How to Genuinely Believe In Yourself
I believe in you.
I know a lot of self-help gurus like to say this in a patronizing way. You can picture them with the cheesy grin on their face “I believe in you!” “You can do it!”
Well, if you’ve been reading my stuff for any period of time you know that’s not how I get down.
See, when I say I believe in you, I’m not saying I think you can do anything you put your mind to. I don’t think that, at all.
I have a chapter about this in my new book about this, actually. There is a wide range of things you simply can’t do no matter how much you put your mind to them. And that’s okay.
There’s also a wide range of things you can do if you put your mind to them. If you stick to those, you can have a successful life. By successful, I mean successful by your standards.
You can have a life you love without having to be rich, famous, exceptionally gifted, or any of the other things we usually equate with the word success.
You can simply be mentally free. Regardless of your level of talent, if you believe in yourself enough, you can free your mind to understand that you can live freely and construct a life where you more or less get to do whatever the hell you want.
If you find a job you’re excited to go to every day, you’re doing what you want, even if you’re not some rich entrepreneur. If you start a business, but not a million-dollar business, and you like doing it, you’re free.
Hell, if you let go of the idea that you need to have 100 percent control over your time to be free, then you’re also free.
Believing in yourself is really about believing the narrative that makes the most sense to you, deep down. You shouldn’t want what society wants and you also shouldn’t want what I want. You should want what you want.
Sure, figuring out what you really want can be a little bit of a cumbersome process, but deep down, you kind of know.
You just don’t feel like you can pull it off…yet.
I say yet because you’re still here reading things like this, searching for answers, and at least open to the idea of a future where you finally follow through and act on all the whispers in the back of your mind.
But then…you still…have to believe in yourself.
There’s no perfect answer that can force you into action, but here’s one important thing to understand. All those people you look up to…the people you think are so great and god-like…they’re human beings. They bleed the same blood as you do. They poop. They’re anxious sometimes. They bicker with their in-laws. They’re worried about whether or not they’re a fraud. They get stuck in traffic. They laugh, cry, procreate, love, get hurt, and go through all the same shit you do. The only difference? They’re able to sift through all of that and still focus on their mission.
While some people have more talent than others in certain areas, we all go through the struggles of being humans. Even celebrities, deep down, are normal people. They just happen to live abnormal lives.
Get this idea out of your head that successful people have some trait your incapable of having yourself. Again, talent varies, but we all have the latent ability to apply ourselves in areas that suit our aptitudes.
If you understand your role really really well and just play it…you’ll be wildly successful by your own standards.
Honestly, I’m not that good at a ton of different things. But I’ll readily admit, I’ve always been more naturally talented at writing, communicating, and impromptu speaking than most other people I come across. I’m mentally quick and adaptable. I probably have an above-average level of intelligence. Book smarts, mind you. There are many, many, many types of intelligence. I just lean into the strengths I have. That’s it.
You’re not me. You’re not the co-worker you’re jealous of. You’re not Oprah, Steve Jobs, the CEO of your company, a professional athlete, your successful relative, you’re not anyone else but you. You have to be you. So…just be you. Max out on what you have. Be the CEO of You Inc. You have plenty.
The minute you align yourself to who you truly are deep down instead of who you wish you were, you’re good to go. You’re congruent.
The more congruency you create in your life, the easier it will be to become successful, and the more you’ll believe in yourself. Your belief in yourself will also grow over time. You’ll lean into your talents, reach some milestones, and then understand that you’re even more capable than you thought. Then, you’ll continue to grow and understand that while your ceiling might be lower than others, you’re still nowhere near the surface of it.
You know what level of talent you have deep down. Think about how your life would be if you really, really, really maxed out your gifts.
Picture yourself right now with the level of innate talent you were born with but a relentless work ethic to go with it.
Imagine what you’d be like with that same talent level but you knew you would succeed and you weren’t scared to fail. You’d get scary good and scary successful. And you know it.
Why? Because you already believe in yourself. You know what you’re capable of. Turning that energy from potential to kinetic is where the rubber meets the road.
I know you can do it.
I believe in you.
It’s my sincerest wish that, over time, you believe in yourself, too.
Ayodeji is the author of You 2.0 — Stop Feeling Stuck, Reinvent Yourself, and Become a Brand New You. Want a free copy of my first book? Get it here.