While listening to positive people, reading motivational books, and chatting in encouraging Facebook groups is nice, ultimately you have to foster a positive belief in yourself. You have to write the good news. This is the second phase of the Replace step. Step one was to Surround Yourself With Positivity, which was outside influence. Now, replace your negative beliefs with positive ones, which is an inside job.
Belief is there inside you somewhere. It’s what gave you the idea to do this thing to begin with. Then doubt took over with its team of henchmen. Doubt may be big, and intimidating, and loud, but belief has a stronger work ethic. Belief can overcome doubt, but you have to let it.
The thing about doubt is that you will find no limit to its resources. Doubt has a big team and a bigger cheering squad. Once it gets in, you will find evidence of its truth everywhere. You will start to believe that you can’t. Doubt may have a bigger team, but belief is stronger.
Doubt is often so sneaky that you don’t realize it’s there. It likes to masquerade as logic or practicality. Often our dreams aren’t very practical. It’s easy to invent reasons why you won’t be able to achieve them. Or worse, shouldn’t go after them. So we stay in our safe, practical, unfulfilling position thinking we are being responsible. In this way, we are left with what if’s and unfulfilled potential. It’s when the what if’s become more powerful than the doubt that you being to realize you are holding yourself back.
How do you win the struggle against doubt? The first step is identifying it when it creeps up on you. This time last year I was just thinking about maybe getting this blog rolling. Did anyone want to hear what I had to say? Who would care about what I was writing? Who am I to talk to people about mindset and personal development? I don’t even have all of my poop in a group, how can I encourage someone else to get theirs together? These thoughts kept me from writing for months. Then I just shut them out and started writing regardless of what others thought of me. Now, when doubt starts to sneak in, I can identify it and stop it in its tracks before it does any real harm.
Below are some tried and true ways to nurture belief and help it grow. Try them out to see which is right for you. I suggest practicing meditation every day and then add the rest. Don’t worry if these seem awkward at first. Was learning how to ride a bike easy? I’m guessing it was pretty awkward at first but you eventually got it, didn’t you? Give these methods a fair chance and see where they take you.
Sometimes it just takes being quiet long enough to hear the little voice. Meditation is helpful in this way. To just be quiet for a few minutes and listen to the inner workings of myself allows me to hear what my truth is actually saying. Not what it should say. Not what I want it to say. When I am quiet and listen with an open heart and mind, I hear what my inner voice is actually saying.
The idea is not to be able to sit for hours. Even just 5 minutes is great for beginners. Focus on your breath and every time your mind starts wandering, come back to your breath. We’re not trying to be sacred yogis on a hill here, we’re just trying to figure out what our subconscious already knows.
For some people, affirmations work well. This is talking to yourself. You can talk to yourself in the mirror to motivate yourself in the morning or celebrate yourself at night, or both. You can repeat a mantra throughout the day. You can place sticky notes all over to remind yourself of your intentions and goals and achievements.
The more you hear something, the more likely you will be to believe it. That is why negative thoughts are so detrimental. If you tell yourself over and over that you are terrible at something you will be terrible at it. “I’m terrible with time,” yep, you sure are. “I can’t push myself any harder or I’ll puke,” I’m guessing you will either slow down or puke. On the other hand, if you say, “I’ve got this!” You probably got this!
There is a never-ending range of things you can do to remind yourself to think you are awesome. The cool thing about this is that you can start with one thing and it may evolve into something else as your unconscious manipulates it. Be open to changing your direction. What you thought was your purpose might only be the start of something bigger.
Something that is on pretty heavy rotation in personal development circles in right now is vision board construction. Everyone is creating a vision board. I even made one on Pinterest. These can help you visualize what you want and where you are going. The challenge here is deciding what you want and where you are going. It’s nice to paste pictures to a board, but without clarity, it doesn’t really mean anything. So, I would recommend starting a meditation practice first, get real with yourself, then create the vision board.
These exercises are just the beginning of your path to success. You will need to rinse and repeat several times before you get where you are going. Once you have the skills, though, it gets easier.
If you find this useful, there’s a good chance your friends will, too. Share this with your friends right away while you are thinking of it. Thanks for reading!