One thing I learnt as a life coach working with a variety of clients — from mid-level managers to stay-at-home mums — is that the biggest thing I could give them was to believe in them.
It didn’t matter if I knew anything about their lives or hardships. It didn’t matter if I could relate, or I was just listening. The feedback I received after the coaching period, having accomplished their goals, was always the same:
“I could only do it because you made me believe that I can.”
It wasn’t me achieving their goals — it was them. My role was simple — I had to makes sure they know that I believe in them, even more than they have ever believed in themselves.
No journey is easy. And it is even more difficult if you set yourself up for growth. Growing is painful. We get discouraged. We have to face rejection. We need to push through thick and thin.
And no matter how many fans you have, there are times, when you have to do it all by yourself.
You need the mental strength and the certainty that you are capable of it — you need to be your own biggest fan. Because if you don’t believe in yourself, how could anyone else believe in you?
How to root for yourself all along the way?
Build up positive self-bias
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.”― Henry Ford
Equipped with a healthy mindset, we are biased with ourselves. But sadly, usually negatively. The more we know about ourselves and the more we practice self-reflection, the less capable we believe ourselves to be. We think we are unworthy; we feel we are not enough; we start to doubt ourselves. We are self-sufficient enough, so we don’t ask for help, and we don’t ask for other’s time and attention. We try to face everything on our own, and when we fail, we blame ourselves.
You need to build up positive self-bias.
Think about yourself as someone unstoppable. Believe that you can accomplish anything. Believe in yourself. Believe in your abilities.
Have you ever been in love? Do you remember the feeling when you are so much in love that whatever your partner did was pure magic? You saw them and you knew they would succeed. They seemed perfect, invincible — better than the rest. This is exactly how you should look at yourself.
Start your mornings with a 5-minute pep talk. Look at yourself and you congratulate yourself for everything you do. Every. Single. Thing.
Build up confidence
Confidence is a muscle. You have to use it to get better at using it. You need to start practising confidence. Sometimes the only difference between two people is but their confidence and their mentality that eliminates everything that doesn’t support them.
Confidence starts with knowing how you would behave if you already had the confidence you crave. Picture yourself as a confident person, visualise how you would look and behave, how you would talk and walk. Imagine it, visualise it and then use it. Fake it till you make it might sound deceptive. But deceiving your loud inner critique who tries to hold you back can only do you good.
Try power posing. Power posing is a self-improvement technique in which people stand in a posture that they mentally associate with being powerful and confident. Hands on hips, leaning forward, open arms can be effective ways to trick yourself into feeling more confident. The wonder-woman pose is one of the most common poses — and it works both for men and women.
What if you woke up today only with the things you were thankful for yesterday?
Gratefulness is the best thing that you can do for yourself. It not only shifts your perspective; it anchors you in the present. It makes you focus on what you have and not on what you don’t have. If you have any gratitude practice, you are already doing yourself a great service.
Take it up a notch and improve your positive self-bias. Start with listing everything you like about yourself, everything you have ever done, every accomplishment that you consider valuable. Express gratitude for your own capabilities, be grateful how great you are, how patient you are, how persistent, knowledgeable, intelligent, organised, precise, down-to-earth you are. Exaggerate your qualities, praise yourself and thank yourself for all of them.
Notice and celebrate your success
Are you one of those people who shrug their achievements off? You know, those amazing guys who are doing great things, have incredible accomplishments yet they fail to link their success to their capabilities. They think or say — out of some fake modesty — that it is due to luck, they received help, or that they don’t know how it happened.
If you are faking not to recognise your successes it’s called humble-bragging — don’t do that.
But if you really don’t see your own accomplishment, you need to think again. Recognising achievement is not big-headed or egotistical. Whether you achieved it easily or not, your accomplishment matters. You don’t need to set conditions and excuses to everything you have done.
Did you write twenty articles? Nice job! It’s not “only” twenty articles. It’s not “20 not so good articles”. It doesn’t matter if “no one really read it”. You wrote twenty articles! You deserve a pat on the back. And before anyone else notices what you have achieved, You need to make sure that you give yourself the credit for it.
Learn to take a compliment
You need to allow others to root for you. And when they do, you need to believe them. You need to believe when they are saying that you are great when you are praising you for something that you don’t find particularly successful.
You mustn’t question others’ intentions just because you don’t believe in yourself. You mustn’t reject their validation, just because you don’t think you deserve it.
Learn to take a compliment. It’s not that hard. Smile and say thank you.
The funny thing about compliments is that they are not exclusively about you, but it’s an interaction between you and the one who is giving it to you. They want to show you that they care and they appreciate you. Who are you to question them for it? You shouldn’t refuse kindness because you feel unsure about yourself. Just suck it up. They think you are this good, so live up to it.
Eventually, you will start believing it too. As your confidence grows you will find it easier to take a compliment and to tell the difference between a genuine one and a fake one. But until then, just smile and say thank you.
Tell other people about your successes
You need to become confident and sure enough about yourself that you want to share your successes, without downplaying them, without hiding them behind excuses. You have to learn to say: I am proud of this ______. This is one of my best pieces. This is my most insightful poem ever.
Do yourself a favour and learn to appreciate your work. Be a little biased about it. Is it a good one? Then say it is excellent. Is the topic important for you? Then say this is the most crucial topic of the month.
If you are not doing it for yourself, no one will. Don’t be shy about it. Don’t think that people care or remember everything about you. Everyone has their own lives, busy, overwhelming, crowded with people and impressions. Selling your own art and creation is sales — be the best salesperson ever.
Be your own biggest fan unapologetically.
Root for yourself and let others root for you too.
Believe in yourself, give credit to your own work and then sell the hell out of it. If you won’t do it, no one will