A student at Bond asked me some questions today about self belief:
1. Why do you think it is important to believe in yourself in order to succeed in life?
When someone believes in themselves they are likely to take little risks, to embrace opportunities to approach life from an open place, know that they have the resources within them to deal with whatever may arise. Without enough self-belief we can find ourselves shrinking back into an avoidance pattern that limits our opportunities for connection and achievement in life.
2. What is your advice for people who want to start thinking more positively about themselves?
If you feel that your self-belief could be a little shaky … slow down a moment, get a little reflective and start remembering the good times, the fun times, your past achievements, times when you felt in the flow and in the zone – what personal qualities were you drawing on in those moments … how did you help create those experiences? Now become more aware of when those qualities are at play in your own life, draw on them consciously as you go about your day, to deal with challenges, to create connection, to step towards your goals.
3. Do you come across many patients who struggle to believe in themselves?
Most of us struggle, on some level, to believe in ourselves enough. Life can be quick to put barriers and challenges in our path. It’s a very human trait to focus on the fear or worry, rather than on the personal strengths that can help us navigate the worry. But with practice it gets easier. Start to notice the strengths in others too and reflect it back to them. This way we can start to create mini communities or networks of people who support each other to operate from their strengths and the whole thing starts to get easier.
There’s a link here to a scientifically validated strengths assessment tool – VIA Character Strengths.
There’s a short and long version. If you have 20 or 40 min free, do the questionnaire and it will reflect back to you your top 5 unique character strengths. Notice how they operate in your life today. Bring them into play more consciously and start to experience the rewards of feeling more authentic, at ease and creative.
Consider personal coaching to get more from working with your strengths.