Do you struggle with self-belief? Perhaps you find it hard to believe that you can feel more confident, make that change or achieve that goal. Having self-belief motivates you to explore your potential and achieve your dreams, but so many of us are lacking in self-belief.
Most people state they want to feel more confident in particular areas of their life and I’m never going to say that confidence building isn’t important, because it is. However, often if you’re struggling to make changes and achieve goals it might actually be your self-belief that actually needs a little work.
Today I want to help you understand what self-belief is (and isn’t), why it’s important, the factors that impact it and how to start developing a little more belief in yourself.
What is Self-Belief?
First things first, I need you to know that Self-belief isn’t the same as Self-confidence.
Self-confidence is built by overcoming obstacles and setbacks, working to improve a skill or facing a fear. Self-confidence can be ‘surface level’ whereby you simply act confident in a situation, without truly believing that you can overcome, handle or manage it.
Another thing self-confidence can change from situation to situation, whereas Self-belief is trusting in yourself, your abilities, your values and your knowledge at a core level. Self-belief is having the belief that you are able to meet the demands of tasks and take on the challenges in the first place.
If you don’t hold the Self-belief that you can make a certain change then you won’t take the action needed to build your Self-confidence in whatever area that change relates to.
For example, think of building a house, to get started you first need a solid foundation, that’s your Self-belief. Then you needs wall, that’s your Self-confidence. Your Self-belief is the foundation of everything you do (or don’t do) and your Self-confidence is developed by becoming ‘competent’ in an area or skill overtime (which won’t happen if you don’t believe it’s possible in the first place). So to have a well build house, of course you need walls to create the rooms, but without solid foundations to build off, the walls (and the house) will collapse overtime or perhaps never get built in the first place.
Why is Self-Belief important?
Believing in yourself helps you to adopt a growth mindset which is vital for making positive changes and overcoming setbacks as you move through and progress in life.
At the end of the day believing in yourself brings you one step closer to creating the life you want. Believing in yourself and knowing your value and worth has a positive impact on your entire life, both directly and indirectly.
Here are a few reasons that Self-belief is important:
- If you don’t believe that you can achieve something then the likelihood is that you wont even try, and if you do try, you’ll expect to ‘fail’ and end up self-sabotaging yourself.
- Setbacks and challenges will happen as you move forwards but when you have Self-belief you are able to overcome them with more compassion, positivity and motivation to continue on your path instead of ‘giving up’.
- Self-belief equals action, which creates positive change.
- Even if you’re lucky enough to have a supportive network around you, at the end of the day only you can create the success, opportunities and changes in your life. You need to be able to trust in your own ability not just to survive but to thrive.
- When you have Self-belief you are able to put your needs first, set boundaries with yourself and others and talk more kindly towards yourself.
What impacts Self-Belief?
You are born believing that you can, but as you go through life you face different experiences, you are taught certain lessons and beliefs. These experiences and changes impact the level of Self-belief you hold.
Key factors that impact whether or not you hold Self-belief are:
- Your childhood
- Your experiences through life
- Your environment
- Your current and past relationships
- The decisions you make
- Your thinking habits
- Your beliefs
- Comparing yourself to others
- Social media
There are many factors that impact your Self-belief and your experiences are individual to you. It can be helpful to know the factors that impact how much you believe in yourself so that you can start to make positive changes to start to build your much needed Self-belief.
How can you start to develop Self-Belief?
A common myth around Self-belief is that you’re either born with it or you’re not, suggesting that if you don’t have it right now you never will.
The truth is that your Self-belief can be developed and rebuilt if lost and here are a few ways you can start to build it:
KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU WANT
It’s hard to believe in yourself when you not quite sure who you are and what you want. Losing sight of yourself and your needs is a side effect of low self-esteem.
So to be able to start to build Self-belief you first need to know the answer to these questions:
- What really matters to me?
- How do I want my life to look?
- How do I want to feel?
Write out your answers to these questions. Don’t let yourself think small, open your mind to all possibilities. Dream big!
You may find some surprises in your answers. Each answer sheds light on what you want, your true core values and your next steps.
Start celebrating yourself and your successes. To help build your Self-belief start to celebrate the small and big accomplishments. Celebrate your strengths and your passions.
When self-critical thoughts arise try and show yourself self-compassion. How we see ourselves and the degree to which we believe in ourselves heavily depends on our ability to show ourselves kindness and compassion, not just when we face setbacks but simply in daily life when negative thoughts and feeling arise.
You can’t rebuild your Self-belief if you have that voice inside you telling you ‘you can’t do this’ or ‘you don’t deserve this’. Write down all your accomplishments and all the reasons and evidence that what your inner critic is saying isn’t true.
FACE YOUR FEARS
We all have fears. There is an amazing saying ‘no-one is fearless but you can learn to fear less’. When we work towards a goal or start making changes fears will automatically pop up and often we take them as a sign that we should stop and retreat back to our ‘comfort zone’.
However fear is just an automatic reaction to a new situation and working outside our normal habits. It is important to understand the source of the fear, that is the negative ‘what if’ that is coming up, so that you can work through it if needed.
Another way to face your fears is to take small steps. If jumping into the deep end is too much for you, that’s ok, just make small, incremental steps forwards.
But facing your fears will show you that you can overcome them, this will help you build your belief in your abilities.
When we lack Self-belief it can lead us to also discourage others, remember that’s probably how you got discouraged in the first place too. Often we project our fears and doubts onto other people and begin to lose faith in their abilities, as well as our own.
So start to encourage others, remind them that they can do hard things and be their cheerleader. In doing so you too will begin to build a positive mindset, and in doing so build your own Self-belief.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
A key ingredient to believing in yourself is respecting and loving yourself. Self-care is a big part of this. Self-care isn’t just physical, it’s also emotional and mental and looks different for everyone.
Each day try and show yourself kindness, nurture and love, whether that’s a walk at the beach, meditation, fun with friends, an early night, a snuggle with the kids on the settee watching a film or drinking more water.
Taking care of yourself helps you create and maintain a positive mindset and is important in your Self-belief.
CUT OUT NEGATIVITY
The people you surround yourself with makes a massive difference to your mindset and your Self-belief. If you spend quite a lot of time with people who tell you that you ‘can’t’ and remind you of past failures it will damage your Self-belief.
Have a look at who you spend time with, are they supporting you and empowering you to strive forward and believe in yourself and your goals?
If your environment isn’t supportive, where can you make changes to your environment? Perhaps its seeing certain people less often, setting boundaries with yourself and others and seek out people that inspire you to be your best self and help you get there.
Key Points to Takeaway about Self-Belief
What you believe about yourself and your abilities is what really makes a difference between surviving life, or thriving in and loving your life.
Self-belief keeps you going when times get hard and bounce back from setbacks, regardless of what other people may say or believe.
Building confidence is important, but working on your Self-belief and identifying and removing the barriers to you being ‘your best self’ is what will result in positive change.
Your Self-belief isn’t static and even if right now you have little or no belief in yourself, know that you can change that, you have that power and working on the steps above will help you to truly believe in yourself.
If you want to be part of a supportive community of women all working to not only build their Self-belief but also create a life that fills them with confidence and happiness then come and join the Be You Membership and get 50% off your first 2 months using code BEYOU50.
Hey I’m Natalie, Supporting women like you on their road to self-acceptance and building their self-esteem is – as cliche as it sounds – my calling.