I am a big fan of autobiographies. I love to read about the lives of my favourite actors, athletes, sports stars, politicians, philosophers, authors, academics and so on. There is much to learn. Virtually every single person that has succeeded in achieving what they set out to, and the people who have found some happiness by their own admission and according to their own interpretation of happiness, have had something that they considered fundamental to that success and happiness:
Even if people have incredible talent, vast strength, super intelligence, these things may not be actualised in terms of fulfilling happiness or success if they are not accompanied by self-belief. Self-belief underpins so much success professionally and personally. It is fabulous news for all of us to know then, that it is not set in stone. We are not just a particular way, we can learn how to believe in ourselves more.
When we believe in ourselves more, in turn this translates into making us more effective – what we refer to as self-efficacy.
One of the things I seem to spend a lot of my personal and professional time telling my clients, especially those who dampen their own dreams is “you can do this if you believe in yourself and have some confidence.” That sounds like a rather basic, sober, simple thing to say. It has very important ramifications though.
Self-confidence is cited a great deal throughout psychological research and literature as effecting actual performance.
The classic concept of specific self-confidence was defined by Bandura (1977 & 1986) as self-efficacy. Bandura wanted to explain the relationship between cognitive beliefs and performance. Self-efficacy is our own judgment of our own ability to successfully perform a behaviour. Self-efficacy theory asserts that actual performance will be predicted by the individual’s belief in personal competence when they have the correct incentives and skills or training.
In short, when we believe in ourselves, we do better.
One way that is kind of inherent within all the other ways I am listing here today, when it comes to developing self-belief, is to feel like you own your own life. One way to do that, is to set goals for the life that you want. Set goals that energise you, that you feel driven about and that are important to you.
Set short term and long term goals. Are you truly motivated by these goals? Are they goals that you feel you should achieve? Are they goals that are typically wanted by society or pictured regularly on TV or glossy magazines? (Most TV ads and magazines seem to think that we all want speed boats and to be drinking champagne on the beach in a foreign land – that is not necessarily everyone’s true goal) Has this goal been dictated to you by someone or something else? Do you own it?
Have goals that are honest and true for you, and then all these other ways of building self-belief will come to life. Here you go then, some simple ways that you can learn how to believe in yourself more.
1. Learn Self-Hypnosis:
The beauty of self-hypnosis for me, is that it shows you how to engage in some very ordinary psychological processes and derive great gain. You do this in a self-directed fashion which shows you just how amazing you are. You get evidence for how amazing you are and can be, and that builds belief.
Go grab that excellent book ‘The Science of Self-Hypnosis’ or comb through the archives of my hypnosis blog to learn how to do this in the best way.
2. Help Others:
When we look closely, there are always people who need help.
For me, my own charity fundraising helps causes that I feel really need resource and help. My help is not just limited to financial support or fundraising by running marathons though. I also give talks at local events on relevant subjects and my own experiences that are pertinent to those charities, I do that for free. I volunteer at events that support those causes too.
Helping others does not have to be of that ilk though. Who can you serve? Who could you help? Whose day could you make a bit better? A wonderful way to develop the respect you have for yourself as well as self-esteem and self-belief, is to know that you’ve genuinely helped someone.
3. Recognise How Far You Have Come:
Our previous performances and achievements tend to provide us with the most dependable information on which to base our self-belief. So if we reflect entirely upon failures or set-backs, we may struggle to have self-belief.
An excellent exercise therefore, is to compile a comprehensive list of your own life achievements, or times when you overcame some adversity, and include aspects of your life that you are proud of. Similar to writing a gratitude list.
Recognise successes for what they are and enjoy championing those aspects of your life. There may be some things that you used to find difficult in life, which you now find easier. Be aware of your progress, recognise how you have developed, and it’ll enhance your self-belief for sure.
4. Recognise Who Else Believes In You:
Ideally, we want to be in and around people who positively influence us and believe in us. It is tough to have self-belief if your inner circle is filled with people who question your ability to succeed, who unduly criticise you, or have to put you down to make themselves feel good. If you can’t remove those people from your life, consider lessening your contact with them, or working out ways that you can protect yourself from their negativity.
