A Short Guide to Self-Belief

7th April 2023
Read time:  3 minute 40sec

Confucius once said, “The man who says he can, and the man who says he can not.. are both correct.”

Growing up, I never had the talent, but one thing I remember always having was the belief that I could.

Unfortunately, I see a lot of athletes, business owners, artists, and students who believe they can’t before they’ve even tried.

The Netflix series Breaking Point, which followed tennis players on tour, showed how many of these elite athletes suffered from low self-esteem.

Or that the defining difference between them and the greats was this self belief mindset that they could win at any moment in a game.

So today I want to give you an understanding of where to look and what you could do to build your self belief.

Where do we get Self-Belief from?

Self-Belief and Confidence can be intertwined very easily.

Literature shows 4 sources of where we can find our self belief (self-efficacy)

I’ve simplified them to hopefully make it easier to understand:

Mastery Experiences – drawing belief through success or failure in past experiences.

Vicarious experiences – seeing others that we can relate to achieving and drawing belief form that.

Verbal persuasion (feedback) – receiving feedback from significant individuals can increase our belief in our capabilities.

Physiological interpretation – how we interpret the somatic (physical) reaction to specific moments of challenge or stress. Do you see a high heart rate and sweaty palms as signs of nerves or excitement?

A lot of the time, the issue that most people find is that they are telling themselves a storyline about themselves that isn’t true.

“I’m not good enough”
“Others are better than me”
“I’m not going to get it right”

This form of non-acceptance of ourselves or situation creates suffering.

How do we build our self belief?

While there are plenty of ways in which you can do so, here are a couple to start with:

1. Draw on a past (positive) experience

What did you do, say, think, or believe in that moment?

Perhaps it was a challenging time that you overcame.

Find these moments when you were telling yourself you were good enough or believed you were enough.

2. Find a new challenge

When we are pushing ourselves towards something new, we tend to not have any expectations or preconceived beliefs around it.

We start from a place of being beginners, and as you see progress, you’ll be building belief.

3. Create a MindStrong Mantra

Use these experiences that you’re drawing upon to create a mantra (a phrase or word) that moves you from a place of being small to tall.

It starts with knowing that you ARE worthy of giving it a try; you CAN believe it’s possible.

It doesn’t mean it’s going to happen, success is not guaranteed.

But you get the opportunity to try – and that’s the fun part about it.

Know that whatever story you are telling yourself has a likelihood of being true.

So choose the one you want.

Or as our favourite coach, Ted Lasso, says, “believe in believe.”

Whenever you're ready, there is a couple of ways I can help you:

MindStrong Sport App – Mental Skills Training for Athletes

Personal Mindset Coaching - Contact for more

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