“Today I want you to think about everything you are, not about everything you are not.” ~unknown
I’ve done it again.
I was not entirely sure if it would work, so I managed to convince myself not to do anything.
I was good at pushing myself aside—not chasing what I really wanted. I had memorized all the reasons why I wasn’t good enough to reach my goals in life. I subconsciously decided that my growth and success were not worth the risk of failure and rejection.
As a result, I remained stuck, stagnant and unhappy.
Every time an opportunity presented itself, the initial feeling of excitement and motivation was quickly replaced by a train of thought filled with self-doubt, what-ifs, and fear of failure. In other words, the sheer lack of confidence kept me off track.
This time, I told myself to stop applying for promotions at work. I wasn’t entirely sure I was the right person for the job. I was afraid management would think I was stupid for applying.
I was successful, but I was bored with my current job and wanted a new challenge. But what if you weren’t selected?What would my colleagues think? bottom Did you get picked for a new job and failed?
At the time, the potential pain of rejection and failure I could experience outweighed the very real pain of staying stuck in a dull, stagnant job. that’s what i did. I chose not to apply for a promotion and stay in a job I hated.
Eventually, I admitted to myself that I was desperate to gain the confidence I needed to make progress towards my goals. I decided to change my mindset to build the confidence I wanted. I’ve failed to take mindsets and thought work seriously before, but I thought it was worth a try.
After time, effort and guidance, I have developed a strong sense of confidence. I learned to believe in myself no matter what. Once I gained confidence, my career path changed dramatically.
Confidence vs Confidence: What’s the Difference?
Confidence is a belief in one’s abilities based on past experience. Confidence is a sense of security in yourself. Strong self-confidence helps you pursue goals, navigate social situations, try new things, and overcome challenges and failures.
How I Built My Confidence: The Choice to Believe
The most helpful thing I’ve learned in the process of gaining confidence is that believing in what you think is optional. This means that you don’t have to accept every thought your brain comes up with, instead you can choose which ones you want to believe.
A belief is just an idea that we think about over and over again. By deliberately choosing and practicing a few key ideas, I was able to build beliefs that fostered strong self-confidence.
If you have deeply ingrained beliefs from past experience, you may need to uncover, examine, and question those beliefs before adopting new ones. For example, if you grew up hearing that you were a failure, you may not believe you can succeed at anything. However, once you recognize the root of this belief, you will be free to work on letting it go.
This is not a “thought exchange” or forcing you to think positively. It’s about recognizing that you’re stuck in old beliefs that don’t serve you, and telling yourself a more empowering story about yourself, your worth, and your abilities.
Remember this is a process. It’s like spinning a ship instead of turning on an electric switch.
Here are seven beliefs I’ve cultivated and why each one is so powerful on your path to self-confidence.
I am complete, worthy and complete, just like I am today.
Why it’s powerful: Eliminating the concept of needing to “fix” something about myself and validating who I am in this moment (and every moment). That way, you can stop comparing yourself to others and start valuing yourself as a person.
We can handle whatever happens.
Here’s why it’s powerful: It helps you resist overthinking and trust yourself to make the best decisions at the moment. It calms self-doubt and “what if” thoughts in your brain.
Not everyone likes me, and that’s okay.
Why it’s so powerful: Normalizes and neutralizes rejection. It quiets the need for external evaluation and reduces the temptation to worry about what others think.
I choose to love myself no matter what.
Why it’s powerful: Self-love is no longer a condition of success, achievement, or social recognition. Fear of self-punishment and self-criticism for mistakes and failures is negated.
I am worth the effort to reach my goals.
Why it’s powerful: It focuses on my intrinsic values. It removes the temptation to get distracted or take the easy way out when things are hard.
You decide what failure means to you.
Why this is powerful: Deny the idea that failure automatically means bad things for you. It gives us the opportunity to see failure as something meaningful to move forward instead of getting stuck or giving up.
This situation will not be a problem in a year.
Why this is powerful: Provides a long-term perspective on disappointing or unpleasant moments. It gives permission to move forward from mistakes and failures.
How has my life changed after putting these ideas into practice?
Once the above thoughts became my beliefs, my relationship with myself changed dramatically. I no longer feel the need to restrain myself. I was willing to dabble outside my comfort zone, try new things, and even fail.
To tell you the truth, I never applied for promotions that I told myself. Instead, I started my own business, initially as a side business. Eventually, I quit my day job to run the business full time, which required a lot more confidence than applying for a promotion.
Confidence has impacted my life in so many ways beyond starting my own business. Thanks to that, I overcame my shyness and was much less prone to self-criticism, allowing me to continue pursuing my goals even in difficult situations.
put new ideas into action
A final tip for adopting confidence-building beliefs is to take actions that support the beliefs you are trying to build. Thoughts can produce feelings, emotions can produce actions, and actions can reinforce thoughts. Taking action that supports the belief you are trying to build will help strengthen that belief.
For example, if you’re working on developing the belief that you can handle difficult things, put yourself out of your comfort zone and give yourself the opportunity to stretch and impress yourself.
Confidence doesn’t come easily or naturally to everyone, but it can be built with time, effort and perseverance. It is important to practice confident thinking consistently. Practice thinking confidently every day by putting a reminder on your phone, a note near your computer, or a whiteboard marker on your bathroom mirror.
Pick one idea to start practicing today and start building your confidence. You can choose one of my ideas above, or create your own. Either way, your future self will thank you. Confidence is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.