Prompted: Believe in Yourself
Believing in yourself is a competitive advantage.
There are talented people who have amounted to nothing in life and there are average people who have gone on to do amazing things. Regardless of skill or talent one thing we can all control is our belief in ourselves.
I hope these thoughts/prompts will show you that self-confidence is the bridge between capabilities and possibilities.
Believe in Yourself
To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.
- Yann Martel
Believing in yourself is a competitive advantage. When we believe in ourselves, we will work longer and harder on difficult problems because we have faith we’ll reach a successful outcome.
If we don’t believe in ourselves, it’s easy to give up when the going gets tough. And if there’s one thing we can count on in the pursuit of anything worthwhile, it’s difficulty.
Our innate skill will only get us so far. Eventually, we’ll face obstacles and reach a point when we’re unsure if we’ll be able to complete what we set out to do. It’s at this point that most of us succumb to a natural extrapolation: if it’s this hard now, there’s no way I’ll be able to keep up when it gets even harder.
This is where believing in ourselves can set us apart. With the same skill and facing the same adversity, someone who believes in themself (even if that belief is unfounded) will push past this point and someone who doesn’t have the same self-confidence will stop. To a certain extent, we all have the same capabilities, but self-confidence allows us to push past our perceived limits to learn new things and accomplish more than we thought capable.
Unfortunately, just believing in ourselves is not enough to accomplish anything we set our minds to. If that was true this newsletter would already have hundreds of thousands of subscribers. But this brand of self-belief shows us something invaluable whether we reach our stated goal or not: we can do more than we think we’re capable of.
Every time we push past what we thought we were capable of, we build more belief in ourselves.
Last year I signed up for a Half Ironman triathlon without knowing if I was capable of completing the race or not. I had no experience swimming or biking and was an amateur runner at best, but I had faith I would figure it out as I went along. Slowly I built my endurance, and every time I faced a workout I didn’t know if I could complete, I started it anyway.
I was surprised when I finished every workout, and each time I made a small deposit in my self-belief savings account. I finished the race in the top 20% of competitors, and now I know I have the capability not only to compete in other endurance events but to take on any new project and figure out how to build the plane as I’m taking off.
Each time we choose to believe in ourselves, we push past the point of what we thought we were capable of. This confidence allows us to move past what we’re capable of and see what it’s possible for us to accomplish.
Regardless of how much you believe in yourself today, the next time you face resistance, choose to bet on yourself, and don’t be surprised when you accomplish more than you thought.
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When was the last time I surprised myself and accomplished more than I thought I was capable of?
What do I want to do, but don’t think I’m capable of accomplishing?
Is there anything I can do to intentionally push myself past what I’m capable of and build my levels of self-confidence?
What is Self-Confidence? - USF
A one-pager on self-confidence and how to increase it from a source that’s published many more peer-reviewed papers than I have.
The blog post I wrote about committing to a 70-mile triathlon when I couldn’t run more than 5 miles at a time.
Thanks for reading! I’ll see you next Sunday.