I believe in you. I believe that you can do whatever it is you set out to. I believe that you are better than you realise.
We may feel like we don’t or shouldn’t need others to believe in us, but in reality, we do. It matters to feel like we matter, that we have worth and that others believe we can do the things we set out to. Even if momentarily it can unblock those concrete barriers we often put up in our own mind – sometimes just long to make a breakthrough or take action before they close back in again.
However, psychologically speaking we know that what’s most important to our self-esteem is our own self-belief. Not someone else’s belief in us but our belief in ourselves. Ultimately that determines what we can and cannot do. As Henry Ford said
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t you’re right.”
But there is no doubt one feeds the other. We all have wobbles, we all have doubts and we all, even those of us who may not show it, shine a little brighter with the right kind of encouragement and support. And to grow our self-belief often takes that belief from others, until it finally seeps into our own psyche.
How and where can you find more self-belief?
The good news is you don’t have to pay a coach or a psychologist, just take a look around – there are people who believe in you – I guarantee it. The hard part isn’t finding someone, the hard part is letting them help you.
I work with some amazing people, they are all very successful in their field and completely different from one another, but one thing they all have in common is that they let me help.
If you want someone to believe in you:
- let them in, trust them
- listen with an open mind and consider what they’re saying before you dismiss it
- let them believe in you even when you don’t believe in yourself
While you can do this without anyone’s help, in reality it’s very hard to build your self-belief on your own. You’ll get much further, far quicker if you find someone to support and encourage you.
Giving the gift of self-belief
A large part of what I do is to spot people’s capabilities, help them to see how to use them and show them that I truly believe in them. While I may be a sounding board to strategic plans, an advisor on team dynamics or a co-curator of communication I’m also nearly always a cheerleader too. And I get an enormous satisfaction from that part of my job. It is after all part of life to take on that role whether as a mentor, parent, leader, friend, actually a human of any kind – it’s something we evolved to do and to enjoy doing.
But despite being ‘natural’ it does take practice. The ultimate aim is the ability to instil such a solid sense of self belief in the person you’re encouraging that they don’t need you. If you’re really skilled they may not even know that you’ve got them to that point. However, on route to this supreme level of skill, be assured that even a slightly clumsy, poorly timed delivery can help positively impact someone’s life.
The three key elements to remember are:
Read the person – and take their lead. This is a far more effective way of approaching encouragement than telling someone what to do or think. It should be led by them, not you.
If I encourage in the wrong way, the people I work with quickly spot my efforts and switch off to what I’m saying. The same is true of anyone who is suspicious of our intentions. In at risk children that awareness comes less from a desire to avoid BS (as for the leader) and more from a need to protect themselves. However, the fundamentals remain the same…
If you don’t know what to say, listen – you’ll learn a lot about what you need to say and do by being open and exploring alongside someone. Advise when asked but don’t tell – encourage, talk, help them to understand what there is of themselves to believe in.
Timing. If you just throw out words of encouragement ‘willy nilly’ it won’t having an impact. Use your read of the person to judge when it’s right to encourage, when it’s right to give a little push and when it’s better to stay quiet and just….
Be there. Never giving up. This is the most powerful element of all. Think about it – if someone says to you ‘I believe in you and I’ll always be here’ and then when you need them, they are nowhere to be found, will you trust them to be there next time? Most probably not.
This is starkly demonstrated in populations of disadvantaged children who are mentored. When those mentors unexpectedly withdraw their support, the kids end up with higher levels of drug use, criminal activity, and depression than those who didn’t have a mentor to start with. Why? It removes trust, it removes hope and it shouts ‘you are not worth believing in’.
While a business relationship may not be as fragile, seemingly simple things like continually changing meeting times or cheering someone on one minute and not the next, can be hugely damaging. If you say you’re going to be there to support someone you better damn well be there. Once you decide to be someone’s cheerleader don’t walk away. Keep going until you have built them up to a place where they can believe in themselves.
Having someone believe in you can change your life course. But you have to let them.
Believing in someone is one of the greatest gifts you can ever give. It’s also one of the most rewarding things you will ever do.
To learn more about the work I’m doing with mentoring please email me at Fiona.firstname.lastname@example.org
For my books which provide more tools and know how for developing you and developing others go to:
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