Develop friendships with people who have similar interests and share similar values to you, and choose people who strengthen who you are, who can help you rise up and ascend.
Peers, coaches, colleagues, friends and family, and a whole host of others can verbally influence a person’s behaviour and performance. In my own work, I use hypnosis and therapy interventions to help persuade individuals to believe in themselves. Other people contribute to and can influence our self-belief greatly. So we want to make sure that the people around us are going to help to persuade us to believe in ourselves.
5. Be Accepting Of and Love Yourself:
Instead of wanting things you have not got, or wanting to be someone that you currently are not, accept who you are. You can also know that you can choose to be different and create the life you want for yourself, but accept where you are at currently.
It is virtually impossible to have self-belief if you do not accept yourself in the first place. Learn to love everything that you are, warts and all, then when you develop the ensuing self-belief, you can work out ways to develop and grow and move forward with who you are too.
You can acknowledge areas of you that may need work, and accept that, and aim to improve that. Accepting yourself is a foundation for self-belief to grow out of.
As you accept yourself more, you can also start to develop a new perception of the world and focus more on the laudable traits you have, the achievements that were mentioned earlier and adopt a positive sense of acceptance.
6. Vicarious Learning. Modelling Self-Belief:
You can learn how to have self-belief by behaving as if you have it already. That can be advanced by watching others with self-belief and learning how they do that – how do they think, how do they behave, how do they feel, how do they believe in themselves?
We can also learn how to be better at other aspects of life by modelling.
Information that influences our self-efficacy and self-belief can also come from observing others or imagining others engaging in certain tasks, even if we have not performed that task ourselves before. Modelling has been shown to increase perceived efficacy in a variety of areas of life.
Who can you model? Who can you learn from? As you learn to develop more skills, skills that will contribute to your life goals, self-belief develops and grows.
7. Take The Smallest Action First:
When you think of the goals you have for yourself in life, what are the smallest possible steps you can take straight away that would move you closer to that goal?
Many people continue to replay set-backs or failures in their lives and that dents our self-belief. If we believe that our goals in life are too hard, or too challenging, or are just too complex or convoluted and overwhelming (aaaggghhh! Where do I start?!) then maybe you need to get it right down into the easiest, most manageable bite-sized step that you can accomplish and celebrate that progress first.
Break your goals into very simple and do-able tasks that you can progress through with ease. You’ll then build yourself up into a culture of successful steps towards your dreams.
8. Know Yourself:
How well do you know yourself? Do you have an in depth knowledge of who and how you are? Or do you just believe in something which you are not? Is it a fantasy of some kind?
Study yourself, or enlist the help of others to study yourself. Conduct research on yourself and know how you tick, and become aware if you need to update facets of yourself. Would you benefit from a therapist, or a coach, or a mentor? Would you benefit from classes, seminars or a course that helped you really pop the bonnet of yourself and help you be sure that you know yourself well.
Also though, know others. When you know how you tick and how theories tick, it brings a lot of self-belief and confidence.
I sometimes worry that things my children do mean that they have issues, yet I recognise that their behaviour is quite usual and typical, and other things are uniquely wonderful and to be celebrated, not frightening or stressful.
Continue to learn about yourself and your fellow humans, their psychology and the human condition and this will help you believe in you.
9. Making Comparisons With Others:
Just stop comparing yourself to any other human.
People compare their looks, their waistline, their home, their car, their phone, their salary, their reputation, their perceived level of happiness…. The list goes on and on…. Especially with social media and the way people showcase their lives online.
When you live your own life, you live to your own expectations and to your own standards. Define success in your own terms. You do not have to compete in every element of life with every other person. It is an overused expression within personal development circles these days; be the best version of yourself.
Use these various elements and guidelines to start to develop your own self-belief. Everyone needs it to have happiness and success in their own terms. Build it and enjoy how life is when you live believing in you.
If you’d like to learn more or if this has resonated with you in some way, then visit these pages:
1. Has self-doubt held you back and is it still doing so now? Do you need to believe in yourself more?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others overcome self-doubt and believe in themselves more?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist for whom self-doubt is negatively effecting the success of your business? DO you need more self-believe to fulfil your career ambitions?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.