Can self-confidence and self-worth change your life? Yes, in every way imaginable!
“Believe in yourself” may well be one of the most overused motivational clichés. And as with all clichés, the overuse often overpowers the underlying message. Sometimes it’s a good idea to pick apart a well-known saying or mantra to take a closer look at the original idea.
Essentially, to believe in yourself means to believe that you can achieve what you want to achieve. It affirms that you are worthy of the things you deserve: love, acceptance, peace, joy and abundance in every aspect of life.
But it’s easier said than done. If it were so simple, everyone would always feel 100% confident about themselves. Let’s take a look at what we can do to rid our minds of negativities and limitations and really start believing in our abilities.
You can start by believing in just a part of yourself. Start with what you know you can do. What are you good at? Look at your personality and your character traits. What qualities do you have that you think gives you an advantage in specific situations? What personal traits of yours do you like to see in other people? Most people can think of something they like about themselves that they also like to see in other people. Even if you can’t identify any qualities or personal traits, don’t lose hope. You can put a positive twist on a limitation by…
Turning it around
Take some of your self-described negative traits and rename them. If you think you’re lazy, think you’re relaxed instead. Are you a procrastinator? No, you’re just cautious and you think before you jump. Or perhaps you consider yourself too hasty? That’s just another way of saying you’re a person of action – you gets things done!
Here are a few perceived weaknesses turned into strengths:
- You’re not “arrogant,” you’re confident and brave. You know that success requires hard work, and you’re not afraid of that.
- You’re not “bossy,” you’re a leader. You can see the big picture and you’re great at organising and facilitating.
- You’re not shy, you’re thoughtful. You think before you speak, and you like to consider all factors before voicing an opinion.
- You’re not judgemental, you’re discerning. You make choices based on a high standard and you deliver to a high standard as well.
- You’re not nervous, you’re careful. You listen to your instincts and they help you make solid, well-considered decisions.
- You’re not stubborn, you’re persistent. Others know that you can be relied upon to follow things through.
The reframed ‘you’
Do any of these sound familiar? Is there anything on the list that you can reframe and believe in? Even if you’re so doubtful of yourself that you think you’re made up entirely of negative traits, there’ll always be a positive flip-side to those traits. Embrace those aspects and…
Make it a game and play the game until it’s real. Pretending is not just for actors – the best way to become the person you want to be is by acting like him or her. It might feel funny at first, but the hardest thing is starting. Once you start playing this game, other people will quickly become used to your new self-confidence, and they’ll step up to it and believe in you because of it.
No matter where you are in the spectrum of self-confidence, everybody can benefit from pretending to be a better version of themselves. The worst thing that can happen is that it might feel a little strange. You may even want to stop altogether and go back to the old you. But not to worry, all you need to do is…
Herding your butterflies
At first, you might feel afraid to start believing in yourself by pretending. Fear is a natural response with very real, physical manifestations. It’s best not to fight it. Remember, even the most successful, self-confident people experience waves of fear from time to time.
Performing artists often talk about getting “butterflies in the stomach.” They feel nervous and jittery, but they don’t let the negative emotions take control. Performing artists such as singers rely on the breath – the breath carries the music and the emotion. “Butterflies,” for a singer, directly affects the breath, and thus the quality and the energy of the performance. But the singer realizes that there’s no point trying to suppress the feelings of anxiety and dread. Suppression doesn’t get rid of nervousness – it only forces the feeling deeper into the stomach and makes it even harder to perform.
The way to deal with “butterflies” is to herd them, to give them a path to fly, to gather their energy and send them forth with your own creative energy. Try it. Every time fear whispers to you, “You can’t do it. You don’t have it in you,” you reply, “I can do this! I have what it takes! I am ______!” Let the fear out through your breath as you speak these words. Channeling your fear puts you back in control. Do it each time you begin to doubt yourself, until it becomes a habit. Soon, you’ll be able to bid adieu to your fears and not have to sweep them under the rug
Win the world over!
The new image of you – the one full of positive qualities and confidence – is ready for the world. And you will find the world was always ready for you. If you want to reach your peak as a professional and an individual, it’s never too late to start. So go and play the game! Play it until it becomes a habit. Play it until one day you realise you’re no longer playing – because you’ve already started believing in yourself.