How To Believe In Yourself (Even If No One Else Believes In You)

Posted by on Mar 23, 2012 in Personal Development | 27 comments

Do you believe in you?

In his excellent guest post, 4 Beliefs of Successful (and Happy) People, Farouk shared one of the four beliefs is successful people believe in themselves. This lead me to thinking about how to keep believing in yourself , especially if no one else believes in you.

An influential person in my life recently shared a harsh criticism of me. This experience prompted me to write How To Deal With Criticism. While I didn’t agree with his assessment of my abilities, I did temporarily allow his opinion to overshadow my belief in myself. The problem wasn’t that I believed he was right in his opinion, but that I feared continued criticism and for a short time I allowed this to hold me back.

Despite my fear of future criticism, I chose to believe in myself and keep doing my best. I refused to let anyone else’s opinion of my work undermine my honest efforts and the great results I know I can achieve.

Here are a few ways to believe in yourself, even if no one else believes in you:

Align your behavior with your values

Your values are the beliefs about your work and your life that guide your purpose. You may value personal health, community, honesty, development, personal wealth, or business profitability. Whatever you believe in, your core values inform your sense of self.

When you believe in what you’re doing, you believe in yourself. If, on the other hand, your actions are at odds with your core values you will loose faith in yourself at the first sign of rejection.

Align your choices with your intentions

Your intentions are the desired results of your actions; they are your goals. If your goal is to live a healthy life, it’s important to make choices that support your goals.

When your choices are aligned with your intentions, you believe in yourself because you’re clear about where you’re headed, regardless of what anyone else thinks.

Discover other sources of support

If no one you know supports your ideas, you can choose to look elsewhere for support and encouragement. Find people who are working towards similar goals and build relationships with people who share your values and intentions. It’s easier to believe in yourself when you share your purpose and progress with people who are on a related path.

Tell yourself you can

The way we treat yourself has a significant impact on your belief in yourself. Be mindful of the messages you think and say about yourself.

If you tell yourself you can’t do it, it’s likely that you won’t be able to because you believe it’s true. Tell yourself you can do it. Better yet, look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I believe in you!” This exercise may feel awkward and uncomfortable at first but I can tell you from personal experience that it works!

If you are too afraid to try, that is also a message to yourself. Making even one small step in the face of your fear tells yourself you believe in you!

Always do your best

When you know you tried your best, it matters less if things don’t work out the way you wanted. You know there’s nothing you could have done better, and you have the opportunity to learn from the situation to do better next time. Each setback is a building block for future success.

Celebrate your accomplishments

If you focus intently on achieving your goal you may find it harder to believe in yourself until you reach your goal. Instead, you can celebrate your accomplishments along way. Acknowledging your progress builds your confidence. You’re on your way- keep up the good work!

believe in yourself

I love your comments! How do you nurture faith in yourself when no one else seems to believe in you? What keeps you motivated? What inspires you to stay on your path?

Image courtesy of Blissworks Design Company.

27 Comments

  1. Your message…Hi there Chrysta, what an awesome website you have! There is way too much GOOD Positive stuff for me to fairly pick out one or two items that have touched my Heart and mind. You and all that have posted to this site are an inspiration to me at this point in my life. I’m deeply struggling with believing in me as I’m 46 and after a life of blue collar work I’ve gone back to college studying nursing. Nursing is a demanding and tough field of study for me and at times I lose sight of the very thing this dream requires; believing in me! You all have helped re-instill that in me today with your profound wisdom…and I thank you all from the bottom of my Heart :)

  2. I totally agree with all that you have written but I would ask you about exhaustion.

    It is easy to believe in yourself once you know how, but to keep repeating that belief every time that you need it, that is difficult.

    i myself have loving parents and have discovered that a cognitive thinking pattern that I have is the need for approval from my parents. Now Im mid 20′s and only now have I discovered why. While I have ‘achieved’ high in school and every project I have ever done, I have never been believed in by my parents until there is a grade or certificate to show.

