If someone would ask me what I thought was the most important human quality for success, I’d undoubtedly say, believing in oneself.
From my standpoint, I’ve lost plenty of opportunities because I didn’t believe in myself. It hurts me to realize that I missed many chances, I blamed others for a perceived lack of support, and resenting that no one invested in my talents.
One of my best friends was a singer and very artistic. She loved music and audiences. I didn’t see her for a very long time, and when we met again, I asked her to sing for us, but she refused, saying, “No, I don’t sing anymore; that’s in the past and should stay there.” When I asked why, she said, “I was never supported by my mother or anyone. It made me sad when I saw I wasn’t fulfilling my talent, so I gave up on singing.”
While it’s true that having support makes things much easier, ultimately, our lack of trust in ourselves is what paralyzes us. If I believe in myself, it’s not essential to have others’ trust.
Around 8 years ago, I opened my meditation studio in the city where I live. Back then, mindfulness was a new term. I felt convinced this was the most powerful solution to many of the world’s conflicts, and I wanted to share it. I began offering it everywhere I could, and, many times, I was rejected. Human resources directors from major companies hung up the phone when I would talk about meditation for their corporations, and other institutions ignored me, as they didn’t see the benefits I saw.
I had a great idea to make a meditation app so that many could learn meditation that way. I began developing the concept and the mapping but simply didn’t follow through because I felt a lack of support. I felt lonely and finally dropped the project.
Today, mindfulness has become a boom, and more than 30 million users enjoy the app called headspace, which was created around the same time I began my mapping.
I wanted to blame, but the finger pointed at me, not because I made a mistake, but because I didn’t go through with the project, because I needed other people’s approval and direction, because I didn’t believe in myself. I could have invested in this project I felt so convinced about, but, instead, I chose to whine because I had no support.
Today, I want to share this lesson with you, so that you’ll trust in your talents and in those things you feel so convinced of, so that you’ll follow your dreams and say to yourself, “I did it; I believed in myself.”
Believing in yourself is knowing that you’re valuable and unique in your expression. It’s being daring enough to use your voice to create.
While other elements are essential for success, such as planning, self-discipline, and trial and error, nothing is more essential than daring to trust your gut and do what you need to do to get where you want to go.
Believing in yourself is daring to dream, to wish, and to live that dream. Most just settle with the ordinary because, somewhere deep inside, a voice is saying, “How dare you want to reach higher; you’re not good enough.”
We hear this voice because we think our ideas aren’t bright enough or not organized enough. We’re hoping for someone who takes us by the hand and trusts us, since we don’t believe in ourselves.
There is more knowledge and information available at your fingertips today than at any other time in history, but nothing will be created if you don’t plan and act. I know nothing is for sure and success is never guaranteed, but creating something from nothing will give you the greatest joys.
The human mind is powerful, but it can also be destructive, turning into our worst enemy. It seems every time things become challenging, we start doubting ourselves, thinking we may not make it through. We begin worrying and imagining things that can go wrong in the future, and the fear paralyzes us. If we take control of our minds, we can become unstoppable.
HOW TO BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
• Daily Nurturing is essential. Writing a list of your past accomplishments, small or large, and reading it every day can do wonders. So often, we face amnesia of achievements, and we focus on our mistakes.
•Writing a list of your talents that you’re grateful for and why you’re grateful is powerful as well. This is a habit I’m teaching my kids as well, and it has raised their self-esteem amazingly. This can become a morning meditation practice as well.
Reflect or meditate in the evening on what went well or what you learned from a situation in which you didn’t accomplish as much as you had wished.
• If necessary, raise your small goals from “shoulds” to “musts.” This will help you overcome fear paralysis and have the courage to venture outside your comfort zone.
• Set short- and long-term goals and make them realistic enough. I used to set ambitious goals with short deadlines, always hoping for a shortcut, wanting everything fast.
If you realized your goal is too difficult, break it into smaller goals. Patience is vital as well. I finally realized that while patience is sour, it’s fruit is sweet.
• Develop passion for a cause or a project you believe in. Go ahead and practice exercising your passions and interests.