So I’m guessing that all of us have, at one point or another, lost faith in ourselves. Faith in our abilities. Faith in ever finishing. Faith in the process of getting where we want to go. Faith in the journey along the way. If you find yourself in that unenviable position, here are a few ways to help yourself:
1. Befriend yourself.
You’re already the best friend you’ll ever have. Now it’s time to act like it. You know best what you most need at any given moment.
Do you need encouragement? Speak strength to yourself. Do you need a kind kick in the pants? Promise yourself a reward you really want when you finish what you started, and then most importantly give it to yourself. Do you need time, money, support, supplies, etc.? Whatever it is, there’s a way to get it (yes, there is, even if you have to get a bit creative about it), and so you need to find that way and get yourself what it is you need.
Or do you need to believe in your own worth and value? Do you need to believe that you matter and what you do matters? Do you need to believe that you have gifts and talents to both fulfill yourself and offer the world? Then tell yourself that you do believe those things, over and over, (better yet, say that to yourself while looking in a mirror) until it’s the story you believe and so live out in your life.
The most important thing in this step: to have your own back always.
2. Write a letter to yourself from your tenacity and recognize your successes.
- Start it with: Dear YOUR NAME.
- End it with: Always Believing in You, Your Tenacity.
- In the middle, fill it with:
- kind words about your gifts and talents.
- all the times you wanted to give up and didn’t.
- every time you saw a thing through.
- every time you were stronger than you thought yourself capable of.
- every victory and success no matter how big or small.
The most important thing in this step: to remind yourself that you have it in you to finish what you started.
3. Check your motivation.
- Who are doing it (whatever it is) for?
- Why are you doing it?
- Will completing it make you feel like you’ve succeeded and/or are having a successful life?
Make sure what you’re doing deeply matters to you. If it does, that’s reason enough to keep doing it. And if it doesn’t, that’s reason enough to stop. You’ll strengthen your faith in yourself if you choose to be motivated by personal satisfaction instead of what others want for you and/or what you may (or may not) gain.
The most important thing in this step: define success for yourself.
4. Forgive yourself for your mistakes and failures.
Mistakes are inevitable as long as you’re still breathing. Letting those mistakes defeat you, however, is always (always, always) optional. Failure is also inevitable at some point as long as you’re still attempting to grow and move forward in your life. Letting failure derail you is also always (always, always) optional.
You get to choose whether you believe that you’re just licked, so you quit, or you’re just learning, so you try again. You always get to choose whether to give up or to give yourself another shot to come at it again, whatever it is, from a more intelligent perspective.
The most important thing in this step: know that how you respond to mistakes and failures is a choice that’s squarely up to you.
5. Carry on.
You simply persevere. You keep taking action one (tiny, if need be) step at a time. You keep your blinders on, stop looking at the obstacles and the reasons why not, and you follow the path you want to be on.
It truly doesn’t matter how slowly you go as long as you keep moving forward in the direction you want to go. Even if you don’t think you can take another step—it’s too hard/time-consuming/expensive/risky/insert-your-reason-here and/or you’re too scared/overwhelmed/confused/lost/insert-your-dilemma-here—take another step anyway. And the one after that. And the one after that.
The most important thing in this step: you must refuse to give up on yourself, and in doing so, you’ll prove to yourself just how capable you really are.
So what will you do to not lose faith in yourself?
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