"Look at what you bring to the world, not what you lack." - Miranda Kate

Monday, 13 April 2015

Believing in Yourself: What It Can Do For You

Image of sunlight streaming through trees in silhouette onto water with text: Believe you are worth it. Let your light shine throughDo you hear people say ‘believe in yourself’ and find it cliché?

Have you ever asked yourself if you do believe in yourself?

What was your response?

The saying ‘believe in yourself’ is a typical positive motivation saying, meant to encourage and give an individual new resolve and confidence to step forward and reach for their dreams. 

It trips off the tongue easily, and sounds simple and succinct, but is it? 

For those of us who are often filled with self-doubt, it is not.

“When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt.” - Honore de Balzac

It can be a struggle to believe we are capable, or that we will succeed. We doubt whether we can trust ourselves, or depend on ourselves to bring what is needed. We ask ourselves, if no one else has faith in us, why should we? And we fill our minds with evidence to support this by reminding ourselves of the myriad of times we have failed – overwhelming ourselves with those thoughts until we decide we are not worth taking the risk on, telling ourselves we are not dependable, we can’t be relied upon and are not worthy of support.

It sounds strange when you read like that, doesn’t it? It sounds like we are against ourselves - but by not believing in ourselves, in effect we are! 

We are the ones telling ourselves all of these negative things. We are the ones stopping ourselves, before we have even started. If someone else told us we were not reliable, dependable, or worth it, we would be upset, wouldn’t we? So why are we telling ourselves that? Why are we hurting ourselves?
So how do we do start and stay believing in ourselves, what’s the trick? 

“Believing in others is easy. It’s believing in yourself that’s the real challenge.”- Giuseppe Bianco

Putting this blog post together has taken me longer than I expected, because when I asked myself what actions or advice I would give to maintain self-belief, I realised that I am still working on it myself - daily.

I suffer from self-doubt regularly, which arises from my own internal dialogue. Often I am working against myself in the chatter inside my head, so that is where we need to begin.
“What you tell yourself everyday will either lift you up or tear you down” – Heather K Jones

We need to focus on changing our internal dialogue, and become conscious of what we are saying to ourselves. And sometimes, even more than just the dialogue, we need to change the perception we have of ourselves. We need to look at exactly what the facts are about what we bring to the world, and what unique gifts we have, and change how we view ourselves.

“Confidence is something you create within yourself by believing who you are.” - Simone Biles. 

I looked at my life and saw what I did bring; what I achieved on a day to day basis: caring for my family (children, husband, and house), interaction with friends. I would see I was caring, loving, respectful, loyal and trustworthy. I allowed myself to be positive about who I was and who I wanted to be. I liked myself. I decided I was worth it. I looked at the truth of the things I was saying to myself, and found them to be false. 

“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha

Often the things I was thinking about myself came from someone else’s perception of me. I would then ask myself whether they were true or not, and what I actually thought about myself.

When we start changing our dialogue and our view of ourselves, we can start to see how much we have to give - not just to others, but to ourselves. We can relax in who we are and feel comfortable. We can be self-assured. We no longer have to look externally to be validated; we can validate ourselves, and build our own inner security. 

“You are what you believe yourself to be.” Paul Coelho

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