When I think about “believing” one memory rushes to mind; it was on the Christmas’ morning when my 7-year-old daughter Erica stood on the top of the sofa looking outside the large living room window and yelled “Mom! Look…reindeer footprints.” Her sister Isabel rushed to see them with her 4 years old eyes and marveled at the precious marks on the crispy snow covering the backyard. Instantly, my living room window became a screen larger than the Walt Disney’s movies. Little Mermaid, Pocahontas or Mulan had no chance. My girls’ excitement was contagious!
That’s believing at its best: Inspirational! We hear phrases such as “You can do it,” “Go for it”, and my favorite “Believe in yourself” often enough to really take them in with a pinch of salt. They are great advice, but these don’t tell much. They don’t tell how to do it. How do you go after what you want? How do you know that you can do it?
When you ask people if they believe in themselves, about 100% of the time people will say nonchalantly that they do. But how does one really know? We certainly hope that people do believe in themselves. What believing looks like? When does the shift from hoping that you believe in yourself to knowing absolutely beyond doubt that you do?
I came to understand that there are four ways to really know that you believe in yourself:
People who believe in themselves have a feeling of uneasiness lingering around that pairs off with any big belief. It is that 3 seconds between not knowing and knowing where we stop to check our thoughts and feelings before we are able to affirm. We feel it in our got. The fact that we have to ask ourselves the question usually means that it is important to us. That uncomforting nudge tells us that we care enough and so we continue believing.
People who believe in themselves tend to act on the small impulses that they receive from time to time. It is like there is an invisible force (and there is one) pushing them to take action on ideas they had just a week ago. These impulses are unpredictable and scary at times. But people who believe in themselves feel the fear and take action anyway.
People who believe in themselves experience a number of synchronicities which are really small wins. People show up, doors open, and problems get solved with small efforts. Every so often, a confirmation of your knowing shows up when you need additional fuel to keep going. It also can be things such as seeing 111, 4444 or a license plate that relates to your goal. Some people looking from the outside will dismiss these events or categorize them as luck or coincidence. However, they are the results of the thoughts and emotions of believing.
People who believe in themselves find that they are happy often and easily recover from setbacks. Any positive emotion produces positive thoughts, which produce positive self-talks, which produce actions that produce happiness that fuels believing. Believing produces more happiness. If you are happy, you believe in yourself.
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