Do you have the self-belief?

Self-belief is having the confidence in your ability to achieve your goals.

What happens if your self-belief gets a hit so hard that you begin to question ‘your why’, or if other things in life take over, what happens when your world changes in a split second and you have to re-evaluate everything?

What now?

If you have experienced something like this and understand what I’m talking about then it’s important to also know that these feelings, questions are another challenge for you to overcome. Another reason for you to back yourself and prove to yourself that you’re doing the right thing.

Today I received a call from someone whom I’ve known for roughly 6 years. I’ve had the pleasure to work with him and as a result that working relationship along with the respect we both have for each other formed a great friendship. This phone call was the catalyst for me to get back to blogging, and open myself up to ridicule, support, positivity, negativity as well as simply sharing my thoughts, suggestions, ideas, and experiences with others. While my views and scribbles are not everyone’s cup of tea, I may help or influence 1 person. And even if that isn’t the case, so be it.

I noticed this approach by listening to Tim Ferries. An incredible person who uncovers the drive within others and learns from their experiences and focus which has helped them reach a level within their field of expertise. His podcast The Tim Ferris Experiment is exceptional and I’ve recently purchased his book “The Four Hour Week”. The success of his podcast is not down to focusing on topics that appeal to everyone but providing content that appeals to some of one group, and other content that appeals to the rest of his fans, breaking them into segments and giving people a choice. While I’m not Tim Ferris, nor do I wish to be, all I hope my blogging does is provide some perspective and another point of view.

Which leads me onto self-belief, where I started. For me, self-belief is a skill and like all skills, it needs time and practice. The more you repeat the better and more natural it becomes and the more belief you have. Like everything worth achieving, it takes time, effort and support from those who are around you. A pat on the back just to say “good job” or “keep it going” goes such a long way. What’s more, it is repetition, at the start, you may not know where this road is leading you, but if you stay true to you while adapting and learning along the way, you’ll eventually get there.

Simon Sinek has captured the world in a way that truly inspires others to understand more about themselves and understanding their why. His ability to inspire others, or help people build their self-belief so they can follow their dreams is a great motivator. Start with Why.

We live in a world now that enables people to rain down negativity on others, especially those in their fledgeling years of real life experiences.

Remember, that was you not so long ago.

And that’s the thing, real world experiences are instrumental in forming our identity. Getting fired, losing someone close to you, getting dropped from a sports team, breaking up with someone, being unemployed, or winning, earning respect from your peers, focusing on those who inspire you. The list for both sides is endless, however, all these touch points and moments help shape each person’s uniqueness. Help build your self-belief.

How much value do you have? To have self-belief, learn to value those things that are important. Value is not how much money in your account, for me, value comes from experience and the knowledge you gain from people and surroundings, learning, trying, failing, trying again, maybe failing but in a new way. This becomes your social currency. John Kavanagh has become famous amongst a far wider audience than mixed martial arts fans, through his approach to MMA and life. You either win or learn. Failing or losing is an opportunity to learn, to re-write the playbook and go again, and keep going until it works. By trying, you’re opening your world up to failure which is far more influential than success. Nobody likes failing which in turns helps drive you forward and challenging helping to reaffirm your self-belief.

Think of your favourite sports team and their recent trophy or win. The result is the victory, however, the losses or failures in the years building up to the victory are priceless and arguably the ultimate driving factor. Experiencing losses helps you learn individually and as a team.

Or if you travelled the world and found yourself in precarious situations, either by stupidity or unfortunate circumstances, you take all those experiences home and use them as your social currency. Your stories are your currency, let’s just hope you’re a natural storyteller. 🙂

Self-belief is essentially putting you as the favourite and placing all your possessions on you. I’m lucky enough to have a great network of friends, incredible girlfriend and I work with a number of people in various walks of life. Supporting a family business, working in the advertising industry, coaching rugby and friendships, opening doors to so many different individuals. Having an opportunity to engage with and learn from each one. Taking their experiences, stories and knowledge, filtering the relevant parts and applying them to my life.

