One of the biggest things that can bring us down or stop us in our tracks is our own lack of self-belief. Primarily this comes from our inner voice. That is telling us that we can’t do something or that something should be done in a certain way.
Self-belief is the way we feel about ourselves. Regardless of our achievements, our looks or other things we may feel confident in. They limit or constrain us. Keep us from thinking, saying or doing the things we want to do.
My personal experience
I’ve suffered from limiting self-belief for most of my life. It stems from what felt like constant put downs, little bits of non-constructive criticism and nit picking. It wasn’t from one person rather a number of people – family members, friends, teachers and lecturers, school and college friends and managers. There was no real encouragement to do what you wanted to do. The response was why would you want to do that; you’ll never do it; just do your best.
From my perspective, I had a successful career. I had a lovely home. I went on holidays. In spite of this, I felt like a fraud. That I was going to be caught out and loose it all. It affected my work, friendships and relationships. I never felt that I was good enough. I wasn’t intelligent. And against my friends I wasn’t pretty or interesting. I would change 6 times before meeting the girls for a coffee. I would cancel a night out 2 days before as I was in a panic about going. If I met a nice man I would end it before it really got started to save myself the pain. Why would they be interested in me. Throughout my 30s and early 40s I had a lot of self loathing.
Maybe some of this resonates with you.
How it affects us
When we have a strong self-belief it will help us drive forward. We have that belief in our own ability to achieve our goals.
When we are limiting in our self-belief, we can stop ourselves. We can’t even take the first step to achieve what we most desire in life.
So we end up
- not pursuing our dreams
- refrain from being adventurous
- stop taking action
- missing out on opportunities
- withdrawing from our friends and social activities
- not living life as we want
- treading water in life and coasting along
and as a result our lack of belief becomes even more exaggerated.
The sayings we say to our self
The limiting self-belief we have falls into different sayings that we say to us day in and day out.
- “I do/don’t” – how we define ourselves. e.g. I don’t have the Intelligence
- “I can’t” – repeating someone else’s opinion of you. e.g. They said I can’t draw, so I can’t be creative
- “I should/shouldn’t” – keeping us stuck in living to others expectation. e.g. I should stay where I am as that is what they’d want
- “I am/am not” – how we view ourselves. e.g. I am not slim enough. I am stupid
- “Others will” – assumptions of what people say or think. e.g. They will laugh at me.
Tips for enhanced Self-belief
Having a strong belief in your self doesn’t depend on what other people think of you. It’s your opinion about yourself that counts.
We can start to change out beliefs by using some of these tips:
- Remembering there never has been another you – you are unique!
- Recognise that you have the same potential as anyone else to do things
- We have all learnt things along the way – we weren’t born walking, using a knife and fork or riding a bike.
- Who’s voice do you hear tell you that you can’t do something – respond in your own voice saying “that’s not true”
- Note the evidence you have to support your believe that you cannot achieve something
- Where you have dreams, aspirations or goals. Think about whom else has achieved them. What did they do to succeed?
- Think back to a time when you didn’t give up and you kept going until you achieved.
- Celebrate your achievements daily – no matter how big or small (and especially the small ones).
- Have a healthy respect for yourself – be your own friend full of motivation and encouragement.
- Find an effective affirmation to help you every day. One that has been shared with me recently is “I am safe, I am whole, I am enough“
I really like this quote – “Believe in yourself, take on your challenges. Dig deep within yourself to conquer fears. Never let anything or anyone bring you down. You got to keep going” (anon)
If you would like to overcome your limiting self belief and start achieving then I can help you. I know first hand from my personal experience how challenging this can be. As a coach I support you in uncovering the answers that stop you. I guarantee that you will start to
- get a better understanding of yourself and future self
- become more happier in yourself and the direction you want to take
- appreciate how a step by step approach helps in your success
- feel motivated to achieve the goals in half the time.
- ultimately, you’ll start ‘living life more fully’ on your terms.