How to Move from Self-Doubt to Self-Belief
One of my favorite quotes:
“Believe in yourself. You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face…You must do that which you think you cannot do…The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
Most often when you see this quote, the first three words are omitted, “Believe in yourself.” I believe they are the most important in the entire quote because you don’t get to the other parts without first believing in yourself.
We’ve all experienced the person who constantly goes to the edge of their competence. They try new things. They dare. They live full out.
The online Oxford dictionary defines “full out” as “as much or as far as possible; with maximum effort or power.”
We might have looked on with envy as this person accomplished goal, after goal, after goal. They seem to be fearless. They seem to be living their dreams.
What we don’t always recognize is that these people face fear too. They have an inner critic too. But they have defeated the thing that stands between most people and their dreams – self-doubt. It’s not that they don’t ever doubt; they just won’t let self-doubt have the final say.
What Stands in the Way?
The good news is, we all have it within us to live our highest potential and to move from self-doubt to self-belief. One hurdle that stands in the way is negativity bias. We are hard on ourselves, and it doesn’t serve us.
We are prone to negativity bias. That means we see our weaknesses before we see our strengths. We fix our minds on what could go wrong in a situation instead of what could go right. We spend more time ruminating on what we didn’t do, what we didn’t say, who we’re not, instead of who we are.
We have our primitive brains to thank for the natural tendency to scan for negativity, gaps, or threats that could sabotage our safety or wellbeing. But like anything else, the primitive brain must be managed or else we will live with fear, intimidation, criticism, and self-doubt. Self-doubt reinforces a belief that we are not enough. It keeps us playing safe and small, and it keeps us stuck. We will never get to living the life of our dreams when negativity and self-doubt are in control.
Getting to Self-Belief
Self-belief is believing in yourself and your ability to accomplish your goals. When you believe in yourself, you think positively about yourself, and you embrace your whole self – your strengths and weaknesses. You don’t judge yourself unkindly.
Now, how do you get from self-doubt to self-belief? It starts as most personal change starts, knowing, understanding, and appreciating yourself. The emphasis is on understanding your strengths and weaknesses and how they contribute to your greatness.
When asked about strengths and weaknesses, most people can tell you straightway what their weaknesses are, what they are not good at. But they have a difficult time listing their strengths and positive qualities. That’s negativity bias in full effect. So, let’s change that.
Following the reading of this article, take out a sheet of paper and list your strengths and weaknesses. For every weakness you list, commit to listing at least two positive qualities or strengths. I did the exercise before writing this article. It wasn’t easy for me, and I consider myself respectable on the self-efficacy scale. But what I realized is that because I value humility, I found listing my strengths and positive qualities a bit self-aggrandizing. If you encounter that thought, toss it aside. Self-belief is not arrogance. It is not about being overly confident or ignoring weaknesses. Self-belief is when you embrace all of you.
When you complete your list, reflect on each strength and positive quality. Think about how your strengths are exercised in your life and how you can use them more often. Embrace your strengths and weaknesses. Then, as Eleanor Roosevelt said, look fear in the face and go do that which you think (thought) you cannot do. Each time you do, you’ll gain strength, courage, and confidence to go after even more of your dreams. And your self-belief will continue to grow.
Thanks for reading and being a part of the Your Aha! Life Global Community. I hope you found this article helpful and that you will complete the exercise listing your strengths and weaknesses, embracing your full self, and moving from self-doubt to self-belief. Believe in yourself.
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With love and authenticity,
Learn My Story