    I have now reached the stage where believing in yourself is getting that much harder because time and time again you exhaust your energy in not only believing in yourself but defending/ shielding from negativity that comes from family and friends (i live in a highly opinionated family!). The hardest thing is knowing like a recipe – where you know you will make a mess but the cake will be gorgeous at the end, that you have to wade through all those people who don’t believe in you and their comments just to reach the end result of success.

    I would be interested in what you may have to say about exhaustion and the battle between being able to find the time to believe in yourself while fending off negative comments around you drag you down. one can always suggest ignoring such comments and rising above them, however family are for life, its easier said than done.

    really interesting article, thanks for a good read.

  3. Hi! Your first few points about aligning your actions, goals, intentions, values and choices was just fantastic. It seems so obvious really, yet I still get lost. Thank you for putting something so positive and affirming out there for lost people like me!

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Yui! Don’t worry, I get lost all the time- the awesome thing about life is every moment is an opportunity to redirect and refocus my experience towards the positive! :)

      Have a grateful day!

      Chrysta

  4. One, I think its completely amazing that a year later, this post is still inspiring and motivating people whether they comment or not. I read your post and read through the comments, and a lot of the things you and others said rang true with me.

    Like “It’s not their vision to believe in. So it’s OK if other people won’t get it like the person it was given too.” &
    “I didn’t think very highly of myself and I needed someone else to say they believed in me before I would even try something new. It was only when I started to believe in myself that I realized believing in myself was what I really needed to get started.”

    Those are my favorite thus far. But anyway, I just wanted to say Thank You for writing this. I appreciate it. It motivated and sparked me. I needed that. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about faith and having more of it in God, and then I came upon this. I believe that things happen for a reason. If I don’t learn how to have faith in myself, what faith is on a personal level, how will I ever understand and live in it when it comes to God?

    I love this. Thank you again.

    & have a grateful day! (i love that too) lol

    Samm

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Samm!

      This is exactly the reason I love when readers comment- we share ideas and inspiration that support each other, and everyone who stumbles upon the topic later! And even though I write this blog, I certainly don’t have all the answers- I learn from my readers, too. :)

      You’ve highlighted some wonderful comments that are re-inspiring to me today- especially after I recently took some chances in my professional life. I wouldn’t have been able to try something completely different than what I’ve always done (work full time) if I didn’t believe in myself- if I didn’t believe it was possible to succeed working part time and trying to make money as a freelance writer. But even though I believe in myself some days I still need a boost- what I’m doing is uncharted territory for me! So thanks for commenting today of all days, and giving me a dose of encouragement and inspiration!

      Have a grateful day!

      Chrysta

  5. Your message…

    Thank you for your words of encouragement.

    I have realised that you must hold on to your dreams before they are taken out of your hand by negative people.

    More importantly, I have learnt that your must turn your dreams into action if you want to see any results.

    No matter what other people think, you must follow your heart, learn to depend on only yourself and never compromise your standards.

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Najma!

      Holding on to your dreams and taking action is exactly what happens when we believe in ourselves. What other people think about us or our decisions is far less important than what we think of ourselves.

      I love your point about not compromising our standards- so true!

      Thanks again for stopping by and commenting! Have a grateful day!

      Chrysta

  6. Your message…Thank you for your wonderful massages.

    I believe when we are challenged by others, it
    is when we start listening our inner voices and began to trust in ourselves.Others do not support us because they are afraid of our courage, our dreams, so they push us hard to be like them,stop us from dreaming far for the reason that they themselves are never dare to dream and wrapped up their whole life in fear.
    They fear our differences, our thoughts as our thoughts and differences challenge their conventional way of living.

    When others do not believe in us ,it is the time we should stop looking out there,and looking into ourselves instead.We need to remember that our ancestors had encountered with the same challenges in their times, yet they kept believed in themselves.And the fruits of their dreams living for centuries.
    We must not deny our dreams for those people with limited beliefs.We should know that they are only few.The world and the future awaiting for us.

    monalisa

    • Thanks so much for your awesome comment, Monalisa!

      I love your insight about listening to our inner voice and believe in our courage and dreams. Only I can make my life great. Whatever anyone else thinks, wants, or feels- that is their experience, not mine.

