less travel means less stress. Looking at the spa, you see they have a 3-day retreat. Now, you know how to pack.

See how easily those details fell into place once you got clear on your “why”? Imagine what success you could achieve once your “why” is uncovered!

4. Making Comparisons

It’s natural for us to compare ourselves to other people. That’s how we know whether we’re doing things correctly or not and how we can continue improving. When we get into a habit of making comparisons all the time and feeling bad about not being able to “keep up with the Jones’,” this can pull our energy down. And when our energy is down, so is our motivation to keep working toward our goals.

As with perfection, it’s important to be mindful about how much importance you’re placing on “keeping up” with what you think everyone around you is doing.

Want to stop sizing yourself up to others? Try the following:

  • Notice the feelings that come up for you when you compare yourself to someone else.
  • Ask yourself, “what information am I really getting from this comparison, and what’s helpful about it?”
  • Keep the helpful bits from that line of questioning and let go of the rest.

Remember that when you compare yourself to another person, oftentimes you are seeing the potential that already resides within you.[3]

5. Untamed Inner Monologue

How do you talk to yourself? Do you tend to say uplifting and encouraging things to yourself? Or is your self-speak often negative? An untamed inner monologue can serve as a great obstacle to many people.

Many people grow up with the idea that the inner monologue is what drives us to become better people. We get “tough” on ourselves to prevent laziness or sloppiness. If unchecked, the monologuing can quickly become negative and purely critical. Despite our intentions for self-improvement, this constant habit of pointing out what’s “wrong” with what we do and who we are can become a huge energy drain.

According to the Mayo Clinic, overcoming negative self-talk is good for our health.[4] Some of the benefits of maintaining a compassionate inner voice include lower levels of depression, better immune function, and improved coping skills in stressful times.

Advertising

Activities to develop awareness about your inner monologue and make it more compassionate include:

  • Keeping a thought diary (there are so many great apps for this!).
  • Reframing negative self-statements neutrally or compassionately.
  • Asking yourself what a trusted friend might say to you.
  • Thinking about what you might say to a friend if they were in your shoes.
  • Considering EFT Tapping or saying affirmations.
  • Allowing yourself to follow the inner critic down the worst-case-scenario path (this version might have you laughing at how ridiculous your inner critic’s imagination truly is).

6. Unclear Boundaries

So far, we’ve covered several ways that internal boundaries are necessary on the road to success. These include monitoring your fear, limiting your need for perfectionism, lacking clarity about what you want, making unhealthy comparisons to others, or having a mean-spirited inner monologue.

How about those boundaries we need to clarify with other people in our lives? To be clear, boundaries are not about saying “no” to everything and cutting yourself off from everybody. Healthy external boundaries are about being communicating to others about what you want, how you want to be treated, and what your plans are.

If we have unclear boundaries with others, success will result only by accident, if at all.

People pleasers and empaths especially know how challenging it can be to set boundaries with others. The desire for harmony can be so strong for some people that they convince themselves that it is easier to let others make the decisions rather than risk creating conflict.

The problem here is that no matter how hard we try to avoid conflict with others, we will create conflict within ourselves that results in roadblocks to success. If you have trouble setting clear boundaries with others and you want to be successful, start building your muscles around this skill slowly.

Here are a few steps:

  1. Identify little things that you like and want.
  2. Tell people about what you like and want in your life.
  3. Notice what happens in your body when you say this out loud.
  4. Identify things you don’t like or want.
  5. Notice what happens in your body when you think about these things. (Your body is really smart when it comes to telling you what you don’t want!)
  6. Tell trusted people what you don’t like or want.
  7. Notice how it feels in your body to say this out loud.
  8. Practice saying “no” to something really small that you don’t want and work your way up to bigger things.

Without boundaries, it’s like being water and trying to hold a shape without being in a container. You get to create your own container and watch your success take form.

7. Unreasonable Expectations

It’s important to dream big. It’s how we allow inspiration and big ideas to come to the surface of our awareness. But if our dreams are not grounded in the reality of our current resources, we might be headed for some disappointment or even worse, the loss of our dreams!

Advertising

Setting reasonable expectations is the bread and butter of success. If you haven’t been introduced to setting SMART goals at this point in your life, it would be a good idea to try it out.

It might not always be possible to know whether or not something is reasonable, especially if you’re trying out a brand-new-to-you project. If the expectation is for a new project to work without any bumps or glitches, this is likely to be unreasonable. The consequences of this experience could be losing your drive to succeed.

If the expectations for a new project include the idea of bumps and glitches that hold seeds of learning and growth, then even the perceived “mistakes” will turn out to be a success. This has the positive benefit of fueling your motivation to keep working toward even more success.

Be mindful of where you set the bar—neither too high nor too low.

8. Unreasonable Definition of Success

What is your definition of success? Asked in another way, from what perspective are you seeking success?

It’s easy to think that success means achieving the goal(s) you set for yourself. But there are so many ways to look at success. You might be missing out on some opportunities to really feel like you are shining in your life.

An unreasonable definition of success might be one that only allows for one specific outcome. If that outcome is not reached, then success is not the result. But if we allow for multiple definitions of success, we might find that success is much easier to come by than we previously thought!

To expand your definition of success, ask yourself the following:

  • What would need to happen to make me feel successful?
  • What else could happen to make me feel successful?

Keep brainstorming all the outcomes you could experience to create a feeling of success.

Final Thoughts

Being successful requires overcoming a lot of obstacles, and many people will fail at some point. The key is to tackle these obstacles one step at a time. In the words of Joyce Brothers, “Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success.”

More Tips on How to Overcome Obstacles

Featured photo credit: asoggetti via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next