How to believe in yourself

There’s never been a better time to make changes in your life, particularly those you want to make. You only have today, you can’t go back to yesterday and no one can guarantee you tomorrow, so what stops you?

Identify what it is that’s holding you back and face it head- on. Don’t be afraid of the challenge; the idea of change may feel challenging but feeling challenged creates the right level of stress you need to get motivated. The renowned speaker, coach and entrepreneur Tony Robbins once stated “only when you get disturbed can you effect positive change in your life”.

Until I lost my job several years ago I didn’t quite understand what Tony meant. I used to enjoy my job (at first) until other demands were made of me and the enjoyment just went. I stuck it out because of family and financial responsibilities but I was exploited for my skills and became totally unfulfilled and miserable.

I fantasised about leaving and having the perfect job or going it alone and being master of all I surveyed; but I never took the chance, fear of failure, the “what if” negative mantra kicked in and held me in the place I didn’t want to be for fear of being somewhere I couldn’t be. I didn’t believe I could take the chance and come out on top.

Then it happened - I lost the job I hated. Initial panic set in; how will I pay the mortgage, the bills, feed the kids…? A sense of impending doom overtook me and for a while I was thrown into turmoil. But something happened a few days later, I spoke with a friend on the phone and they said “Don’t worry, it’s always darkest before the dawn.”, “Things will be fine, everything happens for a reason.”

In those words of kindness and support I recognised the clichéd responses that people often give but the truth behind the words rang true. I was disturbed. Disturbed by my experience; disturbed by my fear; disturbed by the loss of control. I sat down at my computer got out my diary and sent emails out to everyone I knew telling them I was available for work. I updated my CV and sent it out to as many companies as I could. I made a list of all my skills and wrote out my fantasy, the one I never believed could be true, how could it, it was a fantasy?

Within the first week of my world “ending” I had secured two contracts to deliver specialist training in my chosen field, two job offers and many supportive emails of encouragement from my peers, people whom I didn’t think knew I existed. I made changes when I was put into a position of having to, but the gift of hindsight tells me that those opportunities were there all along, I just didn’t have the courage to take them, I couldn’t even see them through my fear and anxiety.

The reality is I didn’t miss a single payment, the world didn’t end, my partner didn’t leave me for being a failure - the opposite is true, I became aware of all the love and support in my life which fed my self-belief, my income increased by a third and I had more professional freedom and I felt personally fulfilled.

Whether you want to make changes to your lifestyle, change a habit or your career -believe in yourself, don’t wait for permission, identify the changes you need to make and act now, there is no better time.

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