Our ability to achieve goals is usually decided in the level of self belief that we have. If we do not believe that we can achieve success, why should we expect others to believe in us as well? Self-belief is one of the single most important things that we can have and develop in life.
If we are to see success in any part of our life, true success, then we need to be able to believe that it can be done. Everyone can set goals, setting goals is the easy part. The ability to achieve them however, will come down to the level of planning that we have put in, and the level of belief that we have in ourselves to see that plan to fruition.
Health and fitness can be an incredibly tricky part of life in which to have great levels of self belief.
Because, more often than not, we are trying to:
- Lift a weight we have never lifted.
- Run a distance we have never run.
- Get down to a weight we cannot remember being.
- Fit in to clothes that we haven’t in years.
How are we supposed to believe in our ability to get something done that we have never done before?
It takes practice. It takes determination. It takes hundreds and hundreds of small wins that all accumulate in to that big win.
Below, we have put together a list of tools and ideas that will empower you to believe in yourself. They will help you achieve success that you are more than capable of.
Visualise and Reaffirm
It is incredibly common to set fantastic and inspiring goals for ourselves and unfortunately miss them. A big reason for this could be the inability to connect the gap between where we are now with where we want to be in the future.
A great tool to help grow levels of self belief in regards to our goals is to develop a mental image of exactly where we would like to be. It should then be our aim to continually reaffirm this image to yourself.
Questions to ask yourself include:
- How does it feel?
- What can I now do that you couldn’t before?
- How has my life changed?
- What emotions can I attach to the achieving of this goal?
Questions like these help to create a wonderful mental image of your goal. If you constantly referred back this image it will enable you to gain clarity on where you are heading. As a result, you will gain a high level of self confidence in your ability to get there.
Mental clarity around your goals will turn a wish into a plan of action. Once we can visualise where we want to be, we are more likely to be able to work towards achieving these goals with great motivation.
Face Your Fears
Our self confidence grows with experience. This is equally applicable in our ability to overcome obstacles.
If you think of a few different examples of the first time you did something and compare that to how you feel about it now you, would you say that your level of confidence towards it has improved?
Activities such as:
- Driving a car?
- Cooking a new meal?
- Going for a job interview?
- Meeting new people?
All of the above probably seemed nearly impossible the first time you did them. Over time however, self confidence in the task improved and it became easier and easier.
There is no reason why this mentality cannot transfer over to our own personal self-belief with health and fitness.
If you do not believe in yourself or your ability to achieve a goal, you simply need to put a plan in place in order to get there and work hard to achieve it.
Were you perfect at driving the first time? No. Are you better (and more confident) now? Most likely.
If it intimidates you, do it! You will grow in self belief as a result.
Set Yourself Up to Win
Failure to achieve a goal can lead to a drop in self belief.
“I didn’t achieve it, so I must not be good enough.”
It is a perfectly natural response.
So how do we counteract this?
A great way to counteract this is to set yourself up to win from the beginning. This will ensure that failure is not an option. This simply comes down to planning and preparation.
Maybe you are thinking;
“I have this huge goal of running a half marathon but I do not think I cannot achieve it”
It is a big goal, there is no doubt about it. If you tried to run a half marathon immediately would you achieve it? Probably not.
If you create and execute a training plan specifically designed to get you across the line would you achieve it? Probably.
Every step along the way gains a level of self confidence that ensures come race day, there is no doubt in your mind that you will succeed.
This process works for fitness, finance, studying, business, health and just about everything else. Set yourself up to win from the beginning and your self belief will be unshakable.
Challenge Your Inner Critic
More often than not we are our harshest critics. We are much harder on ourselves than anyone else would care to be.
How is it possible to have a high level of self belief when we are constantly telling ourselves that we are not good enough, our efforts are not good enough and we will not succeed?
Negative thoughts are perfectly natural. How we deal with them however, is of the highest importance.
If we reaffirm the negative we will never achieve a positive. If we constantly reaffirm the positive, then the negative will be squeezed out of focus.
A few tools to deal with the inner critic include:
Challenge the thoughts.
The same way we would stick up for and challenge someone for saying those things to us, a friend or family member; we should also challenge ourselves:
- Where did this come from?
- Was it deserved?
- I am not this because of…
Create a list of things that make you awesome:
- What are some successes I have had?
- What are some obstacles that I have overcome?
- What are a few reasons that I am proud myself?
If you can cancel out your inner critic with some positive affirmations, you will create a positive mindset that will help you gain a great level of self belief.
Self belief takes time!
It is a constant that we must work on to achieve success. Keep at it, enjoy the process and you will see a positive change that is well worth it.
*Please note that there is a difference between inner critic and self accountability. One is telling you that you (or your efforts) are not good enough, the other is keeping you on track when you didn’t do something that you said you would.
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