Reflections on Self-Belief

“I am not a has-been. I am a will be.” ~ Lauren Bacall

This past weekend I competed in the Toastmasters District 23 (all of New Mexico, West Texas and the Oklahoma Panhandle) Speech Contests. My first place award was presented by Toastmasters International President, George Yen of Taiwan, who presided.

I’ve had a couple of days to reflect on what propelled me to that stage and what sustained my drive throughout the two-month, progressive contest season. While I’d like to credit skill and practice (and they were contributing factors), it was self-belief that grounded and reassured me.

So how does my confidence differ from yours? Perhaps, not at all. But I thought I’d share some self-belief qualities that you might want acknowledge in yourself, even if you don’t see or yet value them. It is said that a self-confident individual can openly talk about their fears, yet doesn’t let negative attributes hinder them from becoming the best they can be. Instead, they strive to improve their weaknesses and continue to hone their strengths. Individuals who believe in themselves stand out because they are not afraid to showcase their talents and skills. And I did.

Self-awareness helps, too. It is essential that you know yourself inside-out. Self-awareness encourages you to take the initiative to change and challenge yourself because it helps you realize you need it. Consider changing your mindset. If your mindset is full of restrictions and negative beliefs, it isn’t going to help you improve your self-belief.

I typically share three ideas, tips or techniques, related to the day’s post, for your consideration. Today there are four. ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. Become an even better communicator. People with strong self-belief know how to ask for what they want and to hear advice and counsel. It is less important for them to be right than to be effective. They listen more than they speak.
  2. Challenge your beliefs. Examine your beliefs closely and determine if they are in line with the life you desire. If you choose, you can abandon negative beliefs about your self and as you do, realize growth in your confidence.
  3. Be open and attractive to others. Confident people are usually drawn to one another. They vibrate their confidence in ways that attract good things and good people to them.
  4. Be your own hero. Write down the attributes you admire in others (compassion, honesty, integrity, etc.). Make it a long list. The more you note the more you’ll begin to see the self-belief qualities you want to be. Begin emulating them and be prepared to enjoy the feel-good benefits of being your own hero!

34 thoughts on “Reflections on Self-Belief

    • Appreciate your reading and kind comments, Randall. I do like the concept of being one of my own heroes, in a non-self-centric way. Thanks, too, for your blog; it inspires and is one I warmly anticipate reading and viewing.

    • In a contest setting, it’s just speaking. But it does serve well as practice for presenting outside of the competitive setting. It’s equal parts fun. learning and rewarding. Thank you for being intrigued and commenting. ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. Eric, Congrats on kicking-butt at Toastmasters ! ! ! Communication … that’s one of the ways we obviously connect. I find that, as a not-so-young-buck anymore, I am in a season where I feel like I have lost some momentum in communicating about what is important. Hey – have a good week. And thanks for some good words, with the “forgiveness” post, that got me thinking. T

    • Said smilingly, thanks Tim. Actually, the butt-kicking came in an earlier contest round when I slayed a dragon (read: a highly successful, 25-year Toastmaster) to advance to the finals. To your comment, however, much of it is about communication and connecting with one’s audience. Always appreciate your reading and sharing meaningful feedback.

  2. What an inspiration! Congratulations, Eric! Extremely happy for you. Not surprised. One can tell you have infinite levels of greatness within you. I am sure there are more and more fantastic achievements to come. And how selfless to turn it all into brilliant advice for all of us. Advice that is going to be extremely handy for myself, I assure you. And if it was my post, I know I would have just banged on about how great I am at winning a competition. Haha. I have so much appreciation for you for taking a personal achievement and using it to inspire others. Thanks, Eric! Congrats again, and I loved your post! Very helpful for me, particularly now as I move forward.

    • You certainly know how to make a fellow blogger feel good! Thank you, EJ. So often what I choose to share is for the “masses” to consider. When someone lets me know that a message has struck a chord with them, that makes my day and the writing effort worthwhile. I am warmed that there was/is something helpful in the post for you. I appreciate your kindness and the fact that you choose to share your growth with “us.” Good on you, mate!

  3. What a great honor and blessing that is for you, congrats! And as to the point about being a communicator, I just spent a few hours talking about that very topic with freshman at my alma mater. I told them to write down 100 companies. Then I told them out of those 100, if there is a number less than 100 that have great communicators on hand, regardless of the nature of their business, I would be surprised. Communication is so important and being able to do it effectively sets you up for some great things in life. Congrats again!

    • Thanks, Brian. I agree with you wholeheartedly. My preferred forum is speaking to groups of people where one can create that meaningful connection with an audience. Out of that experience often comes the creation of individual relationships with an unbelievably diverse group of fellow beings. I mean not to diminish the opportunity to communicate with people in writing, as I love this too. Amazing what introverts can do when we are inspired and confidently aligned with our gifts and talents. Blessed indeed. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for your warm felt comment.

  4. Pingback: Believe it or Not | The Life of Jonathan

  5. Pingback: Vulnerability is Good : Accepting Vulnerability is Better | The Epiphanator

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