Self belief and self confidence don’t mean the same thing. You can have bags of self confidence about a situation but not believe in yourself at all. Self confidence is how well you can deal with a situation while self belief (or self esteem) is about how much value you place on yourself.
And while it is great to be able to deal with a social situation, stand up for yourself in the workplace or deal with a drama, if underneath it all you have doubts or negative beliefs about yourself this can take a toll on your health.
The seeds of self doubt are often sown in childhood, and often unintentionally, but as we allow the thoughts to grow we tend to adopt them as part of our identity, and they are always there, lurking behind the scenes.
However, the great thing is that you can teach yourself to improve both your self confidence and your self belief.
The following is an example of how the two run side by side.
You might be terrified of public speaking but you can learn techniques that will help you to cope with your anxiety. You can also learn how to stand, dress and moderate your speech which all helps with your self confidence. But you can also learn how to deal with the negative voice in your head that might be telling you that you aren’t good enough to stand and deliver the speech or the thought that nobody really wants to listen to you. When you stand there and you know that you are doing the best that you can, and that alone is good enough then you’re growing in self esteem and self belief.
I have grown my self belief enormously, helped along the way by a wonderful support network but also because I made a conscientious effort to do so.
I still have many moments of doubt – I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t – but I now recognise those moments for what they are and I can employ ways of analysing and dealing with them.
I want to prove that if I could come from a place where I didn’t believe that I could ever cope alone, where I was afraid of the dark and afraid of what other people thought about me – well, anybody else can do it too.
It can’t be one size fits all either although we can all use the same tricks to get where we want to be. To really learn to value yourself and dare I say it, love yourself, you need to go deep and discover your own inherent values, beliefs and mindset.