Believe in Yourself: The Power of Self-Confidence

Believe in Yourself: The Power of Self-Confidence
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 22 August, 2023

When nobody believes in you, you have to believe in yourself. When someone says you’re not worthy, that your moment has passed, or that you won’t get what you want, you can raise your head up high and smile. Because you’re the only person who can limit yourself. Believing in yourself will give you confidence and a more stable compass.

Sometimes it’s necessary to drink from the lions’ waterhole. Only by doing so will we have a chance to subdue fear and limit its influence. In this sense, insecurity is a bad partner. Whoever chooses to stay in a safe place will never enjoy the views on top of the mountain, where infinite possibilities light up before our eyes.

“Dare to be brave today, and trust that when you extend your wings, you will fly.”

-Mary Demuth-

Abraham Maslow told us that human beings come into the world with almost unlimited potential. Mankind has the ability to reach that peak of needs where the highest goals of happiness and well-being reside. However, as curious as it may seem, not everyone manages to reach the summit.

The reason? At some point or another, we come across a skilled agent willing to derail our personal growth. We can find them in many situations, acting frequently without warning. They can appear in the form of close relatives, friends, teachers, coworkers, or company directors. We’re talking about those people that cut our wings and convince us that we’re not worthy.

Man who was told to believe in yourself.

The Jonah complex: When you don’t believe in yourself

Imagine that you had asthma since you were very little and that you were told from a very early age that sports just weren’t your thing. Soccer, karate, tennis? No way! Maybe something calmer would be better, like chess or drawing, so you wouldn’t be at risk. Later on, you told your teacher you wanted to be an astronaut and he looked at you with sarcasm and irony. “But you aren’t any good at science. It’d be better for you to go into some other field,” he said.

Now you’re in college. While studying geography and history, you decide to become a writer. It takes you a year to write an original dystopian science-fiction novel. Now, when you present it to a publisher, they don’t even write back.

Your manuscript is one among thousands. Your family and friends tell you it would be best to forget about it. They tell you to focus on becoming a middle school teacher. A teacher who once dreamed of being a professional athlete, later an astronaut, then a writer…

What should you do when nobody believes in you? Maslow wrote a very interesting book on this topic. The title of the book is The Farther Reaches of Human Nature. In it, he explained that although most of us have exceptional potential to self-develop, we don’t always do. We limit ourselves to fantasizing on what we could be and on what we could achieve.

Yet we don’t acquire the right mediums nor the psychological conditions to do so. We let ourselves be influenced by other people’s opinions and stay in our comfort zone. Maslow called this phenomenon the Jonah complex. It refers to all those people who are conscious of their capabilities but don’t dare to develop themselves out of fear and insecurity.

Believe in yourself when nobody else believes in you

There will always be at least one person who’ll try to tell you that you’re not capable, that you don’t know enough, or even worse, that you can’t accomplish your dreams. When nobody believes in you, you only have one option: to believe in yourself. It’s the most logical and plausible way to prove them wrong.

Now, such a feat isn’t easy nor fast. It demands you work adequately on these three dimensions. Let’s reflect on them.

Boy who was told to believe in yourself.

1. Don’t be yourself, be who you want to be

We’ve grown used to hearing the phrase ‘Learn to be yourself’. It’s time to go a step further and refine the idea a bit. If we limit ourselves to ‘being ourselves’, we may ingrain habits that aren’t in our best interest. If fear, insecurity, and need of approval reside in our present state, we won’t be able to reach our goals. Ideally, we should clarify what we want and who we want to be. We must foster an inner transformation with a lot of strength and courage to be able to fully believe in ourselves.

2. Take a leap of faith between the life you have and the one you want

Every leap needs an impulse, and every impulse needs sufficient strength, will, motivation, and optimism. Therefore, when nobody believes in you and your capabilities, the last thing you should do is give in to that negativity and defeat. Create a list of steps, design a plan in your head, and fill it with positivity and determination. This is how you take the biggest leaps.

“When nobody believes in you, there’s only one option: to be stronger and more optimistic than ever.”

3. If some people don’t believe in you, others will

Reaching a goal undoubtedly requires the ability to believe in yourself. However, we live in a society. Therefore, conquering a goal and being successful isn’t something we can usually do alone. Triumphs need recognition. A promotion or a trophy implies other people recognizing our worth.

Therefore, don’t be overwhelmed by those first rejections. Hold your head up high to those who doubt you at any given moment and even make fun of you. After all, great feats have never had simple beginnings. At some point, the right people will appear. Those people will realize and know how to appreciate your worth.

Man with moon.

To conclude, we need to remember that the opposite of courage isn’t fear or cowardice, it’s conformity. In fact, that’s precisely our real problem. We just settle with what we already have and believe the comments others make of us.

Therefore, we should start doubting those who tell us to stop dreaming, those who suggest we come down from the clouds and stop believing in our ridiculous goals. No goal is ridiculous if it’s been lingering in our hearts and minds. We need to challenge fear and defeat conformism to reach our own summits.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.