Within advertising our opportunity is to encourage action. Our clients are our partners because their work is a reflection on us. So we encourage our partners to stand out in a world that is available to audiences at the touch of a button. To do this requires bravery and self-belief from our team and our partners who ultimately hold the purse strings. I’ve yet to find someone who goes into their job wanting to fail or lose, the complete opposite, in fact, is the case. People want and are willing to what it takes to succeed. Those who are afraid, to take a risk in fear of what their boss will say, even if they know it’s right is a major barrier to overcome. So why hold tight and say nothing? A brand or employee who stays safe eventually get’s passed out. Self-belief is revealed in positive actions, not with negativity or fear, but focus, confidence, and desire to win or learn. Recently Anchor in New Zealand pushed the boundaries with their approach to a milk category that was losing ground because of new fads and false comments about dairy. You’ll hear a piece which is straight to the point, no BS, no pretence just straight up facts, ad it’s paying off.

As I mentioned my professional and private life is full, which is just what I like. From a family business point of view, I have experience watching my parents fight and fight for what they believe in. Doing whatever it took to ensure that their family and the business would succeed. A tourism business born originally in 1991 where most people didn’t want to understand. However, watching my parents both make decisions to keep their dreams alive no matter how many doors were closed to them, regardless of all the setbacks (and there have been quite a few) was remarkable. Overcoming each and every challenge one at a time was inspiring to see as a young kid growing up. To this day they continue their journey together, working towards a goal which they’ve believed in for nearly 30 years now. When it does finally pay off, they may be seen as an overnight success story, (which took nearly 30 years) but behind the scenes, they’ve reassured each other, stuck to their guns, and both shown incredible self-belief to reach this stage.

For me, the coaching front is only beginning. Recently made forwards coach of St. Marys Rugby Club, a club I’ve had the honour to play with for 10 years and luckily winning a few trophies along the way. However, losing a lot of finals too. These losses helped fuel the desire and drive to win within all the squad. To do so requires a united self-belief within the squad and also individual self-belief. Every time I got injured, or dropped from the firsts, it was a new challenge to get back again, into the team or onto the pitch and play on my terms and to the best of my ability. While to date, coaching is far different it is that self-belief which I had as a player which I’ll lean on and take with me on this new adventure.

We can all work on improving our Self-belief or self-confidence on a daily basis. Here are some suggestions straight from my approach. I hope some of you see these as helpful tools, some may work for you some may not, again, it’s about filtering what suits your life and moulding it to suit you and your goals.

  1. Start every day with a positive word or phrase.
  2. Make time to listen to those you respect and those who help make you happy.
  3. Learn. It’s never been easier to learn. Set up podcasts on your phone and listen to topics you’ve an interest in while walking, running, driving etc.
  4. Look after your mind. Your mind is so powerful, and a powerful engine needs the right fuel. Boozing and eating crap every day affects your brain and your focus. We all need a bit of time to unwind, however, mainly fill yourself with the right foods that suit you and reap the rewards in terms of concentration, happiness and ability to function.
  5. Be active. Having some for of physical activity in your life is important. Research has shown that exercise and various forms help release the happy hormone called endorphins which trigger positive vibes into your system which helps you focus and be more positive throughout the day.
  6. Keep a journal and write what it is you’re going to achieve today. Recently the Five Minute Journal was recommended to me by. It seems to have quite a lot of advocates so I thought to give it a go.
  7. Ignore the negativity. We all face people and situations who try and put us in bad form or incite a reaction from us. Ignore these people and focus on why you are there or in that position in the first place. Relink to your self-belief and staying focused on your objective.
  8. Get outside and move. Spend some time outdoors, go for a walk, relax in a park, we’re not built to sit at desks all day, we’re built to move
  9. Turn off your phone. We are so contactable and easily distracted that we have reduced our time daydreaming. why do people have dreams, because they take the time to think? turn off your technology for at least an evening, a day a weekend
  10. Daydream. Research has shown that daydreaming is allowing our minds roam and take the time to unwind and relax. It gives our brains a chance to be creative and innovative, to ask ourselves ‘What if?’ and explore our potential. Not only that, reducing stress levels is helped by Daydreaming.

If anyone has anything to add or if you’ve experiences around Self-Belief which you’d like to share, please feel free to comment.

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