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How to walk the freeing path of believing in yourself

June 8, 2022 - 14 min read

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The benefits of believing in yourself

3 common roadblocks

How to overcome roadblocks 

 7 strategies that will help you believe in yourself

The bottom line

We can be our biggest cheerleaders — or our biggest critics. And the difference between the two options matters. Believing in yourself is crucial to succeeding. 

Self-efficacy, or your ability to believe in yourself, can improve your success in goal setting. Studies have looked at how higher self-efficacy indicates success in areas like academic performance or quitting smoking. If you can believe, you really can achieve.

It helps to adopt a growth mindset and cultivate the ability to accept and learn from your mistakes. Developing these characteristics can take patience and time. 

Let’s take a look at how to believe in yourself, and why it’s important to have faith in your abilities. 

 

The benefits of believing in yourself

Self-belief is the formula to personal and professional success. 

Do you berate yourself when you make a mistake? Do you, for some reason or other, think negative self-talk will make you a better person?

Making mistakes is one thing. But at some point, you have to forgive yourself and move on. Otherwise, that energy will only hold you back. It’ll prevent you from taking risks and stepping up to achieve your goals.

At the end of the day, you have to believe in yourself. Doing so will bring you one step closer to manifesting a better life

Here’s why you should believe in yourself and your instincts:

1. If you don’t, who else will?

Maybe you have a system of people who love and support you, and that’s great. But at the end of the day, only you can act on the opportunities in your life. At some point in your life, you’ll have to take a leap of faith. And you’ll have to trust in your ability to survive it.

2. You’ll fail more gracefully

Look, it happens to all of us. Even the most successful people know what failure feels like. But they know that, as long as they learn something, they’ll continue to grow. You can be like that, too — you just have to trust yourself.

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3. Being follows doing (sometimes you have to act positive to get positive) 

If you don’t believe you’re worthy, neither will other people. You have to suspend your disbelief and take the leap to act like you believe in yourself, first. You'll see yourself through new eyes and so will other people.

Negativity begets negativity. That’s why you should flip the script. When you show more positivity, you’ll attract more positive people in your life.

4. You’ll inspire yourself to keep going

You’ll encounter all sorts of obstacles in life. You’ll feel tired, wary, and want to quit. But if you believe in yourself, you’ll look back on all your previous successes and remember that better is possible.

5. You’ll start reaching your goals

How can you reach your goals if you don’t even think you can? Your successes shouldn’t be a surprise, they should be a validation of your belief in yourself. Believing in yourself helps you focus and increases productivity. Positive thinking is infectious, and it’ll spread to others, inspiring them to believe in themselves. 

The magic happens when you have a belief in self. Of course, it isn't magic — it's your potential. And shifting into a more positive growth mindset isn't a process you have to handle alone: BetterUp coaches are here for precisely this reason. You matter, and we want to help you realize more of your potential. 

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3 common roadblocks

Positive self-talk is easier said than done. You must control your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Rewiring your brain to think positive thoughts in the place of criticism is tricky.

Three common roadblocks people face regarding self-belief are: 

1. Comparison

Perception is everything. Seeing someone else thriving doesn’t mean you aren’t. 

Remember, what you see on social media is what people let you see, and they don’t tend to advertise their struggles. It’s like that old saying: Don’t compare your insides to someone else’s outside. 

Plus, there’s room for both you and your peers to thrive. Feel proud of friends and colleagues that are doing well, without succumbing to envy. 

2. The past

There's some truth to the phrase, “The past can haunt you." It’s hard to shake off a rough childhood or an unhealthy relationship. Self-reflection is good, but not at the expense of your mental health. Talking to a mental health professional is a great way to work through your past struggles and stop them from affecting your present. 

3. Current relationships

Do you have that one friend that’s always putting you down? Maybe it’s a parent or a colleague that you dread seeing because they make you feel small. Human beings are social creatures by nature, but a lack of approval can be detrimental to your self-confidence.

How to overcome roadblocks 

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Remember, roadblocks aren’t permanent obstacles — there’s always a way past them. Try these strategies:

  • Think positively: Your thoughts make up a large part of who you are and what you do. Believing in yourself and your abilities to tackle any hurdle is an essential step to beating whatever you’re up against. 
  • Visualize where you want to be: This will keep you motivated, even when things look bleak and self-doubt sets in. While you can’t change the past, you can make a better future. Whatever you want to do is possible. 
  • Take action: Thinking and “talking the talk” are important but eventually, you must “walk the walk.” You’ll feel better about yourself and your skills as you make progress and see the rewards that arise from the work you’re putting in to make a change. 

 7 strategies that will help you believe in yourself

Don’t let the obstacles discourage you. Below are seven ways to make a change and feel better about yourself:

1. Create healthy routines

Living well is critical to loving yourself. Feeding your body with healthy food and drink, exercising, sleeping, and taking breaks amidst your work schedule are all important. Your anxiety will decrease, and you can tackle each day with more strength. Self-love is all about maintaining a balance and doing all you can to set yourself up for success. 

2. Surround yourself with good people

Public speaker and self-help guru Tony Robbins says, “Proximity is power.” There's truth in that. The people you spend time with have an impact on your mindset and your motivation. Seek out people who inspire you to be your best self and the ones who help you get there.

Encouraging individuals will keep you going when things get hard, and they’ll challenge you, too.  

Be on the lookout for people with these toxic personality traits. If you find yourself drained, negative, and full of self-doubt around certain people, spend less time with them. Cut them out of your life. If that’s not possible, do your best to limit time spent together. 

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3. Feed your mind

There's some truth to the law of attraction, too — the type of energy you give off comes back to you, positive and negative. While it might not really be a natural law, it's true that your mindset affects how you interact with the world and how other people interact with you.

What you fill your mind with influences how you see yourself and the world around you. 

Seek out inspiring and uplifting media, from books to movies to social media accounts. Frequent exposure to uplifting and supportive material will slowly condition your brain to think differently. Limit your time with overly pessimistic or cynical perspectives. While it's important to be realistic and embrace the ups and downs of life, cynicism erodes your belief in others, destroys your motivation, and takes away your hope for the future. It doesn't help how you feel about yourself, either. 

4. Don't let your fear stop you

Self-doubt is normal. You can’t let that hold you back. Speak up. Set goals.  Learning something new or overcoming a hurdle releases dopamine in your brain, and you’ll physically feel better with each step you take. Instead of feeling frustrated or small when errors occur, remember that you can learn from mistakes. That is, setbacks are also a potential source of growth. 

5. Draw on your inner strength 

Sometimes pushing through is all you can do. Just because you fail at a task doesn’t mean you're a failure. Dig deep for grit, and keep going even in challenging moments. 

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6. Acknowledge your victories

Celebrate the little things and the big accomplishments. Celebrate your passions. Instead of being self-critical, opt to practice self-compassion

7. Work on your strengths

When you’re feeling down in the dumps, it’s common to focus on your weaknesses. Instead, work to identify your strengths. It can help to ask others for feedback. Then,  focus on honing those skills — it’ll help you feel more capable.

The bottom line

Self-care is often put on the back burner in favor of other responsibilities, but believing in yourself is just one aspect of our well-being. 

Everyone is unique, full of possibility, capable of self-improvement, and worthy of self-belief. Using technology, world-class coaching, and evidence-based behavioral science, we strive to help every individual unlock their greater potential and purpose. 

BetterUp can be the trusted guide and accountability you need as you learn how to believe in yourself. If you’re willing to do the work, we’re there for you step by step.

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Published June 8, 2022

Elizabeth Perry

Content Marketing Manager, ACC

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