Learn why believing in yourself matters and discover science-backed strategies and tips to start believing in yourself today.
When you believe in yourself, it changes everything. It helps you achieve your goals, realize your dreams, and increase both your mental and physical well-being. The sneaking thing is that a lack of belief in yourself usually results in being less likely to take action, change in ways that are helpful to you, or challenge yourself to improve your life. When you expect you will fail, you are more likely to fail.
Believing in yourself is the starting point for what you want to accomplish for a life well-lived. It’s like dropping into a pickleball tournament when you’ve never heard of the game, don’t have any idea how to use the equipment and you’ve never even picked up a table tennis paddle or tennis racket in your life. You don’t have the experience or confidence to play the game well, let alone achieve a win.
Try as you might to push yourself forward, when you don’t believe in yourself you become blocked because your thoughts, attitudes, and actions aren’t built on solid ground.
Even when you’ve worked through doubts, anxieties, and frustrations and you know where you want to be if you don’t confidently believe in yourself dreams aren’t achievable. What usually happens is one or both of these two things:
- You don’t do what you need to do
- You sabotage yourself either in obvious ways or unconsciously
So, how do you believe in yourself, so that you can create the life you dream of living?
How to Believe in Yourself
Believing in yourself includes a variety of personal characteristics that you can develop no matter where you are in life. Things like self-worth, self-confidence, self-trust, and autonomy are a few of the characteristics that increase your self-belief.
- Self-worth is the belief that your life has value as a human being.
- Self-confidence is a belief that you’re competent in your abilities, qualities, and judgment.
- Self-trust comes from your history of relying on yourself.
- Autonomy is the ability to choose and direct your thoughts and behaviors.
These four key components are the most important parts of believing in yourself. Regardless of if you struggle with just one of them or all of them you can improve them and believe in yourself more. When you understand where you struggle, it is easier to begin shifting your beliefs and points of view about yourself.
Important Questions to Ask Yourself
Ask yourself these questions to determine where you’re getting in the way of your believing in yourself:
- Self-worth: Do I value myself as a human being? Do I compare myself with others and I view myself as worse off than others?
- Self-confidence: Do I feel that my skills and abilities are effective? Do I generally feel good about my personal qualities? Do I perceive my judgment and decision-making are supportive of where I want to be in life?
- Self-trust: Can I rely on myself? Can I trust that I’ll do what I say I’ll do?
- Autonomy: Do I feel free to do what I want to do in life? Do I believe that I have what it takes to reach my dreams?
If you answered any of the questions “no” or “sometimes,” then those are the areas that get in your way of believing in yourself. Shifting how you think and the self-talk that follows can help you shift your beliefs so that you can believe in yourself more.
Top 2 Strategies to Believe in Yourself
1. Practice supportive self-talk
Now that you know the areas get in the way of believing in yourself, it’s time to take action.
One of the most powerful and effective ways to do this is to challenge old beliefs by talking back to your inner voice. If you feel like your life isn’t valuable, start by giving yourself supportive messages such as, “I am a person who contributes to good in the world.” If confidence is low, remind yourself of what you can do and the skills you possess that as evidence of your capabilities.
What the research shows is that positive self-talk improves performance. By speaking to yourself as you would to a friend or family member, you can start to rewrite your narrative. When you shift the language, you use to more accurately reflect where you are in life and where you’re headed, you’ll begin to focus more on your potential.
Shifting your beliefs about yourself with one small change at a time compounds and before you know it the narrative you have in your mind about yourself changes too.
2. Build self-trust
The topic of trust is something that we usually think of as for others. But trusting in yourself and honoring your commitments to yourself is important. When you have (or don’t have) trust in yourself it is similar to having (or not having) trust in others – it’s difficult to have confidence that you’ll honor your commitment to you. You know that feeling when you can count on someone that they’ll keep their word? That’s the same feeling you can have for yourself as well. You be confident that you’re doing what’s best for you!
So, what happens when you don’t trust yourself? Maybe you aren’t honest with yourself because you’re not sure what to do with the information. Or maybe you can’t count on yourself to do what you tell yourself you’ll do. It could also be that you’re afraid that the outcome won’t be what you wished for and instead will be more disappointing than not. There are several possibilities. What I’ve found is that most of us want a guarantee before we invest in ourselves and that’s a catch-22 situation where you’re in a stalemate with yourself!
As strange as it might seem many of us have made promises to ourselves, no matter how impossible they may be to keep, and when they’re broken, it can lead to feeling like you can’t be trusted. For example, maybe you’ve promised yourself more than once that you’re going to stop hitting the snooze button, but it’s just so cozy that it doesn’t happen. Each morning it doesn’t happen it is confirmation that you can’t trust yourself to keep your word. Fortunately, there is a way to change this dynamic with yourself!
Here are some tips and strategies to build more trust with yourself:
- Honor your word and do what you say you’re going to do. This might mean reducing your number of commitments, saying “yes,” to what matters and no to what doesn’t.
- Practice radical honesty with yourself. Think about the truth of what you think, how it feels, and what you need in life. This is the time to focus on what you want – you can negotiate how your needs can dovetail with your commitments, but if you don’t get clear on what you want it’s unlikely that you can build a strong foundation of self-trust.
- Live your values and do what’s right. Following your inner compass is a sure way to be on the path that is true to you. When you’re moving through your day based on your values it’s easier to trust that you’ll make choices that matter.
- Live with calm and clarity. When you manage your emotions, it’s easier to know who you are and what you want. When you’re clear about who you know yourself to be it makes trusting yourself so much easier. You’ll make good decisions with ease that you know are in alignment with who you know yourself to be.
Believing in yourself has a bigger impact on your success than you might realize at first glance. It’s more than feeling good about yourself or having a positive self-image. It’s the foundation for your goals and dreams. It also supports you to see where you’re stuck and how to be compassionate as you get unstuck too. I hope that the tips and strategies in this post help you to believe in yourself more.