      Have a grateful day!

      Chrysta

  7. All I’ve always wanted was for my mom to be proud of me, I’ve always wanted to further my education but because she doesn’t believe in me, she thinks its a waste of money.

    It hurts even more because I’m the only child @ home, yet she thinks investing in me is a waste of money. That shattered my self-confidence but I’m putting a stop to it.
    Enough is enough. I won’t let anyone stand in my way because I know I will achieve my goals despite the obstacles. I believe in me and most importantly God does. He will never leave nor forsake me. I’m backing up my actions and I’m gonna get my diploma because you know what “I BELIEVE IN ME” and I won’t give up till I get what I what.

    Thanks your blog boosted my confidence!

    • Thanks for your awesome comment!

      I’m so happy my post boosted your confidence and there’s no reason you shouldn’t be confident. We all have mad skills in one area or another, and we all have a lot of unfulfilled potential just waiting to be realized!

      Believing in yourself is more powerful than anyone else believing in you. I sincerely hope you get your education and enjoy every minute of it. You’re worth it! :)

      Have a grateful day!

      Chrysta

  8. hi
    i would say thanks because i didnt believe in myself but as of now i will try using your teachings mrs chrysta but please i often easily go off my purpose as the days go by so what could be of help to me please?

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Mokom!

      I do hope you have been inspired to believe in yourself because you are worth believing in! Living a happy and fulfilled life takes practice, and it comes easier some days than others. I’ve found it helpful to create positive habits of self-care and surround myself with people that are positive and kind. Eventually positive change will come.

      Thanks for stopping by. Please take care of yourself and have a grateful day!

      Chrysta

  9. Great message, Chrysta!

    I agree with Bryce on this one, my friend; tough topic, but a good one nonetheless. You’ve done excellent covering the ways to combat those feelings of inadequacy. We must know and stand on the fact that what we’re doing is making a difference in the lives of those that it needs to make a difference in.

    If we’re giving whatever we’re doing our best shot, and we know that it’s our best; we can’t get distracted when other’s don’t see the vision as it was given to us.

    I’ve reminded myself of this very fact a few times. It’s not their vision to believe in. So it’s OK if other people won’t get it like the person it was given too.

    However, if that person believes in it passionately enough; that fire they are burning will catch hold, and cause other’s to push the vision even further.

    A lot of times, people can’t support us, they’re looking too hard at what we’re going to do next. I think that’s just as good as their believing in us would be. In fact, it’s better! :D
    Deeone Higgs recently posted…Would You Allow Your Gifts to Be Stolen?My Profile

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Deeone!

      I love that you clarified the idea that other people won’t get my vision because it’s my vision. Each of us has our own vision and our own path and that’s a good thing!

      Each of us brings our own unique experience and perspective and that leads to creative problem solving and inspired living!

      Thanks for joining the conversation!

      Have a grateful day!

      Chrysta

    • Love your take on this, I suddenly realised that people don’t have to believe us once we believe then we are able to convince the world. It’s better to work on finding those groups of people that are on the same page as you as their energy will naturally lift you and their contacts could help push you forward. You will always know when you are in the right arena, people celebrate you! You still have to be on your guard though as not everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet. Namaste

      • Thanks for your awesome comment!

        I believe it is those among us that think we need someone else’s approval that struggle to live a happy life because we’re always looking outside ourselves for something we can only find within. That was me, years ago. I didn’t think very highly of myself and I needed someone else to say they believed in me before I would even try something new. It was only when I started to believe in myself that I realized believing in myself was what I really needed to get started.

        I also love your suggestion to surround yourself with people on the same page as you- this has been invaluable for me, too. I may not be able to choose my family, or the people I work with, but I can choose my friends. I can choose to spend personal time with people who are positive, helpful, thoughtful, and progressive. While I must believe in myself, I have also learned no great accomplishment is done alone, and surrounding myself with the right people makes all the difference in the world.

        Thank you for sharing your experience! Have a grateful day!

