For over seven years on this blog we have talked about self-belief, self-trust, self-esteem and self-investment.
We have learned over the years that this is truly the cornerstone of any success we hope to have in life or in our creativity, but more than anything, I have learned that self-belief is also a requirement if we are to believe in others as well.
Today I’d like to focus on what we’ve learned over the years about self-belief and it’s power to change our lives completely.
Tools To Help Build Up Your Self-Esteem
Over the years one of the most persistent issues my readers faced was a lack of self-worth. No, it wasn’t someone trying to stop them, or a lack of motivation, or even a lack of skill.
One of my readers’ most pervasive blocks was their own limited belief in their ability to pursue their dream.
They were the biggest thing standing in their way–perhaps the only thing standing in their way.
I toiled over seven years trying to instill a sense of worth in my readers and each time it helped some, but not others: the nagging feeling of lack of self-worth persisted.
The best advice I can still give you in regard to self esteem is to affirm a positive belief in yourself and search for evidence of this belief in the real world. Keep practicing this over and over again and this practice will serve you well.
You will begin to believe the new idea of yourself that is more affirming.
Feeling your feelings also helps: because your low self-worth is also a feeling, a feeling you must process and release from your system.
But perhaps the most powerful of all types of self-belief excercises is having someone else affirm good things about you.
Like what I’m about to do for you now:
I Believe In You
I believe in you. I believe you are the answer to someone’s prayer. I believe you are here for a reason. I believe you are powerful beyond measure.
I believe you are talented and perfect as you are.
I believe you are beautiful as you are.
I believe you are smart and strong and perfectly capable for the challenge ahead.
I trust in you, and I trust that you know exactly what to do going forward.
I send you my prayers and my love. I send this investment of my time and energy as proof that your life is worth investing in.
I see you. I understand you. I am excited to see what you come up with next.
I know you may not agree with me, but still, I believe.
I believe in you, and one day, I’d like you to believe in yourself so much that you have the ability to believe in another, and attest to them that you believe in them as much as I believe in you.
If you cannot believe in yourself, borrow my belief in you, let it carry you until you have the courage to believe in yourself again.
No One Can Ever Say She Didn’t Sing
Florence Foster Jenkins was a terrible Opera singer who became well known during the 1920s, 30s and 40s. They recently made a movie about her with Meryl Streep, under the same name.
In this film biography of her life, Florence comes off as incredibly tone def and incapable of seeing her shortcomings. She is convinced she is brilliant when everyone else can see she is horrible, in fact: the worst singer in the world.
Talk about a testament to self-belief: Florence’s entire career hinged on the mere belief that she was good enough to be an opera singer (well that and some well placed bribes from her enabling husband.)
At one point in the movie Florence uncovers that she truly is a horrible singer and that her fans are not lauding her for her talent, but laughing at how stupendously bad she is.
The revelation nearly breaks her.
But, before it does break her completely, she has an epiphany.
She tells her husband, and I’m paraphrasing here: “I may not be a good singer, but at least they can never say that I didn’t sing.”
In other words, no one could ever say Florence Foster Jenkins never tried to fulfill her dream. Her power of self-belief, at the very least, catapulted her as close to that dream as was possible, considering her own human limitations.
I, like Florence, can’t really comment on my own talent as a writer. That is for the critics to judge. But I am proud to say, that for nearly 8 years, I wrote.
Perhaps it was a terrible, meandering, disjointed mess, perhaps it makes no sense, perhaps the bad grammar makes it incapable of reading, perhaps it’s far too preachy, and maybe even boring or way too strange.
Perhaps I was not as open and vulnerable as I could have been, or perhaps I am guilty of oversharing.
Oh, who knows.
My belief in myself was never a tool I used to make me the best writer ever, it’s what made me write, and whether I’m the best or the worst it doesn’t really matter to me anymore, because they’re still talking about me, aren’t they?
That’s what my haters never understood, and why I always got the last laugh with them: because in the end, their fury at me simply proved that I was at least worth being furious about–in other words, I had their attention simply because I had the balls to write openly and publicly and authentically and with courage–and I stood up for myself and they didn’t.
I wrote–I tried–which made me open and vulnerable to the critics and the haters and the toxic gossipers.
But they would have all been silent if I hadn’t put myself out there in the first place.
So, who truly won in the end?
By hating me my haters lifted me higher still, they made me more visible. Writing an entire blog post on their blog just to go after me is proof that I got in their head. I mattered. Or at least, I mattered enough.
I’ll give all my haters some unsolicited advice: if you don’t want to help me, just ignore me. Because by openly hating me, you gave me far too much power.
It’s Cheesy But It’s True
The power of self-belief can take you to great heights but those who truly understand its power know that self-belief alone can never guarantee your victory.
Winning: that’s an entirely different skill set.
Believing in yourself, trusting in yourself, investing in yourself these are all tools to give you the courage to put yourself out there–to try.
And that is half the battle.
Because even if you are the worst artist, doctor, chef, spiritual teacher there ever was, no one can ever say you didn’t at least try, and that’s more than can be said of more than half of the worlds population.
Remember: Yoda was wrong.
Trying can get you much farther than demanding perfection from the outset. Trying gets you going–accepting that you will likely suck most of the time is far more helpful than believing you have to be perfect immediately.
Demanding perfection at the beginning paralyzes you.
Believing in yourself despite everything everyone else says, and allowing yourself to suck until you get better at it–that’s what frees you.
It lowers the threshold for you to begin manifesting your wildest dreams.
You may look like an idiot in the process, granted, but like good ol’ Florence: at least no one could ever say you didn’t sing.