Validation. We are constantly seeking validation of our worth. This drive for approval prevents us from truly accepting ourselves and getting to a place of confidence and ultimate self-belief.
If you want to live a life of significance, you must be willing to forego your biological desire for validation and instead get to a place of acceptance of self and cultivate an unwavering belief that you are destined for greatness, regardless of your current circumstance.
How many dreams are crushed each year? You start off on an endeavor filled with excitement, enthusiasm and hope. Then, as you start the journey you receive negative feedback, which creates an internal dialogue of self criticism and eventually, that excitement disappears and you move on to something else. Instead of staying on the path of significance, you follow the less treacherous path and conform.
In that moment, part of you becomes broken and if you don’t do anything about it, you may live your entire life like this — never knowing what could have been. Never knowing what your potential could have unleashed.
All because you allowed the opinion of others to shape your destiny.
This is the path that most people take and it’s easy to see why. I don’t care who you are, we are biologically wired to deeply care about what other people think. Our ability to form groups played a huge part in our dominance on this planet. We were weaker, slower and more fragile than other species yet we survived . Why? Because of our social/group systems.
These same systems however, have a nasty side as well. Someones opinion can make or break you.
Just look at when you post something on facebook. You likely refresh the page to see how many likes the picture received, or how many comments. You are constantly validating yourself over and over based on what others think.
There is a place for getting feedback but it should only play a small part. It should help you refine your tactics, it should motivate you to improve, it should not determine whether you GIVE UP.
One only has to look at history. What if Albert Einstein decided to give up on physics? He tried to find a job throughout Europe and sent out hundreds of applications and was rejected by everyone. That is why he took a job as a patent clerk. For years he would send letters to universities seeking a position and all he knew was rejection. Most people would have given up but he didn’t because there was a belief inside of him that was much bigger than the opinions of others.
What if Elon Musk gave up? When he wanted to create an electric vehicle he was laughed at by the auto industry. No one thought he could do it. When he wanted to make space flight cheaper it was thought impossible. Entire industries were against him, yet he prevailed. His belief in self was greater than the belief of others, so he stayed the course. That belief allowed him to overcome challenges and ultimately lead to his success.
You must make a choice, you are either going to believe in yourself, regardless of what anyone else thinks, or you are going to allow the external world to decide what kind of life you live.
You are so much bigger than a feeling, a persons opinion, a problem… when you start to believe in yourself, you see how small those things are in comparison to who you are.
But you have to start somewhere. Your entire life you have used other peoples praise or reprimands as a compass. You were told you were gifted and smart as a child because you received an A on a test. You then get a B and start to believe you are not smart, not gifted.
STOP allowing others to impact who you are and what you are capable of.
The formula for creating a new belief is simple. Give the new belief attention for a long enough period of time and it will become part of your hard-wiring.
Exercise to Improve Your Confidence and Belief in Self.
- Remind yourself of your inner potential every day.
Make it a habit to remind yourself throughout the day what you are capable of. An easy place to start is every time you get in your car, talk to yourself. I am great, I am talented, I am destined for greatness, I can do anything I put my mind to. You don’t have to say it aloud, just think it, the key is consistency. Put a sticky note in your car that just says “Remember”. If you do this for several weeks, I promise you, you will start to notice subtle differences about your attitude.
- Remember your past.
We often forget all of the great things we have accomplished in the past. Start to remember past events that were difficult that you overcame. Maybe it was a work project or difficulty with a friend or a conversation you didn’t want to have, but you did it and became better for it. Remembering your past victories can help elevate your confidence and belief in self. Start journaling in the morning or at lunch or before bed and just use that space to remember some past accomplishments. A simple way to start is by asking yourself the following question: What are some challenges or difficulties I have overcome in the past 6 months?