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Published on June 29, 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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.”.

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.

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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.

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

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

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Jade Nyx

Qualified Life Coach

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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

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