We all know that we can’t predict the future. We can’t know exactly what will happen to us in the future, therefore we can’t predict exactly how we will feel about it.
If your inner voice tells you there is something wrong with you, how do you know it’s really you that needs to change? How do you know if you are really happy with your life? If you are unhappy with the way you look or feel, what can you do to feel better?
Despite what society, mostly the media, may tell you, you can do anything. Believe it! You just need the correct tools and the belief in yourself. Sometimes it is hard to believe in yourself, but it will help you if you try and fail, try and try again, and then succeed. You will also find that you will have a really good time doing it.
My oldest child is afraid of monsters and the dark. He races up from the basement so he won’t be the last one left down there and still struggles to fall asleep on his own. He’s always been a bit fearful of things, but lately, it felt like his fear was growing. I wanted to provide him with the space to talk, so I sat down with him to discuss his worries. After we warmed up a bit, I jumped into the heart of the matter.
Bringing Our Fears Into the Open
“When I was a kid, I was scared of the basement,” I told him, “but I’m not scared anymore. One day, you probably won’t feel scared either.” He refuted this fact just as I suspected he would. Luckily, I was ready for his dismissal. “Do you remember feeling scared before you started kindergarten?” I asked. He nodded ever so slightly. “And two days after school began, do you know what you told me?” “No,” he said. “You told me you loved school and didn’t want me to pick you up at the end of the day.” He laughed at that memory.
Believe in Yourself
“Can you tell me another time you overcame your fears?” I asked. He stared back at me with a blank expression on his face. He rattled off a list of worries but couldn’t come up with a single fear from his past. “Well, I have a few,” I said, “how about…”
- sleeping over at your grandparents
- learning to swim
- going to summer camp
- presenting at the science fair
- singing in the school play
“I don’t remember feeling scared of some of those things,” he said. “You were,” I told him. “I don’t remember being afraid of sleeping at Grandma’s,” he said. “But I was afraid of that science fair presentation.” “And how did it go?” I asked. “Weren’t you one of the best presenters?” “Not the best,” he said, “but pretty good.” “And how will your next presentation go?” I asked. “Probably not as scary,” he said. We launched into a deep conversation about the intense nature of fear and phobias. When we are fearful, negative thoughts consume our attention. But, eventually, after the event passes, we tend to forget we were afraid. When we finished talking, he copied that list of previously scary events onto bright green construction paper. A “brave list,” he called it, before convincing his brother to make one of his own.
Focus on Prior Success
Isn’t it fascinating how our minds work when faced with worry? We completely forget about all of the other times we’ve conquered our fears. Instead of focusing on past success, we center our thoughts on a long list of disastrous “what if” scenarios. “The worst part of worrying is that those bad things never happen,” my son said. “I picture the worst events, but they never come true.” “I do that too,” I told him. My oldest child is a little clone of me. He doesn’t look like me, but his brain works much the same way mine does. I often joke that he inherited 99.9% of my personality. We can both spend a ridiculous amount of time creating false narratives of our future, even though we know that “bad things” rarely happen. What if we replaced those negative “what-if” scenarios with success stories? What if we could picture that “brave list” every time our minds started to spiral with worries or anxiety?
Focus on the Positive
Later that night, I walked into my husband’s office and stumbled upon a bright blue piece of construction paper on his desk. It seems my conversation with the kids ignited his desire to create a “brave list” of his own. It included items like:
- Started and ran a company
- Overcame unexpected job loss
- Got healthy and lost sixty pounds.
It made me realize we all need these lists in our lives.
Find Your Inner Confidence
“I lack confidence,” I told my life coach a few weeks ago. “I always have.” “That’s not true,” she said quite matter of factly. “What about all of those stories you told me about feeling confident at work and school?” She was right. I am not always timid and fearful. I believe I lack confidence, but it isn’t universally true. At work, I often felt more confident than everyone else around me. Despite not having a degree in computer science, I was often the most vocal software engineer in the room. And when I was a student, I never feared debate. I raised my hand and spoke up whenever I could. I can be shy in social situations and fearful of making mistakes, but I do not lack confidence overall. Why didn’t I realize this until my life coach pointed it out to me? Perhaps it’s time to create a “brave list” or a “confidence list” of my own.
Reflect on Your Past Success
During anxious moments we often project our thoughts into the future. What if we could push back on the timeline of anxiety? What if we could stop projecting forward and reflect on our past accomplishments? Could written reminders decrease the intensity of our fears? It’s easy to cast light on a negative future. Could a hand-written list help us focus on the positive instead? I think it could. When my son felt anxious this week, I reminded him to look at his list. It doesn’t make all of his worries disappear, but it does make him feel just a little bit braver. Today, he went into the basement alone. When I felt nervous about going to the doctor this week, I reminded myself of all of the times I’ve concocted worst-case scenarios that never came true. Despite a history of medical nightmares, so far, I have always pulled through. Perhaps we all need lists to remind us of our past success. A brave list, a confidence list, a success list, call it whatever you want. The value isn’t in the name of the list you create. It’s in the value of looking through that list when you feel worried, anxious, uncertain, doubtful, or afraid. Use your list to remind you of your past success. Hopefully, it will help you avoid concocting worst-case scenarios and help you to believe in yourself instead.We all have that voice inside our heads that tells us we can’t do something. But what if that voice is wrong? What if you can do anything? And what if it’s not you that tells you this, but someone else? The way to change how you believe and change your life for the better is to develop your inner power and learn to believe in yourself.. Read more about how to start believing in yourself and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you start to believe in yourself?
Everyone has heard the saying ‘If you can’t beat them, join them’. This is not just a quote that you hear from your father, but a well thought out motto that many successful people have followed. In fact, the saying has been attributed to successful businesspeople like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Sir Richard Branson. This statement clearly rings true to those who have left their mark on the world and made it their home. Confidence is a very powerful thing; it can make you do things that you normally would not even consider. It can also make it impossible to believe in yourself. If you’re wanting to overcome self-doubt and ultimately achieve success, reading this is a must. The first step to success is to believe in yourself.
How can I train my mind to believe in myself?
What is the hardest thing to believe about yourself? Are you a good enough person? Do you have what it takes to succeed? Everyone has doubts. The difference between average people and all-stars isn’t their ability to work hard. It’s their ability to believe in themselves. One day, we will all wake up and realise that the rules of the world have changed, and that there is no need for us to conform to their standards. We will realise that we now have the power to change the rules ourselves. We simply must believe in ourselves, and develop the belief that we are everything that we can be and that we deserve to achieve it. The only obstacle is us; the only thing that we have to overcome is our own fear of failure.
Why can’t I believe in myself?
You know that feeling? When you go through life, getting all the answers in life are a small number of false assumptions. You wonder if you are doing the right thing, if you have done the right things, if you are doing what is right for you. Why should you get all the answers? Why can’t you believe in yourself? You are your own best person, and you know what works for you. You are a unique creation, with your own truth, and you are the one to define and live it. If you’re reading this, you’re probably feeling a little down on yourself. The dream you had for yourself when you graduated high school may seem completely unattainable now. You’re not alone. I know because I’ve been there.
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