In this blog post, I share 3 principles for believing in yourself and a simple 5 step system you can immediately implement today.
When people join my facebook group they are always warmly welcomed and asked ….
“In what area would you like to be more courageous?”
An answer that pops up time and time again is
“Believing in myself”
If this is your answer too, you are in excellent company so keep reading and see how this information can work for you.
Believing in yourself is really quite a simple process, the thing is that we and society make it more complex than it needs to be. We have an understanding that we are a combination of nature and nurture. We have forgotten that we were born believing in ourselves and that our ability to do, or not as the case may be, is inherited, my mother didn’t believe in herself so I learned not.
And nurture, your environment isn’t supportive of you believing in yourself, we are always expected to compare ourselves, with anyone or anything. Our faced paces media driven society is all about more, more, more, and surely, if we need more, more, more, we can’t be enough, right? And if we aren’t enough how can I possibly believe in myself!
So let’s go back to the beginning, believing in yourself is really quite a simple process, and start there.
Principle one ~ to be able to believe in yourself you need to know what belief really is.
If you ask the internet for a definition of the word believing it brings up
You will already hold a number of beliefs that have no proof to be true. For example, on a grand scale, you may believe in the Bible or other holy scripture, or believe that there are no Gods or deities, either way, what proof do you hold that your beliefs are true?
You may believe you will never, or always earn more than a specific person in your life. Either way what proof do you hold that your beliefs are true? There will only be proof at a given point in time when neither of you ever earn any more, and yet you may already believe this to be true.
You may believe that you are unable to play the piano, in fact, if asked, ‘Can you play the piano?’ you may automatically answer ‘No’ When the true answer would be, ‘I don’t know I’ve not tried.’
NB this means actually taking lessons and not simply tinkering with keys when presented with a keyboard.
You already hold a number of beliefs, about yourself that have no proof to be true. You already hold a number of opinions of yourself, that you have automatically believed to be true.
This is a great principle because now you can start to use this exact principle to create the beliefs that you want to have about yourself. You do not at any point need to have any proof that these are true.
Principle two ~ to be able to believe in yourself (myself) you need to know what myself really is.
If you ask the internet for a definition of the word myself it brings up
This definition leads to the question ‘How often do you truly hold a conversation with yourself, about yourself?’
In my experience working with clients, the answer is not very often. We have a running dialogue going on at all times which generally based on how negative our nature or our nature has been and how terrible we are as a result of that.
This is also a great principle because now you can start to have a different conversation with yourself, set aside some time in your day, 5 minutes a day is a great place to start, and if you say ‘Oh I’m far too busy to take five minutes for myself’ you can get a post-it note and put it on your bathroom mirror to remind yourself to have this conversation whilst you brush your teeth.
You brush your teeth for twice a day automatically. You brush your teeth for two-ish minutes a time. Here are your five minutes. Have a conversation with yourself about yourself, especially about which beliefs you want to believe about yourself today, and then how fabby it was to have those beliefs with you all day.
Principle three ~ the simplest way of believing in yourself is covered above ~ Occam’s razor
William of Ockham was a Franciscan friar who lived in the 14th century. He was born around 1285, in Ockham, Surrey, England, and died April 9, 1347, in Munich. He was a philosopher and theologian. He is most famous for inventing Occam’s razor. He wrote about logic, epistemology, natural philosophy, political philosophy, metaphysics and ethics. ~ Wikipedia**
Ockham said that the simpler solutions are more likely to be correct than complex ones.
For example, if there are ‘x’ number of solutions to a problem, the simplest one is most likely the correct one to use. The solutions with the most assumptions are more unlikely to work.
This is a great principle, because now you don’t need to make ‘Believing in myself’ complex or complicated, you don’t have to make it convoluted, nor do you need to consider all variables or assumptions, you quite literally keep it simple.
Which leads us to…
A simple 5 step system you can immediately implement today.
1 ~ Use the KISS principle
The KISS principle is generally accepted as Keep It Simple, Stupid, but the lovely Ruby McGuire teaches us to Keep It Simple, Sweetie, much nicer don’t you think?
This is entirely in line with Occam’s razor, you can believe in yourself, simply Keep It Simple
2 ~ Just start.
Start believing in yourself now.
3 ~ Write down three things you want to believe about yourself, and start to believe them. The proof is not required. Your opinion of yourself is all that is required. And if you aren’t very comfortable with your opinion of yourself, a) go back to principle one ~ to be able to believe in yourself you need to know what belief really is, and b) to help you get started, use your best friends opinion of you, what beliefs about you do they have that you can use, to write down three things you want to believe about yourself, and start to believe them.
Remember to add your post-it note to your bathroom mirror, have a conversation with yourself about yourself on a daily basis.
4 ~ Start to behave this way. If your new belief is that you are always happy, start to behave always happy. Things that used to pee you off, start to see happily. For example, if people joining the traffic at the last minute and ignoring merge in turn on your usual commute would have you raging, start to behave as if you are happy.
You are happy that you are both safe, you are happy that there was no collision. You are happy that you have the grace to let another driver in. You are happy that you have the power to give the benefit of the doubt. You too have been in the wrong lane, by driving in a new place, or driving on automatic, and someone has let you in before now and will again in the future, and you are happy about this.
If this example does not work for you, keep it simple and use an example that does.
5 ~ Look for evidence that this new belief is true.
Yes I can hear you, ‘Karen, you said I didn’t need to have proof!’ you are right, you don’t.
I’m still asking you to look for evidence that this new belief is true.
One day you will be driving along happy and you will get to your destination and have an AHA moment 😊 You will realise you are just as happy arriving at your destination as you were when you left home.
Not being happy wasn’t an option for you, it didn’t cross your mind.
Now you are truly Always Happy, a belief you wanted to hold about yourself, is true.
Note you are NOT looking for ways your new belief is not true.
As I write this, it’s the 15th February and it is a beautifully bright, cold and frosty winters day.
If you were looking for evidence that spring is coming, you would not find it, today Today you would say it’s not true, spring is not coming.
Yet as you look for evidence spring is coming today you may say, I’ve Looked and I don’t see it today, and that is fair enough.
Because we know that the seeds are working underground.
They are taking nourishment from the soil. They are conserving energy, the yare getting ready, every single day to push through that soil and bloom.
Every day you practice step 4) Start to behave this way, you may not see the results immediately, your evidence will be, I know I’ve practised my new belief today, I know it is doing its work inside of me, I know in time I will see the evidence of it, this is what you are looking for.
Hit reply and let me know what the three things you want to believe about yourself are.
Remember to check out my The Courageous Visibility Challenge ~ 5 days to speak your truth to take the next steps in ‘Believing in myself’
* You can use a dictionary of your choice of course.
** Please feel free to undertake your own research as required