Three vital words: believing in yourself. If you don’t believe in you, it’s nearly impossible for others to do so. How many times have you heard phrases like If you want it badly enough, you can do it! If only it were that easy. As a matter of fact, magically getting something because you want it so badly not only is a cliché but it clearly holds you back.
You hear it in sports all the time, particularly after a team has won a big game: “We just wanted it more than they did!” The thought of wanting something more than others seems to answer many questions, but to me, it seems trite and misleading. If only succeeding in life were as easy as just wanting things more than those around you do.
Don’t get me wrong: wanting something badly is not a completely useless attitude; it’s just overrated. I have coached soccer and basketball teams for more than 25 years, and I could never attribute a team victory to just wanting it more. As a matter of fact, I am quite sure that if I ever wandered into the losing team’s locker room, I would not hear that they just didn’t want to win as badly as we did. When we were well prepared, practiced hard, and had an intelligent game plan, we were usually successful—but we did not pin our aspirations on just wanting it more. That would have provided a false sense of hope and been a waste of energy.
One of the most defining qualities we can possess is the simple capacity for self-confidence. It sure sounds simple, but for those who grapple with this humble notion, it can be life-altering. Those who struggle to have no doubt heard these encouraging words from family, friends, and coworkers: “You just have to believe in yourself.” If only it were that easy.
Believing in you cannot be accomplished simply by wanting it or by being told to do it. It requires preparation, practice, and execution involving a set of skills that, over time, can be mastered. Having mentored those who wrestle with this fundamental life principle, I’ve discovered a clear set of skills that are natural for some and require practice by others—but they are obtainable by all!
I find it helps to break the process of believing in oneself into five steps, but you can sum them up in one big shift: you’ll get there when you are willing to take the actions that others have taken to believe in themselves.
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