10 Ways To Believe In Yourself Again
Johnathan Winters wrote,“I couldn’t find success, so I went ahead without it”. Think about what that quote means to you and how you can apply it in your life right in this moment. There comes a point of time where you seem to question and doubt your abilities, the “realistic-ness” of your dreams and goals and just about anything you want to achieve or do. This is a part of the life cycle. It’s human to doubt, to have a little faith and to work from memory rather than imagination.
To have doubts is not a problem in itself as it helps you ask the right questions and can increase the effectiveness of your strategies. You need to doubt to reroute. You need doubts to prove to yourself that you are capable and doubts present a challenge you should be proud to take on. When used effectively, being in a place of doubts can be your biggest weapon.
1. Jog Your Memory
There was a time when you were so proud of yourself for achieving a goal you had set. It doesn’t matter what's the size of the goal or how long it took you to reach it, but you did it and you know that feeling it came with. How happy and driven you felt after that! It is important every now and then to visit that memory. Whether it be getting good grades, sticking to your work-out or accomplishing a difficult task, it is critical to your own self-development to not to take it for granted.
What this does is that it triggers the genes that allowed you to reach those goals the first time around. When you are able to see yourself and believe that you truly are a winner after all, you will find the strength to move past even your most difficult obstacles.
2. Try to Work Backward
Sometimes, it’s not that we doubt and criticize ourselves too much, but that we are too overwhelmed by what it is that we are trying to get done. When the brain cannot seem to process what its being fed, it creates confusion and we mistake that feeling for failure. It's almost like giving up before you’ve even started.
Say for instance, you want to get good grades for this semester, but you also need to finish a project you were working on and you have your sister’s surprise birthday party that you’re organizing. When you try the computation in your head, it can seem a tad too much and you start to feel overwhelmed, under-resourced and incapable. But imagine all your goals and then what you can do today to win each one. This is called taking baby steps. So for starters, you can get more studying done by finishing one to two chapters as opposed to trying to digest the whole textbook in one go. You can work on your project timeline and set milestones and you can try to organize the guest list for your sister's birthday party and contact those people who will be willing to assist you.
All these activities will not even take up a quarter of your day, but they will definitely bring you closer to your goal. And this methodology can be applied on an even bigger scale. Just learn to take biteable chunks and remain in control of the situation.
3. Make Use of Your Support Function
Your support function consists of friends and family who believe in you and want what’s best for you. Some people are in a position where their very loved ones are the ones who do not believe in their dreams or share their vision. Regardless of the setting, there are people who are good for your self- esteem. Most of us know at least one person who is always optimistic and excited about life, we know at least someone who has overcome a tragedy and we know people who have achieved what we aspire to achieve some day.
Get hold of these people whether through phone calls, emails, instant chats, etc, but contact them and hear what they have to say. It is always good to hear how others have overcome the feeling of doubt, but mostly it is good knowing that these people you look up to, have also been where you are right now. It makes you feel like less of a failure and more in touch with others. A sense of community really goes a long way.
4. Win the Day
If you set a goal to run 250K by a certain date and you’ve only ran 50k by due date, do not dwell on it too much and beat yourself up over it. Ask yourself how you want to feel in exactly 3 weeks from now. Do you want to feel even worse for not running your 250K or do you want to be proud of the progress you have made between then and three weeks later? Too often when we fail dismally, we throw in the towel and are left worse off than when we started. Learn to win the day.
This ties to a point made earlier about taking biteable chunks and being in control. Maybe you didn’t run 250k and there’s nothing you can do about that now. But what is stopping you from running 5k today? Run your 5k and repeat. In three weeks’ time it may not be 250k but you will feel so much better than you feel now.
5. Set Immediate Goals
This ties in perfectly with winning the day. If you set a goal to get eighty percent average by the end of the semester, waiting for the semester to end can be long and even discouraging as goals that are not foreseeable in the near future can elude us very quickly. What you can do is set target to complete certain chapters of your courses and get eighty percent in your next class test which is two to three weeks from now. Because that goal is immediate and moving, it forces us to be more proactive and excited. The best part about this goal is that it’s in alignment with the bigger picture and taking care of the immediate goals automatically takes care of the bigger goal.
6. Change the Story
What has brought you to this point of unbelief and doubt? Was it a complete failure on something you worked extremely hard for or does it seem as though you just can’t catch a break? Ever notice how our views change when the narrative changes? Stop looking at your failures as failures and accept them for what they truly are, learning curves. What have you learnt from what happened? Maybe you know now that you shouldn’t leave things to the last minute or maybe you’ve been given an opportunity to work on your time management. Change the story in your mind.
Remember, the mind does not know the difference between thoughts and reality, so what you think becomes your reality. Choose to live a “real-life” that is most favorable to your desires.
7. Try Again
There’s nothing that is more obvious but rarely done than giving it another go. If you have failed at your exercise regimen or at your math test, try again. You will succeed eventually.
8. Help Someone Less Fortunate
This gives you an awareness and helps you appreciate all the opportunities at your disposal. When you realize how lucky and blessed you are, it will be quite rare to throw yourself at the pity parties all week. Just the understanding that your life is a miracle on its own, provides enough motivation and velocity to get you back on your A game.
9. Don’t be too Hard on Yourself
We do tend to be hardest on ourselves. Stop hating yourself so much. Maybe you could put in more effort and persist harder but what does beating yourself up achieve? Not very much. You are better off talking yourself into positivity and affirming to yourself how strong and capable you are.
10. Don't Allow Life to Ruin Your Plans
Nothing kills our dreams more than rigidness. When you have set out to reach a goal or do something by all means necessary, be ready to be very flexible. Life doesn’t always consult with us about its own plans. You may be training for a marathon and then end up injuring your knee and have to stay put for a couple of days. You may have to attend to something urgent and miss your big exam.
That’s just life. It’s nothing personal and no one is out to get you. It’s these kind of things that take us out of our own self-centeredness. It humbles us and reminds us that there is so much more to what we want and how we feel when we don’t get our way. A flexible mindset and expectation for unfortunate events can be your biggest asset when heading out to reach your goals.
To sum it all up
One of the hardest journeys you will ever take is believing that you can do something. It is very hard and many people die never finding out what they are capable of. Your mindset is the most important resource that you have. So work on it and be mindful of the story that you are telling yourself about you.
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