When I picture life, I picture us all walking down our own winding path, pulling a wagon behind us. Each person’s wagon is filled with their self-belief and self-worth. Walking down the path of life, carrying our inner beliefs, we happily trundle along the path toward whatever our own goal is, but sometimes life isn’t so breezy.
It feels like it is so easy to get your wagon knocked over. You are there, trundling along with your wagon filled with nuggets of self-worth and self-esteem, walking purposefully towards your goals, and it can just take:
- One person with one perfectly timed comment to knock your self-esteem
- Someone you trust and respect to say something critical
- A negative thought you have about yourself not being good enough
- A comparative thought about yourself to other more successful people
…and your wagon gets tipped over.
You stand there looking at your self-esteem dumped all over the place, and you think, my god, how do I clean this all up? The wagon is too heavy to tip back up! I am not enough to do it all by myself. What if they are right? Doubt and self-loathing creep in, and instead of trying, you just sit down and look into the dark behind you, reliving all of your failures.
There can be many reasons that we don’t believe in ourselves:
- We don’t believe in ourselves because someone told us we shouldn’t.
- We fear failure, and we focus on all the times we have failed.
- We focus on the lack in our life instead of the abundance.
- We have never had the support to build up our self esteem in the first place.
It’s hard when you don’t believe in yourself. It’s hard to do anything when you don’t believe you can do it.
However, there have been so many times in your life where you didn’t believe in yourself and you had to prove yourself wrong. You had to get back up and flip the wagon over and prove to yourself that you could. You overcome obstacles before that were just a big as this one right now, so don’t be afraid of it.
When you’re having a hard time seeing the good in yourself, remember these 5 important things.
1. Opinions Aren’t Facts
At some point in your life, you believed in yourself, and you were feeling great. Then, someone came along and made you doubt yourself. They gave their opinion of you, and it hurt. You believed in yourself less and carried the hurt with you.
You need to understand that the comment was someone’s opinion, not a fact. Just because someone doesn’t see your worth doesn’t mean no one will. You can’t please everyone, so don’t even try.
Someone had an opinion, and that’s okay. We are all entitled to opinions. But it wasn’t a fact. Don’t let that person’s negativity get absorbed into your estimation of yourself. Let it wash over you and float away.
Learn to take feedback critically and consider where there something you can use in the comment to change and grow as a person.
If the answer is yes, apply it and show gratitude that someone had the coconuts to tell you, and appreciate the fact that you have grown as a person.
If the answer is no, then let it go and ignore it. People perceive you from their level of perception. If they can’t handle you, that’s okay.
Here is an example:
Person 1: *Puts on a unique outfit with a bright floral pattern and walks out feeling confident.*
Person 2: “That outfit is really ugly; you must have no fashion taste.”
Person 1: *internally thinks* Does this comment help me grow as a person? Is my outfit really ugly? Or is it just not to their taste? Do I stand by my outfit? Does it make me feel happy and cute?
It does, I like this outfit.
Person 1: “Thank you for your opinion, but I love my outfit and it’s my unique style. See you in Vogue!”
They are just opinions, not facts. It’s your life, so live your truth. If people don’t like it, let it flow past you. By taking every negative comment and opinion personally, you won’t ever believe in yourself.
2. Growth Takes Time
Give yourself a break. This is so important if you don’t believe in yourself. You are still growing, and you are learning, failing, and learning again. No one has all the answers, and there is no right way to do something. You are just growing, and you are going to make mistakes, and that doesn’t make you a bad person or a failure. It makes you a human who is growing.
Let go of perfectionism and the idea that you have to have it all together and be right all the time. That pressure is slowing you down and causing you to doubt yourself. Just breathe. You are where you are on your journey, and that is beautiful and it is enough.
Don’t let the pressure of expectation take away from your self-belief. You are not a list of all your successes and failures; you are so much more than that.
Failure is an event, not a personal characteristic.
Learn, grow, and let yourself fail. Don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect as that has never done anyone any good. Embrace your failure and know that you learned something and are moving forward. There is comfort in having faith that everything will be all right in the future. Your self-belief will thrive when you release these unrealistic expectations.
3. Fear Can’t Stop You
Let’s chat about your fear. When you don’t believe in yourself, it is most likely that you are afraid to. To be yourself and put yourself out there, you risk being criticized for who you are. That is scary, and as we learned from opinions, it can really damage your self-belief.
Believing in yourself takes bravery; you have to be the one who pushes you forward and believes in you. If you don’t, you just stand still. You have to believe in yourself to move forward, and fear holds you back.
- Fear holds you back from trying in case you fail.
- Fear stops you letting go of opinions in case they are right and you will have to go through this again.
- Fear stops you moving forward.
Let go of fear. Adventure forward with careless abandon. Face your fears one by one and say “I see you fear, and I know everything I want is on the other side of you. I see you, and I am afraid, but I am going to face you and move past you anyway and face the consequences of my actions because I believe in myself, and I can handle anything.”.
Never fear failure; failure is just another opportunity to try again, except this time more wisely. It is the best teacher and the fastest way to succeed. Have a healthy relationship with failure and you will have a better relationship with your inner courage.
4. You Are Unique
You are unique, and I say this with all the passion in the world. You are different; you walk down your own unique and wonderful path. Not everyone is going to understand it, but that is how history is made. It is made by people who no one believed in, who stood up, defied fear and doubt and said what they believed.
You don’t have to have support to believe in yourself. You can connect with what you believe in, and if you believe it strongly enough, you can achieve anything. When you don’t believe in yourself, just remember, you are still important and unique, and you still matter.
Don’t give up on your journey because not everyone understands it. Keep connected to the knowledge that you are important and you matter.
5. You Are Capable of Restarting
Your self-esteem has been knocked, and you are at a place full of self-doubt. It’s time to let go of these doubts, fears, and self-loathing thoughts so you can move forward. It is time to reset your mindset and life. Draw a line in the sand and refuse to let self-doubt cross it.
Step 1: Acknowledge How You Feel
Acknowledge all of your fears, doubts, and negative thoughts or feelings about yourself. Write them down and face them, all of them.
Step 2: Redefine
Look at these fears and write counter statements.
Fear: I am afraid that if I try to build this new business, I will fail. I don’t think I have what it takes.
Counter Statement: I may fail, but the pain of not trying will be harder than the pain of failing. I would rather try and fail then never try. It is what I want, and it is worth the risk. I can do this. I have come back from failure before, stronger and wiser. I let go of this fear.
Make sure your counter statement is empowering. Make it personal so when you read it, you feel passionate and energized. This will give you the energy to overpower the self-doubt.
Step 3: Let It Go
Now that you feel 100% times lighter, you can pick yourself up and keep moving along your path. Step by step, focus on the next right thing to do to work towards your goal. Don’t look up the mountain and become overwhelmed.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. When your self esteem is low, it can be really hard to nurture it all by yourself. Sometimes you need a confidence boost from someone who does believe in you. Don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling and ask for support.
Something to always remember is that your self-belief comes from you, and no one can take it away without your consent. You have the power to validate yourself and your self-esteem and the power to ignore the negativity in the pursuit of your own goals.
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