It seems like a simple thing to do- Just believe in yourself is something that we hear all the time when we’re taking on a challenging task or pursuing some dream. I don’t know about you, but for me it conjures up images of ruby red slippers clicking together. I guess for me that image is a visual reminder that we’ve been told “We all have the power within…” time and time again. But how do we put what we think we know about that internal power into action? I have written about confidence before and I would dare say that building confidence and believing in yourself are on many levels one in the same, but sometimes even confident people struggle with this when the leap they are trying to take seems really outside of their norm.
When I went back to school and got my master’s degree as a single mom I was definitively employing the tactic of believing in myself. But to be honest it wasn’t really that big of a stretch. While other people might have doubted that it could be done well with all the balls I had in the air, I didn’t doubt that I could. After all I already knew how to do school and to do single motherhood. There were some challenges for sure but this wasn’t a leap and the net will appear kind of thing, it was more calculated and certainly a more tried and true path to some level of success.
I can’t watch television without some commercial coming on that encourages single moms or those looking for a change to simply go back and get their degrees. I mean it is a thing. And I’d been told since elementary that education is the gateway to a better life. Although I am the first to argue that education doesn’t have to be the traditional college or university setting for everyone, the point here is that while going back to college might have sounded unrealistic for me to do as a single mom of two to family or friends, the idea of doing it was not new to me. That made it much easier to shake off the negativity associated with my choice.
But what do you do when you want to try something completely new to you and the biggest naysayer isn’t a well-meaning friend or family member, it’s actually you? Sometimes believing in yourself might just be one of those things that’s simply easier said than done. But here are three actionable steps to help you practice the art of believing in you.
Visualize your dream– I’m all about visualization. I think the mind is a very powerful thing. It really will believe what you tell it and act accordingly. It reminds me of how so many of those who’ve seen great success in their fields have shared stories of visualizing themselves playing to a packed audience, giving the acceptance speech while holding their first Oscar or just like Muhammad Ali did-declaring that they were the greatest before they actually were. Not only does visualization help foster a can do attitude and plant positive seeds for harvest but it gives you a glimpse of what the future you looks and feels like. What things do you need to do today to help you meet your future self? Visualization will help you mentally and physically take the steps to get there.
Find someone living your dream (even if its virtually)-I’m also a firm believer that nothing is really new. No matter what you want to do chances are it, or something very similar has been done before. I saw a meme the other day that said that our role models seem unreachable because we are seeing them at the top of their careers and not at the bottom where they started. That is so true. Look for someone doing what you would like to do and then trace his or her career backwards. How did they get started? What can you learn from their present and their past? While your success needs to be your own of course there is nothing wrong with researching where your favorites got their start. Find out what parts of their story align with yours and how you can put a plan in place that starts from the ground up. Stop looking up at people and take a step back. Chances are they were once just like you looking for a way to make their dream a reality too.
Make a commitment to you-believing in yourself has to be a commitment you make because there will be days when you want to give up. Realizing a dream is hard work sometimes and it is often so much easier to embrace the status quo. The last firm belief I am going to share here is that those who succeed and believe in themselves are not those who are the most talented, smart, charismatic, good looking (insert whatever attribute you believe matters most in achieving your dream) but they are instead the ones who keep pushing forward. Like the saying goes if you get tired rest, but don’t give up. Think of this as a commitment to yourself. Once you decide to try something new treat it like you do anything else you feel firmly committed to. I often ask for inner guidance when things get tough or seem impossible and my inner voice always replies, “Stay the course…” If your voice isn’t saying that yet let the voice you hear be mine. Nothing is impossible. Stay the course my friend and you will be closer to your dream in no time!
Those are my tips for helping you to believe in YOU! I’d love to hear what your thoughts are.
Until Next Post,
Xo Tonya Parker