What makes someone successful? Indeed, what even is success? There are a number of open-ended questions, as well as pre-conceived ideas that surround the idea of success, in all senses of the word. Many argue that it is opportunity, resources, luck, and privilege of background that determine the extent to which an individual is able to achieve their goals. However, there’s something much more authoritative than circumstance that will influence your success; and that is self-belief.
“Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” Christopher Robin
We’ve all experienced the unwelcome manifestation of self-doubt in different forms, such as procrastination, negativity, and various anxieties. On the road to success, self-belief is fundamental in the endeavour to overcome these hurdles and will ultimately give you that determination to try, try and try again, until you feel that sense of achievement. Success won’t come into being overnight. But an awful lot can happen when you start to believe in yourself.
In the absence of self-belief lies the fear of being inadequate. In a world full of millions of people who will readily accept you for being you, sometimes it can be difficult to see past that one person, or few people that don’t accept you for what you are. This can be particularly hard when there are many challenges in life that we have to face on our own. However, having faith in your own judgement, qualities, and abilities will give you the confidence to overcome these challenges. Self-confidence is something that can be learnt and built upon every day. Learning how to be positive and overcome negative thinking is a very good place to start, or setting small and achievable goals in the endeavour to build competence. It may take some time to acquire and it will always fluctuate, but self-confidence is often one of the most attractive qualities that someone can have.
“To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.” Alan Watts
When you start to believe in yourself, you release the need to try and control certain aspects of your life and instead, have faith that you will be able to accept or deal with all outcomes that a situation may throw at you. This allows you to consider innumerable possibilities. Another of my favourite quotes from Alan Watts (can you tell I like him?!) is ‘a completely predictable future is already in the past’. This goes hand in hand with the practice of mindfulness and the idea that within each moment there is infinite possibility.
FOR YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
In the broadest sense of the word relationships; the relationships you have not only with your family, your friends, or a loved one, but also those that are not so close-to-home, such as professional relationships. To build a successful relationship with any one of these people, it has to be founded on self-belief. This way, you can live your life alongside someone else without relying on them for your own happiness. Can you really expect other people to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself? However, most importantly, self-belief resonates most strongly in the relationship that you have with yourself. You can never be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.
TO BRAVE CHANGE
We are often resistant to change and it is regularly characterised as something to be fearful of. However, the power of self-belief encourages you to explore different challenges in life and see change as positive; something that brings about new opportunities, personal growth and ultimately, progression. It is very easy to become accustomed to routine; change is exciting.
“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” Alan Watts
*Bra & Leggings by WearWolf
TO AVOID COMPARISON
“Don’t waste your energy trying to change opinions … do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.” Tina Fey
There is no need to compare yourself to others, it is draining, distracting and detrimental. Arguably comparison is impossible anyway because we simply cannot define ourselves in the first place; as individuals we are always evolving and are therefore too unique to compare fairly. But I think most importantly, comparison puts the focus onto the wrong person. The focus here is on you and your goals.
TO TAKE RISKS
Self-belief conjures courage. It will inspire you to take risks in life; risks that might not always work out the way you want them to, but if you believe in yourself then you will be prepared whatever the outcome. Taking risks can uncover unforeseen opportunities, help to overcome the fear of failure, and provide invaluable lessons.
TO BE SUCCESSFUL
Success takes more than a day; it won’t just fall into your lap. Ultimately, self-belief causes action. It allows you to seize opportunities, push yourself, make confident decisions, overcome the fear of failure and most importantly, run the day. That way, you can be as successful as you like.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Ralph Waldo Emerson