This post is 1273 words. Reading time ~5-7 minutes
Self-belief can sometimes feel like an elusive lover. One moment you’re close and another moment you’re far apart. I have had great highs of self-belief and dark deep lows of self-doubt. Sometimes the self-doubt was fleeting and other times interminable. Not believing in myself held me back tremendously.
Each of us have beliefs and they are the most influential thing in our lives. Henry Ford said “Whether you think you can or you think you cannot, you are right.” Ford’s quote is powerful in its brevity. The mind does not care what our beliefs are. It goes about manifesting our beliefs for us in the real world. It has always worked that way and it always will. This universal law is why it is critical to our happiness and success that we believe in ourselves rather than doubt ourselves. I define self-belief as “a state of mind of certainty that one will achieve his or her desired outcome.”
Life is like a team sport. It requires a full complement of players on your team with complementary skills. In order to accomplish your goals you must work with others. If you need a skill, you need a teacher. If you need a material object you need someone to make that object. Others must be involved in your success; no man is an island.
Let us take a look at why self-belief is so important.
If you don’t believe in yourself no one else will either
Your level of self-belief is communicated non-verbally to everyone you meet. It shows up in your body language, your actions, your tone of voice, your sense of excitement, your energy level, and a myriad of other ways. This non-verbal communication is where 93% of our communication is derived. When you do not believe in yourself everyone whom you encounter, whether in person, on the phone, or on video will pick up on your non-verbal communication and sense it.
Despite your words saying otherwise, your non-verbal communication will always tell another person the truth: you don’t believe what you’re saying, and you lack confidence. Think about it for a moment: when you’ve come across someone who doesn’t believe in themselves, have you wanted to believe in them? Did you want to come along side and buy into their vision? Unless you are a dear family member who loves that person greatly, chances are you did not believe in them either.
If you don’t believe in yourself and no one else believes in you, how do you expect to get anything done? You only have so much time and energy. These are finite resources and because you are one person operating with one hand tied behind your back you can never possibly pull off something great. You must have other people coming alongside of you helping you by providing resources and emotional support.
Everyone is paying attention to themselves; you must communicate a noticeable belief in yourself in order for them to notice.
The default mode of every person on this planet is the same: They listen to a radio station called “WII FM”. WII FM is a station that plays the same songs about the same topic. WII FM is also known as “what’s in it for me?” People are focusing on their needs and their desires 99% of the time. Getting their focus on you requires boldness. It requires grabbing their attention and standing out. When you have the moment to interrupt their regular programming with a commercial about you and what you want, you had better make sure that you communicate a level of self-belief that will capture and hold their attention. That is why you have to be confident in knowing what your outcome will be. Uncertainty won’t move someone to action, only a belief that is strong can penetrate WII FM, because after all, it is playing 24 hours a day and has been our entire lives.
Once you have their attention then, and only then, can they help you to get what you want. Whether you need them for a specific issue or if you want their support, you have to get their attention and your best chance of getting it is to communicate belief in yourself and what you are doing. When your communication is filled with emotion that will appeal to their senses then you will have the opportunity to enroll the other person, or persons, to help you get your desired outcome.
If you don’t take the necessary actions to believe in yourself you will languish.
According to the dictionary languish means “to fail to make progress or be successful.” Finding yourself in this position is incredibly frustrating. Having goals, dreams, and desires, but not having the self-belief that they can be accomplished causes depression. Whether or not that is clinical depression is beyond the scope of this post. The vibration, or energy, that you emit when you are in this state is at a terribly low frequency. This depressed state feels like you are in a pit and can’t get out. You know which way is up, meaning, you know the outcome that you desire, yet you cannot reach the top. By lacking self-belief you are effectively dimming the lights that would show the footholds for climbing out of the pit and putting you on the road to progress. As a result you find yourself languishing, looking up at the light and feeling all kinds of negative emotions because you can’t find a foothold to climb your way out. Feeling as if you are dying on the vine leads to a downward spiral of negativity. You know what you ought to do, yet you don’t do it because you don’t think you can or you don’t think it will work.
For the people who are driven, the ones who know that goals plus actions are supposed to equal results this can cause feelings of anguish, or severe mental suffering to occur. The lack of success, or even progress, occurs because you are sending the mind mixed signals and it does not know what action to take. On the one hand are all of the wonderful goals that you want to accomplish. On the other hand are all of the doubts and lack of belief that keep you from doing what needs to be done. The subconscious mind works in a very direct manner: it will do whatever it takes to create in reality whatever instructions you have been giving it. When there are inputs from different ends of the spectrum (goals vs. self-doubt) the mind doesn’t know what to do and you can begin feeling anguish because things aren’t working for you.
Self-belief is the fuel to keep you going
If doubt and indecision are what keep you from trying, self-belief is the fuel to keep you going. As stated self-belief is “a state of mind of certainty that one will achieve his or her desired outcome.” Point number two covered how doubt sends the opposing signal to the mind. Doubt and certainty cannot coexist. Doubt would say: “if I do this then it will all work out.” Self-belief would say “It will all work out and I will try as many things as it takes.” Without self-belief and the certainty that is innate to it, you won’t have the fuel to keep going when plans A, B, or C fail. Self-belief is a form of mental toughness and it is a skill that must be developed, practiced and improved through consistent intentional practice.