Believing in Yourself

Once upon a time, not that long ago I met a man who changed my life. Now before you get too excited and settle in for a fairy tale of boy meets girl or any form of romance, the man and I met for around 15 minutes, I don’t remember his name and we have never seen each other since.

I was staying at a retreat in Scotland, 13 years ago to be precise, and at that point in my life, I hated the way I looked, lacked confidence and self esteem in pretty much all areas of my life and even though I had a curious nature I lacked ambition. Well, what is the point of having ambition when you believe that you’ll probably fail anyway. But here I was on a retreat meeting people from all walks of life, sharing their insights and experiences.

He and I got chatting as we had a shared love of Peru. As our conversation came to a close, he took my hand looked into my eyes and asked me “How much do you believe in yourself, Jules?” It’s not something that I had really given much thought to, I just felt that I didn’t and he must have known. ‘Well as much as anyone else I suppose.’ I answered. He stared deeper and said eight words that have stayed with me everyday since. ‘Believe in yourself, your life depends on it.’

All these years later every time I share that story I hear the depth of profound wisdom hidden within. ‘Believe in yourself, your life depends on it.’

It was a turning point for me. Could this be a turning point for you?

How much do you believe in yourself?

If you struggle to answer the question or add clauses of ‘it depends…’, ‘I do in some situations but not in others’ Then I imagine that you are in a similar place to where I was. How’s that working out for you? All that doubting, questioning and worrying about what others think? Does it help you to feel good? I suspect not 🙂

So how can you change it? How can you move from a place of doubting and worrying to believing in yourself? It’s not an easy journey or an immediate one. There are some simple steps though that you can start to use today to make today (and each day) a turning point.

1.        Notice

Einstein said ‘the first point of change is to notice’ In other words to change something, anything you must first see what is happening. So take some time each day to start noticing where and how you are not believing in yourself. How is it showing up for you? Without judgement just notice and then ask yourself, ‘How does this thinking make me feel?’ You first need to notice just how pain – full this habit is.

2.        Explore

Next ask yourself kindly and from a loving place. ‘How do I want to feel and what kind of thoughts do I need to have to feel this?’ You may not know the answer immediately as you have habitually gone down the route of doubt. You now need to experience how dangerous that path is and look for a new route to take.

3.        Patience

Finally you need to practice patience. I did say that these steps were simple and not easy 🙂 It has taken me 13 years to get where I am now and who knows where the next 13 will take me. What I do know now, is that there is magic in patience. No matter how much you pull your hair, it will not grow any faster. Have patience and one day it’ll need a cut!

Wishing you great patience and remember…

Believe in yourself…your life depends on it!