In­crease your self-be­lief and add to your value

New Straits Times - - Business -

IF you want bet­ter re­sults in your life, first un­der­stand that no one else can make things bet­ter for you. Your ac­tions will de­ter­mine the re­sults that life gives you.

Your ac­tions are gen­er­ally founded on your be­lief struc­ture. Your be­liefs are very im­por­tant as they are pow­er­ful and can of­ten af­fect you beyond nor­mal con­scious con­trol.

I know peo­ple who are adamant that if they get even slightly wet in the rain, they will catch a cold. They be­lieve this, and it al­ways hap­pens to them. I found it in­ter­est­ing that con­versely, foot­ballers of­ten play in the rain, and do not catch cold.

Some­time back, I stum­bled on a study of a hun­dred peo­ple who had been di­ag­nosed with ter­mi­nal can­cer, but were still alive 10 years later. The com­mon fac­tor in all the sur­vivors was not the type of treat­ment they had, but the be­lief that the treat­ment would work for them.

Their be­lief that the treat­ment would work dra­mat­i­cally af­fected the way their bod­ies re­acted to the can­cer. They de­fied the odds and sur­vived.

Stud­ies of the placebo ef­fect also re­in­forces the idea of “be­lief”. A placebo is a sub­stance con­tain­ing no med­i­ca­tion given to re­in­force a pa­tient’s ex­pec­ta­tion to get well.

In her book “Brain Sense”, re­searcher Faith Brynie says the placebo cure rate is as high as 72 per cent, and that many stud­ies show that the placebo ef­fect is not de­cep­tion nor a fluke. In­stead, it is a prod­uct of ex­pec­ta­tion.

The hu­man brain an­tic­i­pates cer­tain out­comes, and be­cause that be­lief is so strong, the de­sired out­come is pro­duced.

This re­in­forces the fact that “be­lief” is vi­tal to the hu­man mind. Both the can­cer re­search and the placebo stud­ies show that if you be­lieve in some­thing strong enough, it will hap­pen.

So, to be suc­cess­ful at any­thing we do, we must have be­lief. And of all the “be­liefs” we de­velop, self­be­lief is crit­i­cal.

Peo­ple with self-be­lief have qual­i­ties that we ad­mire. They are confident and com­pe­tent. They also en­cour­age con­fi­dence in oth­ers. To be­come suc­cess­ful, we need to in­spire and en­gage peo­ple around us. The big­gest con­trib­u­tor to self-be­lief is our con­fi­dence in our abil­i­ties.

As we master skills and gain ex­per­tise in any given field, we gain con­fi­dence. And, as we sense that we are com­pe­tent at what we do, our self-be­lief in­creases.

While pos­i­tive think­ing has a role in the de­vel­op­ment of our self-be­lief, set­ting and achiev­ing goals helps us build con­fi­dence and com­pe­tence.

The key com­po­nent to de­vel­op­ing self-be­lief is be­ing confident that the end re­sult you want is pos­si­ble. You need to be able to say with to­tal con­vic­tion “it re­ally is pos­si­ble for me to achieve this goal”.

Early in my en­tre­pre­neur­ial life, I had a busi­ness part­ner. To be frank, at the time, I found it vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble to cope with his de­mands. He was over-bear­ing, and a tad crass for my lik­ing. How­ever, be­ing the ju­nior part­ner in the busi­ness, I had to put up with his an­tics.

Suf­fice to say, my part­ner­ship with him did not with­stand the test of time, and within a few years, I opted for a dif­fer­ent path, away from him.

While it was a very test­ing time for me, the one cru­cial learn­ing I had from this re­la­tion­ship was the power of self-be­lief. In the face of all ad­ver­sity, my part­ner would in­sist that we could do what we set out to do. My ex­pe­ri­ence, knowl­edge and gut-feel would say oth­er­wise. But he would in­sist it was pos­si­ble. And I re­alised that he truly be­lieved that. This self-be­lief led to suc­cess­ful out­comes for our busi­ness.

Hav­ing self-be­lief fa­cil­i­tates find­ing cre­ative so­lu­tions. When you ap­proach a goal at the work­place with “dis­be­lief”, you will feel anx­i­ety and your think­ing gets clouded. Nat­u­rally, find­ing so­lu­tions be­comes less prob­a­ble when you feel this way.

Con­versely, when you ap­proach a goal or a prob­lem at work with self-be­lief, you are able to think clearly. This clar­ity stim­u­lates bet­ter rea­son­ing and ig­nites your mem­ory more ef­fec­tively. Above all, I tend to get more cre­ative when I ap­proach an is­sue with the be­lief that I can over­come it.

Most peo­ple who lack self-be­lief have a strong in­cli­na­tion to fil­ter out pos­i­tive as­pects of them­selves. Con­sciously work on iden­ti­fy­ing and ac­knowl­edg­ing your re­sults and strengths. A lot of psy­cho­log­i­cal pro­grammes that help raise a per­son’s self-es­teem fo­cus on get­ting peo­ple to list out their ac­com­plish­ments.

Next, stop com­par­ing your­self to oth­ers. It is a fu­tile ef­fort and a los­ing bat­tle. Be­cause no mat­ter how good you are at some­thing, in this world, you will al­ways find some­body who is bet­ter than you. So, do not sab­o­tage your own self-be­lief.

And fi­nally, be a life-long learner and con­tin­u­ally aim to bet­ter your­self. Fo­cus on your self-ef­fi­cacy. Self-ef­fi­cacy refers to your be­lief in your ca­pac­ity to ex­e­cute be­haviours nec­es­sary to pro­duce spe­cific re­sults. Con­fi­dence al­ways comes when you are com­pe­tent. So work on in­creas­ing your com­pe­tency.

As your self-be­lief in­creases, so does your value!

The writer is man­ag­ing con­sul­tant and ex­ec­u­tive lead­er­ship coach at EQTD Con­sult­ing. He is also the au­thor of the na­tional best­seller “So, You Want To Get Pro­moted?”

In the face of all ad­ver­sity, my part­ner would in­sist that we could do what we set out to do. My ex­pe­ri­ence, knowl­edge and gut-feel would say oth­er­wise. But he would in­sist it was pos­si­ble. . This self­be­lief led to suc­cess­ful out­comes for our busi­ness.”

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