If I could answer this question in a sentence or by suggesting one technique or one source of knowledge I would be a global superstar!
Where does anyone’s self belief come from I wonder? I know for sure I have been tested from a young age and my troubled teens were the foundation for my confidence, emotional resilience and strength of character and I have always been happy with who I am with a strong sense of self. Even in the shadow of failure and my critical moments and there have been many, I have always been pretty sure I would prevail. However the older and wiser I get, the more I realise self belief is a choice and after the choice comes practice! In my experience you have to decide to believe in you before anything changes and unfortunately this is just the first step, then you have to get up and out of ya comfort zone!
People who display strong self belief are easy to spot in a crowd. They walk from their centre, make eye contact, smile, talk in positive language, the language of I can as opposed to I am not sure. They focus on the positive and surround themselves with winners having kicked the BMW’s to the kerb (bitches, moaners and whingers). People gravitate to them as they sense their electric energy and want to be in their company. Now, I am not saying they are perfect or magical, they make mistakes and fail like the rest of us but they embrace this, feel comfortable in their vulnerability, feel the pain, learn the lessons and move on. All of this is a life choice, a habit, one we can all make today!
The self help books, the workshops, the coaching programmes, the mantras and the plethora of tools and techniques out there are all useful in honing this habit and anything that works for you and keeps you focussed is worth doing, but you have to make the choice to believe in you first and you have to get beyond your comfort zone to test it!
As an entrepreneur I know without steadfast belief in me and my business failure is just around the corner. If I do not believe in my product and service how can I expect anyone else to, let alone pay me money to engage!
As someone who sees in pictures, I see my self-belief like one of those huge liquid vats you see on game shows with a measure up the side, and every time I push myself beyond my comfort zone and succeed the vat gets filled with liquid, in varying quantities dependent on the level of success and courage I expound. For instance, if I deliver a great keynote speech which was well received by the organisation who engaged me to do so I will see the measure rise slightly as this is my day job! However, if I secure an above average contract or sponsorship for Girls Out Loud the measure will shoot up higher. The bad news is the liquid measure can also reduce when I beat myself up for not being perfect or when I fail to see an opportunity or close a deal, or if I overreact to a throw away comment because I am overtired etc.
Self belief is a habit, a choice and a moving target that demands continuous investment and practice. It can only be as strong and resilient as you are so make the decision to get in the game today!
Self Belief is one of my top ten lessons for a life well lived discussed in my latest book along with my story and why we all need to step up and be the role models our daughters deserve. Available on amazon now