        Chrysta

        • Thanks for your lovely reply Chrysta, and yes I agree too that its good to stand on your own two feet, believe in yourself and find out what really makes you happy but as you say, there is nothing like being around like minded people as you find the power of being in their company is one that lifts you to higher heights just the same as if you spent time with a negative person who can make you feel low for days. I really don’t believe that us humans are meant to live a life alone, its only when you share, things truely come alive but we just need to make sure that we don’t allow one unfavorable encounter to put us off the search to find not only great people but the greatness within ourselves. Love your blog, a lot of food for the soul here. Keep writing gifted one. Namaste

  10. Yeah that’s a tough one.

    Especially in the internet world, we tend to get drawn into criticism fairly easily.

    But, I think you pretty much covered it all with this excellent post.

    I especially liked the part on values. That’s who we are as a person and we should never feel bad for the values we hold to.

    The problem is with them if they ever criticize you for that reason.

    Thanks,

    Bryce
    Bryce Christiansen recently posted…60 Seconds to Better Communication (Slideshare)My Profile

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Bryce!

      Criticism is more freely shared on the internet, isn’t it? All the more reason it’s important to believe in ourselves and keep doing the right things for us. Anytime I allow myself to get sidetracked worrying about what other people say, think, or do is time I’m not living my best possible life!

      For me, values are really the key to believing in myself. I know that whatever happens I’m doing the best I can do and I am proud of my efforts regardless of the outcome!

      Thanks for joining the conversation! Have a grateful day!

      Chrysta

  11. Hey Chrysta!

    My mom always told me that others will stop believing in you the moment you stop believing in yourself. Though life has been harsh in many ways I have always stuck by the fact that I will make it work for me just by believing in my own capabilities and the fact that someday I will make it all right!
    Hajra recently posted…Better with the lights switched off!My Profile

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Hajra!

      Your mom sounds pretty awesome, too, and I believe she is right- believing in myself comes before others believe in me.

      I spent years waiting to be validated by others and during that time I was really struggling with my life. There were certainly some people that believed in me, and there were many people that didn’t. Unfortunately at the time I believed in what Jon Acuff calls “critics math”. According to Jon, 1 insult + 1,000 compliments = 1 insult.

      Fortunately I moved past that difficult time in my life by creating a better life for myself from the inside-out. Today I take good care of my mental, emotional and physical health, and I recognize I have choices. I believe in myself and I am far less worried about whether or not others believe in me. I’m not perfect, of course, and I don’t expect I will ever be. But I’m just where I need to be, and I’m happy with who I am!

      Thanks for joining the conversation! I admire your wisdom and wit and I’m very happy to get to know you!

      Have a grateful day!

      Chrysta

  12. Although you have it covered in several of your points, it is vital to discern your life philosophy and then live it. This will keep us centered through good and bad times, and it provides a way of life that is built on a solid foundation. When this happens, happiness can grow and survive no matter what life throws at us. It is was give us our core being that powers us forward purposefully and with satisfaction.

    Great thoughts and principles, Chrysta! Thank you.

    Jon
    Jon Mertz recently posted…The Other Side of Stamina – SuccessMy Profile

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Jon!

      I completely agree that being clear about our life philosophy is vital to success, happiness, and health. When I live by my life philosophy, knowing and aligning my life with my values and intentions, I find I am happier, have more fun, and more situations work out in my favor. Of course there are still struggles and challenges, but I am able to get through hard times with less struggle and suffering.

      Thanks for joining the conversation! Have a grateful weekend! :)

      Chrysta

  13. Great advice. I also know that when I am often told NO and I believe in a project, I will work harder!
    Sara Broers recently posted…Wright By The Sea- A Step Back In Time With A Touch Of The 21st CenturyMy Profile

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Sara!

      Yes! I love that motivation that comes when I believe in a project and encounter resistance then redouble my efforts blow the naysayers away! In the end I find it doesn’t really matter if I change anyone’s mind about my project when I am proud of the work I did. My confidence in myself is worth far more than anyone else’s opinion.

      Happy Friday! Have a grateful day!

      Chrysta

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