Self-belief is arguably the most essential ingredient for aspiring achievers to generate results in their lives.
The greater a person’s self-belief, the more they will be able to access their potential. The more access a person has to their potential, the more they will be inclined to take the kinds and qualities of action required to generate their desired results.
Action is the cure-all. Action is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to getting results. But if your self-belief is limiting your potential, your actions will limit the results you are producing.
People who struggle with self-belief may argue that they were not gifted with high levels of self-belief as a result of their upbringing or some other unfortunate challenge.
Others may argue that all their attempts at succeeding have failed and consequently lost whatever self-belief they once had.
Undoubtedly, some people have had advantageous circumstances and environments that have allowed their self-belief to thrive.
But we cannot use that as an excuse or way to excuse our less-fortunate selves from taking responsibility for recreating self-belief that we too can take advantage of to generate new results in our lives.
Before we get to the 5 Pillar Self-Belief Matrix, let’s explore how we create both positive and negative self-belief in our lives.
Think of a belief as a tabletop supported by the table legs. We call the table legs “references.” The more of these table legs or “references” the tabletop or the belief has, the stronger it will be.
When we first have an experience that has the potential to develop into a belief, for example, we are laughed at in school for giving a talk, which forms the first reference leg of the belief.
If we have another experience where our ability to speak is brought into question, that forms the next reference leg.
Soon enough, we start actively looking for references to support our initial reference, even if the circumstances are remotely related.
In the same way, we can dismantle any belief if we begin to shake the reference legs of the belief. We can do this by asking ourselves strategic questions about the belief.
Very often we have simply accepted beliefs that were handed down to us that don’t necessarily serve us. These are especially the kinds of self-belief that we need to question!
Here is the 5 pillar self-belief matrix, 5 reference legs to build so that you can begin immediately to turn the results in your life around!
We don’t do what we can in life, we do what we believe we are. So who do you believe you are? Very often we make statements about ourselves that qualify or disqualify us. These statements usually begin with “I am…”
Your identity reveals itself by whatever you are committed to and your commitment is a statement of what is in or not in your life.
You may be thinking at this point, “well yes, I do identify with a limited self-belief, that is why I am in this position.”
My answer to that is that the past does not equal the future and you should not be loyal to a previous version of yourself. Every moment that passes is a previous version of yourself and you cannot afford to think of yourself as that person any longer!
Instead, you should be authentic! Authenticity means being loyal to the future version of yourself, not your current self.
Your “I am..” Statements, the statements you say to yourself about yourself, are the most powerful statements that govern your behaviours.
They should be based on the person you are becoming, not on who you are or have been. When you begin to identify with a greater future self, you begin to make decisions based on a bigger, better version of yourself.
If you have not already, you must create a vision for who you would like to be and what you want in your future.
What sort of self-belief would your future self have to embrace to bring that vision to life? Begin to make all of your decisions from your future self’s perspective!
Your goals shape your identity. Your identity shapes your actions and your actions shape who you are and who you are becoming!
Most of us have an emotional home. It is either an empowering or a disempowering emotional state that we have embraced either consciously or unconsciously.
It is very difficult to build self-belief if you are living consistently in a disempowered emotional state.
The other challenge is that living in a consistent emotional state, whatever that is, becomes part of who you are. Your identity. And who you think you are affecting your decisions about what you can and cannot do.
For many years I lived in a state of anxiety and depression. I remember how difficult it was for me to make any meaningful progress. Every time I decided to take some form of positive action, my anxiety and depression would shoot me down.
Fortunately, I learned to turn this around by becoming
Visualisation has gained a huge amount of popularity in recent times mainly because of studies that show that the brain cannot distinguish between a real and a vividly imagined event.
If you have struggled with self-belief in certain areas of your life, simply visualising yourself doing what you struggle to do will prepare your mind by giving it an experience of being successful.
People complain that they are unable to maintain their mental focus to visualise. I think it goes a lot deeper than that! I think it is a question of actually believing that visualisation is a worthy investment of their time!
Visualisation is kind of like meditation. You have to discipline yourself to lie or sit still and focus for at least 5-10 minutes. Not an easy ask at a time when distractions, both mental and environmental are at an all-time high and mental focus is at an all-time low!
I have found 4 ways to make visualisation an integral and exciting part of my daily life.
Firstly, I stack it onto another habit that has transformed my life.
Every morning without fail, I do 2-3 rounds of Wim Hof Breathwork. After I have completed these “rounds,” my body feels like it is floating and is completely relaxed.
Secondly, because I have allocated the time adequately and it is early in the morning, I don’t feel the need to rush off to anything else. I am very careful not to look at my email or any other form of communication before my visualisation that might distract me or give me a sense of urgency.
Thirdly, the breath work puts me into a very powerful emotional state. Whatever stresses I am feeling seem to dissipate. So in this state, I can feel very positive about the practice.
Lastly, because I have defined a very powerful, compelling, and exciting vision for my life I am excited to live “as if” in the reality of the visualisation of those moments.
During my visualisation practice I don’t just focus on the vision I will create. I also focus on visualising myself taking the actions in the days ahead to bring the vision to life.
By the time I get to doing something that is challenged by my self-belief, I have visualised my way through it dozens of times. Because my brain can’t distinguish between what is vividly imagined and what is real, it makes taking the action much easier!
Bodybuilder, movie star, and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger said that before he became Mr. Olympia, he had won the competition a thousand times in his head.
Similarly, before achieving movie stardom, he had visualised himself thousands of times becoming the highest-paid star in Hollywood. He did the same thing for his political aspirations.
Success leaves clues! Anything that you are challenged by has been overcome by and dealt with by someone else. In most cases, these people have come from more challenging circumstances than what we have to deal with!
The internet has made it incredibly easy to find these role models. You are a keystroke away from finding out what made it possible for someone with a similar self-belief pattern as yours to overcome it.
Roger Banister, who was the first man in history to break the one-minute mile in running was a great example of the power of role models.
Before he broke the record, it was considered humanly impossible. Yet in the year after he broke the record, 35 other people also broke it!
When you have a small win or a series of small wins, you start to build self-belief. So it becomes important to find ways to represent even the smallest things as a win and to treat the rest as learning.
This is sometimes difficult for aspiring achievers because they are so hard on themselves. They don’t see anything short of spectacular as a win. But when you begin to count the small wins and recognise “failures” simply as feedback, everything begins to shift.
Using these 5 pillars of self-belief to build up your own self-belief will help you to access much deeper levels of your potential.
Being able to tap into your potential without being held back by your self-belief will free you to be bold and courageous with your behaviours and actions.
And as we all know, it is your consistent behaviours and actions that ultimately determine your success!
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Michael Rodd Life Transformation Coach, Umhlanga, KZN, South Africa
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