believe in yourself

How to Believe in Yourself So You Can Accomplish Your Dreams

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Believe in yourself, and you can achieve anything! The sky is the limit! I’m sure you’ve heard these platitudes often in your life. The message is prevalent in pop culture, schools, and our homes. 

Although it may seem like empty words on the surface, the overall message rings true. Self-confidence and self-worth are fundamental to living a happy, healthy life. If you believe in yourself, you can improve your confidence, which will help you accomplish all your life goals. 

Why is it Important to Believe in Yourself?

“So that’s it then – no weapons, no friends, no hope, take that away, and what’s left?”

“Me.”

             – Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy was an icon for self-empowerment. She believed in herself even when she had nothing, and that self-confidence always helped her win the day. Although you aren’t fighting evil vampires, the same concept applies to your life. You are the one who has the power to change your life. When you believe in yourself, you acknowledge that power you have, which is why self-belief is crucial. 

Believing in yourself is essential because it can give you the courage to set and pursue magnificent goals. The improbable becomes probable as you know you can achieve anything you want. Doubts disappear, and you take action towards living the life you want to live, regardless of what others think.

Self-belief is also vital because it can motivate you to keep trying even in the face of adversity. It can boost confidence when life becomes challenging and encourage you to keep going. If you genuinely believe you can overcome any obstacles, you will persevere and emerge stronger and better. 

Believing in yourself is key to a happy, healthy, and meaningful life. 

How Can I Always Believe in Myself?

Sometimes it can be hard to believe in yourself. Bad things happen, and maybe we feel like we don’t deserve to feel good about ourselves. We’re scared of what will happen if we try and fail. There are many reasons we might not have the confidence to believe in ourselves or our capabilities. Fortunately, there are ways to shift our mindsets and help us feel better about who we are. Here are some things you can do to develop confidence.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

In the world of Insta-perfection and online highlight reels, it’s effortless to scroll through the perfect photos that everyone else is taking of their lives’ most incredible moments and wonder what we’re doing wrong with our own.

The truth is – we’re not doing anything wrong. All you see online is a brief snapshot of what they want you to see. It’s perfectly curated to make you think that you aren’t good enough, when in fact, their real-life is probably just as dull and grinding as yours is. The fact that these social media influences have a decent camera and an eye for aesthetics doesn’t mean they are better than you in any way.

believe in yourself

Comparing yourself to others in real life can be problematic as well. Maybe you have a friend or family member who seems blessed. They have the dream life – a perfect partner, perfect job, perfect family, etc. But there are a lot of things you don’t see. How perfect is it? Do you know the ins and outs of everything, or does it just seem perfect from the outside? And even if it is perfect, how much hard work did it take for them to get there? People rarely succeed from luck alone, but we don’t pay attention to all the failures and setbacks they faced along the way. We only look at where they are now.

The final thing to consider is that everyone has to live at their own pace. Wherever you are in life is fine. There’s nothing wrong with taking your time or choosing a non-traditional path. All that matters is that you are exactly where you need to be at this moment.

Fake it ‘Til You Make it

Sometimes faking it helps. Pretending you know what you’re doing makes you realize that you really do know what you are doing. And even if it doesn’t, fake confidence sometimes breeds real confidence.

 

If you don’t have any belief in yourself – fake it! Pretend that you do. Act as you do. Changing your mindset to believe in yourself might involve tricking yourself, and that’s fine! Whatever works, right?

Be Purposeful with Body Language

Stop slouching. Sit up straight. Roll your shoulders back. Open your body up and own the space you occupy.

It may seem silly – but being intentional about how you take up space can do wonders for your self-esteem. Pay attention to how you present yourself. Are you always trying to be small? Take up as little space as possible? Stop! Imagine you have the confidence of a man on a subway and permit yourself to exist in the space you need. Acknowledging that you have the right to be will help you believe in yourself in general.

Give Yourself a Boost

Many of us already have a few things at home that help us feel better about ourselves. Perhaps wearing a particular outfit improves your mood, or a specific hairstyle gives you a little pick-me-up. 

Wear that favorite outfit and style your hair that way. Do the little things that you can do to boost your self-esteem. Sometimes a tiny boost is all we need to have an epic day. 

Change Your Style

If these tiny changes to boost yourself don’t help anymore, consider a more drastic change. Sometimes a wardrobe change or a new hairstyle can help you build confidence. 

Experiment with your style and own it. Dye your hair the color you’ve always wanted, get creative with your outfit choices, or give yourself a complete makeover. These changes can give you the boost you need to feel good about yourself. 

Maintain a Positive Mindset

Positive thinking helps. Maintaining a positive outlook on life reduces your risk of illness and leads to happier lives. 

Sometimes it can be hard to avoid the negative and only think positive thoughts. I’ve found that journaling helps with this. I use my journal to write positive affirmations, daily goals, and express gratitude. Writing these positive thoughts down helps me remember them throughout the day.

I also set daily intentions and goals to be more positive. Having a reaffirming intention to fall back on when things seem negative helps way more than I ever realized it could.

best journals

Use the Law of Attraction

The Law of Attraction is the idea that the universe gives you what you ask for. However, it’s not as simple as a one-time ask. The law of attraction is related to the positive mindset shifts we talked about above. You need to showcase to the universe what you truly desire in the deepest depths of your soul. 

The law of attraction proposes that if you constantly think negative thoughts about yourself and your abilities, those negative thoughts will manifest into reality, and you will continue to fail. Conversely, if you shift your mindset and think positive thoughts, encourage yourself through constructive self-talk, and honestly believe that you are worthy of good things in your life, the good stuff will start to come to you. You attract what you put out into the universe. \

Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone

One of the best ways to gain confidence is to succeed at something new and challenging. Army recruits run challenging obstacle courses, team-building events focus on difficult tasks, and escape rooms are filled with complex puzzles because defeating these things build confidence. These difficult scenarios help you build confidence in your abilities. 

