Increase your self-belief and add to your value
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.”