“Some people say that I have an attitude – maybe I do. But I think that you have to. You have to believe in yourself when no one else does. That makes you a winner right there” – Venus Williams
It takes time to put in the effort and follow through with your own beliefs. It is much easier to rely on the belief that others have in us, instead of actually doing that for ourselves. It is easier to get the opinion of someone else and go along with it. It is much more difficult to analyze, then arrive at your own conclusion and stay true to it. What about when it comes to yourself? What about when it comes to who you truly want to be in life? Here are four possible reasons why you may not believe in yourself and how to change it.
Negative Self Talk
The inner voice that constantly interprets every moment and the situations we experience becomes your self-talk. This voice is responsible for how you rationalize, perceive and make sense of everything thing that your eyes and ears receive from the world. It is the voice that activates after your brain has received stimuli. This inner voice is comprised of your concious thoughts and unconcious beliefs.
A little self-criticism is actually healthy. It helps you to challenge your thinking, realign your motivations, your work ethic and whatever else you are criticizing at the moment. However, negative self-talk is excessively focusing on what isn’t going right and failing to acknowledge the solutions. It can be rooted in unrealistic thinking and harmful to one’s mental health.
How to Change Negative Self Talk
First, find out why your inner voice is prone to negative self-talk. Talking aloud emerges in toddler years and develops throughout the years to grow our critical thinking skills. Therefore, your self-talk could be the influence of a voice that you kept from your childhood. If you find that it emerged well after that, then start to ask yourself at what point in your life that you started to become very critical of yourself. Was it a certain life event? Was it a comment from a trusted friend? Sit down and really do the work on finding out why.
Next, challenge yourself in every moment you start to talk negatively to yourself by asking these questions: How can I find out the answers to my questions and if my thoughts are true? If I think positively about this situation, how else would I perceive it? Will this matter in five years? How likely is it that the worst thing I am thinking can happen? Challenging and eliminating your negative self-talk won’t be easy. So, I recommend starting meditation because you literally have no choice but to allow the thoughts to run rampant. It helps to get them out.
As I mentioned in my Why Ambivalent Friendships Will Ruin You blog post, your social circle have a lot of power to influence your thinking, habits and etc. They are people that we trust to influence us. Unfortunately, not everyone has awareness of this truth. Therefore, they think that a lot of their beliefs, thoughts, and biases are their own. When it could have been a seed planted by those around them. Let’s be clear, if you are thinking about draining your savings to buy Tupperware to sell door-to-door, then I don’t know any friend that would be supportive of that kind of move. However, you may have so much self-doubt about yourself because you’re telling small thinkers about your big plans.
Who you want to be and where you want to be won’t change unless you do. If you know that you have poor habits, then your conscience will not allow you to forget about them. When I was single, I used to think that I did not have enough time. I slept in because I thought that I needed the time to re-energize from working my job. Now that I manage my entire household and care for my son, among others, I truly have a different perspective of time. I haven’t had a full eight hours of sleep in over 5 months, but I have been very productive during this time. That isn’t to say that I wasn’t productive in the past, but to be clear about how we create obstacles with our own limiting beliefs.
Do not sleep in AT ALL. EVER. I am serious about that one. Wake up at the same time every day and develop your routine for yourself. Once that has been developed, it will become second nature, then you can incorporate something new into it. You want who you want to be to become second nature. Therefore, you have to establish habits that will become you and evolve you for the better.
Comparing Yourself To Others
Social media allows people to view the lives of strangers thousands of miles away with a life story that they know nothing about and compare what they don’t have to that stranger’s life. When you look at another person’s life and wonder why they have it and you don’t, then you are setting yourself up for failure. You have to change your mindset about it. Instead, think of it as, “If they can have it, so can I”, then you work your ass off to get it. You don’t know what that person had to do to get and maintain their lifestyle. You don’t know what happens behind this person’s closed door, so don’t compare yourself. You are YOU and YOU have the power to control your decisions and your life story.
Overall, you are very much in control of your life. You can not control what is said to you, but you can control how to respond to it and whether you want to internalize it You can not control how someone receives you, but you can control if you want to continue to entertain that person on a personal or superficial level. You can not control the curveballs of life, but you can develop habits that will combat them. You can not control how fast you get to the destination, but you can control being prepared for when it happens.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. What’s the worst that can happen? You get a “no”, so what? They don’t “like” your picture, so what? They don’t understand your vision, so what? Enjoy the journey and embrace every mistake along the way. You are a work in progress and you acknowledging that is such a beautiful thing.
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