There are many things you can do to step outside of your comfort zone and boost your confidence. Join Toastmasters to overcome your fear of public speaking,  face your fear of heights with a roller coaster, get a little too close to that spider. Take a hard look at the things that frighten you and find ways to overcome them. 

Take Care of Your Physical Health

A primary key to building your confidence and believing in yourself is taking care of your physical health. Studies have shown that a healthy diet and physical activity help people build confidence and feel better about themselves overall. 

It’s not easy to change a lifetime of bad habits. Start small by making minor substitutions in your diet and committing to a light walk daily. Gradually work towards healthy changes, a more nutritious diet, and more physical activity. Another bonus to taking care of yourself physically is having more time to enjoy your dream life! 

Therapy

Let’s be honest. Sometimes your self-esteem issues are horrible, and no amount of positive thinking, journaling, or faking will make it better. You may be struggling with depression or anxiety, which might be limiting your ability to believe in yourself.

There’s a stigma against therapy, and it needs to go away. Whether your lack of confidence is related to mental illness or not, seeking treatment can help you if you can’t help yourself. I’ve seen a therapist for many issues ranging from codependency to imposter syndrome to just needing someone to be in my corner. There’s no shame in getting the help that you need. Trust me. It will make your life so much better.

What are the Limitations of Self-Belief?

It’s great to believe in yourself and your abilities, but there are caveats and limitations like anything.

First, don’t get cocky. There’s a line between confidence and arrogance. Believing in yourself has nothing to do with putting others down or acting like you are better than everyone else. Make sure that your ego doesn’t cause you to misbehave.

 

Second, be realistic. No amount of believing in yourself will give you the ability to fly. It’s OK to set lofty goals, but be sure to consider your skills and abilities first. You don’t want your dreams to be so high that they are impossible to obtain.

Believe in Yourself Quotes

Here’s a small compilation of my favorite quotes about believing in yourself to give you some extra motivation to believe in yourself starting today. These quotes come from athletes, artists, leaders, and even fictional characters. But many of them have helped me get through rough times and throw off self-doubt, so I hope they help you as well.

Some people say I have attitude – maybe I do… but I think you have to. You have to believe in yourself when no one else does – that makes you a winner right there.

               -Venus Williams

Venus Williams is one of the greatest athletes of our generation. Unfortunately, she met a lot of resistance for being so great in a sport dominated by white men. She and her sister faced adversity in their rise to fame, but they never let it get to them. They believed in themselves, even when some people called that “attitude.”

This quote speaks to me as a woman who has been called “bossy” while male counterparts were called “being leaders.”

Whatever you want in life, other people are going to want it too. Believe in yourself enough to accept the idea that you have an equal right to it.

-Diane Sawyer

Diane Sawyer paved the way for women in broadcasting. When no other women were taken seriously as news anchors, she believed in herself. She broke the glass ceiling in the news and became the first woman to host the prestigious 60 minutes.

Sawyer realized that she had an equal right to a career in broadcasting, and she set her mind to accomplish it.

If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.

 -Vincent Van Gogh

I love this quote because it’s about Van Gogh subverting his expectations and going against the nit-picky voice in his head that tells him “no.” We all have it. That tiny voice in the back of our minds, echoing our biggest critics, that tells us we can’t, we’re failures, we’re no good. Sometimes the best way to shut that voice up is to prove it wrong. Do the thing that the voice is saying you can’t do. Prove it wrong.

              

Believe in love. Believe in magic. Hell, believe in Santa Clause. Believe in others. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. If you don’t, who will?

               -Jon Bon Jovi

If you don’t believe in yourself and your dreams, who will? That is the absolute truth. You are the owner of your own life. You know what you are capable of accomplishing. So why not believe in yourself and go after it? No one else will do it for you.

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

This quote by Emerson is less about believing in yourself and more about just being yourself. I think they are very closely related, though. You need to be confident that you are good enough to be who you want to be.

 

The world is indeed designed to pigeonhole us into specific roles and responsibilities. We have a life script that we’re supposed to follow, and society gets upset with us if we stray from it. True happiness and true self-actualization come from throwing that all off and being yourself, even when the world tries to hold you back. Believe in yourself enough to do it.

It’s no good being too easily swayed by people’s opinions. You have to believe in yourself.

               -Donatella Versace

Everyone has an opinion. If you told your idea to ten different people, you’d have ten different ways you can fail. Naysayers run rampant.

I would have never started Partners in Fire or pursued financial independence if I had listened to everyone who told me both things were silly and unachievable. Last month, my brother said that relying on online income would be a stupid idea (like relying on an employer’s generosity is any better!).

You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.

-Eleanor Roosevelt

I love this quote because many of us are wrapped up in what others think. The thing is, they usually aren’t thinking of us at all. We think they are because our world revolves around ourselves, but really, their world doesn’t revolve around us.

Life is so much more fulfilling when we realize that no one cares. We can do what we want and stop worrying about the opinions of others. This freedom allows us to believe in our hopes and dreams and achieve them.

If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything

               -Marty McFly, Back to the Future

My first experience with learning to believe in yourself is from the 1980s hit “Back to the Future.” Marty told his father, George, he could accomplish anything if he just believed (while stuck in the past and trying to get his parents together). Later, in the future, George told Marty the same thing (where did the phrase come from if Marty told his dad in the past, who then told him in the future?).

Time travel physics aside, believing in yourself will help you achieve your goals. So it’s time to get put aside that self-doubt and start working towards everything you want.

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