“What you believe about yourself and your world is the primary determinant to what you do and, ultimately, how well you do it,” – Stan Beecham, Elite Minds: Creating the Competitive Advantage.
Every day we’re bombarded with a tonne of messages doing their best to convince us that we don’t measure up in all aspects of our lives. From our colleagues and bosses, to adverts on TV, internet trolls, and every time we get rejected from a job or even by a romantic partner.
If we read into it too much, and base our worth on what we own or the opinions of others, we quickly feel like we aren’t good enough and begin to lack belief in ourselves. But in order to live a life rich with success, in both our personal lives and in business, it’s imperative that we fully believe in ourselves and our abilities to achieve that success. I challenge you to find an extremely successful business owner who doesn’t believe in themselves.
Quit looking already – you won’t find one.
Along the journey to great success comes countless failures too, so in order to reach that success you’ve got to be able to pick yourself up over and over again and keep pushing forward. Most people give up, but a small number maintain their levels of self-belief and continue on in their journey. Their belief in themselves is so vast that they know deep down they will eventually get to where they dream of going, regardless of how many times they fail.
Any business owner or entrepreneur needs to get comfortable with setbacks and failure, because they’re inevitable – if it hasn’t happened to you yet, just give it time. But if your belief in yourself is strong, when it eventually does happen, it won’t stop you – you’ll simply dust yourself off and keep going.
If you lack self-belief as a business owner, how do you expect potential customers to believe in you and what you’re offering? How do you expect a potential investor to believe in your venture? The truth is, if you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else will, and when it comes to business that’s a recipe for disaster.
The good news is that self-belief is a skill that can be mastered by anyone, and it’s never too late to begin learning.
Talk positively to yourself
As kids we have this unfaltering belief that we can be and do anything we want in this world; until of course that belief is sucked right out of us by all the negative people around us trying to tell us what we can and can’t do. We are encouraged to shrink our dreams and to think small, and each day we believe in ourselves a little less than the day before.
The best way to counteract these negative thoughts is to feed yourself positive self talk daily. You might not believe in The Law of Attraction, but it’s scientifically proven that when you repeatedly talk to yourself in a positive way it can shift your entire thought process and perception.
Each time you find yourself thinking a negative thought like, “No one is going to buy my product,” replace it with something positive like, “My products are valuable and the world will benefit from them.”
Eliminate toxic people from your life
Psychologist Elaine Hatfield found through extended research that we tend to mimic the emotions, body language and actions of those we spend the most time with – especially negative people. So if you’re surrounding yourself with others who lack self-belief and have a low sense of self-worth, you’re limiting your own in the process.
Think carefully about the people you allow into your life, and who you’re spending your precious time with. Seek out positive people who will inspire you to become a better person in all aspects of your life, and challenge you to grow.
Quit comparing yourself
So many of us fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to successful people who are already where we ultimately desire to be. We obsess over what we don’t have – money, fame, a successful business, the ‘perfect’ body, a happy relationship – and forget about the years of hard work and consistency it took that person to get there.
Playing the comparison game only serves to fuel your self-doubt and deter you from continuing to try. Remember, success is what you believe it to be, and it means something different to everyone – so quit trying to live up to other’s expectations and focus on your unique purpose and goals.
Don’t dwell on your mistakes
Like I mentioned, failure is inevitable whenever you’re striving for something great like creating and running a successful business from the ground, up. So why do we continue to punish ourselves for our mistakes?
We often view failure as a direct result of a personal weakness in ourselves – we think it’s because we’re not good enough, and then we continue to judge and feel guilty every time we think of that time we failed. We carry that with us, and allow it to negatively influence our future thoughts and actions, because we no longer believe we can succeed.
YOU have not failed, the outcome has failed – so try something different next time, and don’t be afraid of failing again. In order to finally feel free, you must give yourself the freedom to screw up now and then.
Celebrate all of your wins!
How about instead of dwelling on your mistakes, you shift your focus to your achievements?
No matter how tough your day has been, look for the tiny glimmers of good. Making a record of all of your wins will not only feel great in the moment, but it will also be a brilliant reminder that you’re capable of greatness and will help you see just how far you’ve already come. This will boost your confidence and spur you on a little further each time.
Visualize yourself succeeding
Picturing yourself achieving your goals can actually help to rewire the way your brain functions, by creating positive neural pathways. These are the same pathways you once had as a child before that natural confidence evaporated out of you.
Visualizing success helps you to focus on positive thoughts instead of negative ones, and fills your brain with positive images, helping you to feel happier, more relaxed and better about everyday situations.
When you picture yourself winning, you’re subconsciously telling yourself that you possess the power to win.
Value your own opinion of yourself over others’
Constructive criticism is important because it helps us to round and strengthen our skill-set and become better people. However, it’s vital you don’t allow yourself to feel undermined or overwhelmed by other people’s opinions of you, because they’re just that – opinions.
Your opinion of yourself holds more weight because you know yourself better than anybody else does. Take on board anything constructive, but discard everything else.
You are the only person who holds the power to truly believe in yourself. Master the art of self-belief and you’ll set yourself up for an abundance of success, not only in your business but the rest of your life too.