"You have to believe in yourself before anybody else can believe in you"
There was a time in my life when I’d hear a saying like the one above and think, “They have it all backward. If someone else were to believe in me, I’d know I have something to offer.”
It’s not unusual for us humans to look to others for validation … to figure out if we’re “good enough” or likeable.
Earlier in my life, I found myself in situations, -- either in college or in a particular job, for example, -- where I felt stuck and unsure about how I could contribute. It was emotionally painful for me to be in that place of uncertainty about my own value.
So I adopted unhealthy habits, looking to those around me and doing what they did or saying what they said. In other words, my thinking was that they were smarter than I could ever imagine being.
I would ask myself, “What does believing in you mean?” and “How do I start to believe in myself?” Unfortunately, these questions remained unanswered for many years.
Eventually, with the help of therapy, books and so many self help seminars, I discovered the answers. I replaced self-doubt with self-acceptance.
The experience of believing in myself was powerfully liberating. I was no longer trapped in the painful feelings of uncertainty and self-doubt.
In a recent coaching session with a client, I asked, “What does believing in yourself look and feel like to you?”
Here is a sample list of responses we put on the white board in the office:
· Knowing that no matter what happens in life, you will be OK.
· Feeling courageous in the face of perceived adversity.
· Seeing that others’ opinions are just that:, their opinions and not facts.
· Having a healthy level of self-awareness and acceptance.
· Loving oneself without a doubt.
· Being comfortable with taking risks.
· Getting to define yourself with confidence.
· Being aware of how you can personally impact others for the better.
· Assuming accountability for maintaining a healthy sense of self.
Now you may be wondering to yourself, “So how do I go about believing in myself?”
The first thing is to make a personal commitment. Tell yourself that you want to live life where believing in yourself. It all starts with desire and motivation.
Below are some tips to consider:
So, do you believe in yourself? If not, are you ready to step up and leave the feeling of being stuck and unhappy behind? What steps will you take?
If you do believe in yourself, please share what has worked for you.
Be well. Be loved. And, of course, Be yourself !
Tom Ellis, CPC
Tom is a Path Finder who is solution & action focused as well as a Life Purpose Specialist. Artist & Gentleman Farmer.