I am about to change my life. My inner cheer-leader is finally going to be louder than my inner critic. I am going to extend the kindness I show to those around me, inward. I am going to turn around my struggle with self belief.
Because the wonderful thing about beliefs is that they can be changed. I can alter the way I think about things. I can change my perspective.
Here are the things I am going to turn around to increase my self belief. Maybe you want to turn them around as well.
Changing my attitude to failure. When people who have achieved success talk about their journey they always mention the the failures. Often it’s a bit too glib for my liking – “Nos are just stepping-stones on the path to yes.” “Fail often. Fail fast.” “Don’t be scared of failure. Be scared of not trying”. And so on. The thing is, failure and disappointment bite. Sometimes it’s not so easy to dust the dirt off your hands, get up and keep going. Often when I am faced with disappointment I will enter a bitter downward spiral. I will end up my convincing myself I am utterly worthless and should give up. This needs to stop. If I enter a writing or blogging competition, and don’t win or final, it’s not the end of the world. But if I don’t enter those competitions I am letting opportunities pass by. If I pitch an idea to a potential client, and they don’t take me up on it, nothing particularly tragic is going to happen. But if I don’t pitch to potential clients, I may miss out some amazing opportunities. In all cases, the cost of doing it and falling short is much less than the opportunity cost of not doing it. I just need to work on my resilience and my kindness to myself.
Learning what failure actually is. I think I am too quick to see failure. I see failure when I change direction. When in reality I am refining what it is I truly want to do. I see failure when I don’t meet a harsh deadline or expectation I set on myself. In reality, I have set myself up to fail and the only person being impacted by that so-called failure is myself. I see failure when my beginning does’t look like someone else’s middle. I see failure when baby steps are being taken and I want giant strides. My tendency towards perfection is creating failures where none really exist. I am going to patient, understand that a winding path is okay and redefine what failure looks like to me.
Seeing collaboration rather than competition. Ever had a fabulous idea only to find someone else has beaten you to it? Or worse, finding out that you are being imitated? Thought that you had a neat little niche only to realise that it was actually rather crowded? Maybe rather than seeing competition and a dead-end, it’s an opportunity to meet and collaborate with like-minded people. I know it’s not always an option, but when you find someone with a similar dream and passion, surely talking about what you might create together, rather than facing off as competitors, works out better for everyone? Pip Lincolne wrote a fabulous piece about just this thing: Why collaboration is better than competition.
Curating inspiration rather than envy. There was a time when I would religiously buy every fashion magazine on the newsstand. I would clip out the clothes I particularly liked. Not because I thought Prada or Dolce and Gabbana would be featuring in my wardrobe any time soon, but because I liked the way a sleeve was set or a neckline was cut. I collated those cut-outs as inspiration for my own sewing. Nowadays, I sew less and read more magazines featuring entrepreneurial types living the dream. I am in awe, in envy and heavily aware of my own inadequacies. Rather than choosing that feeling, I am going to approach those stories as I used to look at those designer gowns. What can I take from this that I can learn from, be inspired by and weave into my own life?
Banking my self-belief. If I step away from the hustle of every day living, and reflect on some of the things I have done, some of the things I have survived, I realise that I can do extraordinary things. But I don’t do that very often. I think it’s useful to think about what we have achieved in our lives. It allows us to realise what we can achieve in the future. And it gives us a cushion when the blow of failure lands.
Being aware of manifestation. I remember being quite young and starting to read adult novels. I would be delighted whenever I came across a new word or phrase. And then suddenly, that word or phrase would be everywhere. I became hyper-aware of it. In the same way, when I was pregnant, it seemed like there were pregnant bumps and little babies everywhere I turned. The other day someone told me that I was on the edge of success and that I would be noticing a lot of people succeeding in that area. That I should see that as a sign of good things coming and resist any leaning towards jealousy and apathy. Perhaps it’s all a bit woo-woo, but seeing something good happen to someone-else and thinking “How fabulous for them, I think that good things are going to happen for me too” is a much nicer thought than “Bitch. When’s anything good going to happen to me?”
Just doing it. Ideas are wonderful things aren’t they? I feel like I am brimming full of great ideas. But an idea without execution really means nothing. I need to seize the ideas that I am truly passionate about and work out how to turn them into reality. The magic lies in the action that takes the dream to reality. And believing I am completely capable of taking that action.