Perhaps one of the hardest things to do in life is to accept how amazing you really are. There is not one single person the same as you and therefore you have contributions to share that only you can give. What would it be like to accept yourself as you really are — not as other people think you should be — and to know that you deserve to have the type of life you want? Well, when you take steps toward building your self-worth and you start to believe in yourself you become passionate about creating the life you want, and you feel empowered to do what it takes to reach more of your potential.
Over the years I have met many people who believe in themselves and people who don’t. Of course, we are all born with self-belief, but the experiences that happen in life can influence how well it’s maintained. About twenty-five years ago, I became keenly interested in what affects the maintenance of self-belief. I researched it inside-out and upside-down, and my findings were that there are indeed certain factors that influence how well self-belief is maintained. Not only that I learned that self-belief is a skill that can be trained and built upon. If you practice certain things daily, you will believe in yourself, regardless of life experiences or what you currently believe about yourself. Here are the top ten things “self-believers” do that you can practice with a positive outcome.
People with self-belief set and have high standards, and they make conscious choices that are consistent with those standards. In other words, they refuse to settle or do anything that doesn’t meet those standards. They have healthy boundaries in place that allow for that. So, the question is, have you set standards and boundaries? If not, you need to! It will be a catalyst to a happier you. *Club Members: I have included some videos and exercises to help you set healthy standards and boundaries in the Self Discovery Library of the membership club.
(If you are not a member yet, see https://www.donnakennedy.com/join-donnas-club/ )
As you develop standards you need to make sure your values are aligned with them, so you can achieve goals that are important to you. You are not here to live goals that society sets for you; you must define and achieve goals that mean something to you, goals that you will want to achieve because they fit with what matters to you. For example, if you have a goal to become wealthy and family is one of your values, you must find a way to achieve the wealth goal with your family included. If you don’t, sooner or later motivation will lessen or you will lose the belief in your ability to do it. The key is to match what’s important to you and make sure it’s at the forefront of your goals. It will motivate you forward.
People who believe in themselves spend time reflecting on their past successes and feeling happy about them. They do not do this in an egotistical way, they simply appreciate and like to think about their achievements. This process releases endorphins (happy chemicals) in the brain because a part of your brain (your limbic system) “relives” the achievement as though it is happening again in real time. This allows you to feel more accomplished and capable of achieving more. You can learn more about this in my FREE Ebook. Download here https://donnakennedy.com/#ebook if you haven’t yet.
People who believe in themselves create an internal and external environment that supports them. They are conscious about what they put into their mind and about what and who they surround themselves with. Liken it to a plant, if you give it the wrong things it will respond negatively. If you give it what it needs, it will bloom. What are you feeding your mind on a day-to-day basis? Are you watching and reading bad news every day? Do you watch soaps where people argue all the time? Are you having conversations that make you feel bad? Are the activities you do lighting up your soul or dampening it down? Review what you are giving your mind. Your self-belief will be determined by the quality of your stimulation. Feed your mind daily with upbeat positive information!
Visualization is the practice of imagining your goals coming true, the process you’ll take to reach them, and what it will feel like when they come true — a bit like a daydream or mental rehearsal. This is very evident when you look at a pro-athlete who is about to take on their challenge. If you watch closely, you’ll notice they take a few moments to visualize before they begin. The rehearsal of a successful outcome gives the brain the message that the challenge can be done. and as a result, increases self-belief. I have yet to meet someone who has strong self-belief that doesn’t visualize in one way or another.
*Club Members: I have included free visualisation exercises in the members Self Discovery Library.
MODEL for success
When you find people who have achieved goals you want to achieve or people who have the self-belief that you want to have, notice what they do. What mannerisms do they have? How do they behave? How do they move? Model the strategies and practice them often. You will find the way you think about yourself can improve hugely, even with something as simple as a shift in your body posture.
In a 2009 study self-talk was found to enhance self-confidence and reduce cognitive anxiety (Hatzigeorgiadis et al., 2009) and many other studies report similar findings. According to Healthline, people who engage often in positive self-talk have:
- improved immune function
- reduced pain
- better cardiovascular health
- better physical well-being
- reduced risk for death
- less stress and distress
Positive self-talk is a powerful tool to help you feel better about yourself, so make sure you talk nicely to yourself, even if you have to do it reluctantly at first! Tell yourself you can achieve your goals and support it with affirmations, using instructional and motivational language.
“Focus, Focus, Focus” — Rob Krar, ultramarathon runner
“I deserve to win” — Marlen Esparza, Pro American Boxer
Gratitude is powerful, hence the creation of my gratitude journal, Say Your Ten Things. I can personally tell you that gratitude was the foundation for my self-belief. Instead of focusing on lack as I used to, I started to acknowledge the abundance in my life (things people often take for granted) and everything changed for the better. Gratitude puts you into a strong mental unshakeable state when you do it as a daily habit. Make it a routine that you practice gratitude every morning or every night and be specific about the things you are grateful for.
According to The Mayo Clinic, and many other sources, physical exercise stimulates chemicals in your brain that can help you feel happier, more relaxed, and less anxious, all of which put you in a position to think better about yourself. Do different types of exercise so you don’t get bored, and make sure to check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise plan.
Kindness also triggers happy chemicals in the brain. This happens when you are a recipient of kindness but also when you are the person doing an act of kindness. How can you show more kindness? Sometimes doing something as simple giving a compliment, buying someone a cup of tea, or striking up a conversation with someone who is lonely can be enough to flood your body with feel-good chemicals.
The key to self-belief is to see it as a skill that you need to practice often. It does not mean doing just one thing and hey presto, it is about doing little things often. Make it a habit so it becomes second nature to you. Download this FREE Ebook to get you started https://donnakennedy.com/#ebook and if you need extra support and motivation. consider joining my membership club to really get things moving for you. See details at https://www.donnakennedy.com/join-donnas-club/