Self belief. The illusive ‘must have’ to build a successful life.
You can’t put self belief on like you can a killer outfit, and you can’t paint your face with self belief like you can ‘go get ’em’ make up. AND you can’t release self belief into your blood stream like you can endorphins with the big bar of chocolate on a Friday night, or a great Sunday morning run, or a work out mid-week.
Self belief doesn’t come from doing. It doesn’t come from the outside of you. It belongs within you. You can’t fake it.
Self belief is a knowing within you, an inner smile of confidence, it is patience with yourself for the right time to act, it is a gentle determined motivation that encourages your competitive nature. What I mean here is, your inner competition to be be the best version of you that you can be.
Self belief is the one thing that will get you through the toughest times, and is something quite unique to you. The way you believe in yourself is yours, no one else will ever experience it or understand it. It is absolutely yours.
When you believe in yourself you don’t need to compare yourself to others, why would you? You know you are unique, special, and connected.
When you believe in yourself your inner critic is quiet, you don’t tell yourself off for non-achievement, you understand you are a work in progress, a ‘Mona Lisa’ in the making, becoming with every brush stroke of living.
When you believe in yourself, you never give up, you are determined on your path and open to possibilities, you know everything is available to you, if it is not working you know there is something better out there waiting for you.
Years ago, I found myself alone. I’d left my 18 year long marriage, walked away from what looked like a successful life, we were wealthy, we lived in a beautiful house, travelled for 3 months of the year, had profitable businesses, friends and lived a ‘high’ life. Or thats what it looked like from the outside. I left, with a suitcase, my son and my dog. At the time I didn’t even have a bank account in my own name (looking back I can totally see how I gave every ounce of personal power away). All my friends back then said I was absolute crazy, they thought I’d had a breakdown, instead of a breakthrough. I faced huge criticism at every turn and it was the beginning of 7 years of challenge. But in my heart I had a strong sense that I had to do this. I believed in myself, in my ability to find out who I was and to build a life that I loved to live.
One of the first jobs I got offered was a photographic modelling job. I’d signed up with ‘Ugly’ (pardon the pun) modelling agency. An agency for women of a certain age (read over 35). I was looking for ways of earning income, and this one landed in my lap. My first casting was for library shots for a bank. I arrived at the audition, it was pouring with rain outside, so my hair had got a huge ‘frizz’ on, my make-up blurred by the raindrops and I had the end of a cold so my nose looked like rudolph the reindeer. AND, the waiting room was full of gorgeous women all waiting to be interviewed. The brief read ‘inner knowing’.
Now, I had/have this. It is a real gift in me. I am clair-cognitive, my intuitive guidance is strong and I recognise it and act upon it and it has never led me along the wrong road. I heard it then “Sarah, you know you can do this”, said the neutral voice of my Higher Self and I knew in my bones that I could.
I got the job, and the rest is history. I didn’t listen to my self doubt, the inner voice telling me off for not wearing a hat as well as carrying my umbrella (that’s my inner critic, a shadow aspect that is strong in me). I didn’t listen to my inner perfectionist telling me my blurred make-up would put me out of the game, nor did I listen to my loudest inner voice telling me I should have stayed ant home, in my marriage and that I was seriously ungrateful for all that I had already. (This voice is my culturally learned ‘should have’ voice).
Being able to fully lean into your own self belief means overcome self doubt. Lets face it, self doubt hits us all at some time in our lives. I have come to the understanding that it is at its loudest when you are about to expand your boundaries and step towards your potential, that best version of you that you can be.
Self doubt is the voice of your unconscious, the place where all of your lived experiences are stored. Your unconscious, or shadow as Carl Jung called it, is responsible for your survival and governs a large part of your behaviour. It holds your unconscious beliefs around who you are and what you can do. A lot of these beliefs are learned, conditioned, taken from your parents, friends, grand parents, teachers and our culture.
Perhaps you remember a parent too busy with earning a living to spend time with you. Or your annoying sibling that seemed ‘perfect’, or the teacher telling you that your creative writing was awful, even though you had put your heart into every word. Perhaps you remember times when you hid your talents for fear of being different, or said nothing in case you upset somebody in your circle with your views. All of these memories underpin the idea that you are not good enough and make the voice of your self doubt louder and louder.
Self belief overcomes this, it is about knowing you have value and are worthy and are loved more than you can ever know. It is about not needing approval from a parental figure, it is about knowing in the very core of your being that you are the co-creator of your life and you can and will build something that allows the joy of life to bubble and expand in you.
Self belief is the pre-requisite of success, after all, in your life, if not you, then who?