“It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.” Anonymous
How well do you know yourself? I mean really knowing your authentic self?
How about believing in yourself? Confidently? In total assuredness?
These are substantive questions. Honestly answering them can be quite revealing. And rewarding.
For much of my adult life, I have seriously believed in myself. That’s not been so much the challenge. Where I have had to dig deep and work hard is at getting to know who I am – at my core.
What I’ve learned (thus far) is that there is a subtle difference between confidence and self-belief. Self-belief has to do with a strong view or conviction you hold regarding yourself, and your abilities or characteristics. Confidence has to do with the trust you have in yourself as a person, and your abilities and characteristics.
For the most part self-belief and confidence go hand in hand. While it is difficult to have confidence without self-belief, it is possible to have self-belief, and little confidence. The reason why is because confidence has more to do with current capacity than with ability. So, for example, if you are not feeling well or are fatigued, that would affect your ability to perform to your best.
There are many schools of thought on the interplay between self-belief and confidence. What is generally acknowledged is that your level of self-belief is a good predictor of success and achievement in many different areas of your life. On a flip side, what prevents you from gaining confidence is the belief that “this is how you are” and that’s all there is to it. Both, however, are directly related to your life experiences.
Be not discouraged though (and I’m not suggesting you are). The good news is that it is possible to build confidence and self-belief. Here are five exercises to help strengthen the views you hold about yourself:
- Imagine yourself successful. Always picture yourself successful. Visualize your desires and goals. See yourself in new settings, capable, and self-confident.
- Reflect on your past successes. Each are proof that you are capable of achieving more success. Recall this when you begin to lose faith in yourself.
- Set definite goals. Have a clear direction of where you want to go. Be aware of when you begin to deviate from your goals and take immediate corrective action.
- Respond positively to life. Develop a positive self-image. Your image, your reactions to life and your decisions are completely within your sphere of influence.
- Stay in touch with those things that have meaning and purpose in your life, because this will naturally build confidence and self-belief.