Two of the biggest themes of our childhood are to "Keep dreaming" and "Believe in yourself". This is strategically woven into children's books, shows, and movies and begins to play an unconscious role in the thought process of children. As we grow older, this directive begins to fizzle out. Think back to your childhood and I bet you can think of at least 2-3 examples of these themes being directly tied into your favorite book, movie, or memory. For instance, look at the following two examples:
Thomas the Tank Engine: Thomas was only able to achieve his goal by repeating the phrase, " I think I can, I think I can" over, and over, and over until he was able to get over the hill. Thomas couldn’t achieve his goal until he believed in himself.
Jiminy Cricket: Jiminy sings a magical song entitled "When You Wish Upon a Star". In this song he sings "Makes no difference who you are. Anything your heart desires, will come to you. If your heart is in your dream, no request is too extreme". He is essentially telling Pinocchio to keep dreaming no matter how far out his dream seems to be.
As we get older these messages seem to have been thrown to the wayside. They have been replaced in our teenage years with messages proclaiming you must fit in and conform to society’s norms. Adults are told to keep their head down in the workplace and just go with the flow. As we age, less and less enthusiasm and encouragement is placed on believing in ourselves to achieve our dreams.
Everyone has dreams for their lives. These dreams can be as extravagant as becoming a CEO of a top fortune 500 company or being the next Michael Jackson. Or these dreams could be as simple as becoming a mom and providing for those children. No dream is too big or too small and no dream is right or wrong. Why then do so many people not achieve their dreams? The answer is simple: They do not believe in themselves.
Believing in yourself is one of the key factors in making your dreams come true. Listed below are some of the reasons why believing in yourself is crucial to achieving your dreams.
1. You become motivated to get things done
2. You feel more satisfied with life
3. Other are attracted to your energy
4. You are comfortable and confident in creating a plan of action to achieve your dreams.
According to Jack Canfield, co-author of “Chicken Soup for the Soul Series,” “Everything you have in your life is a result of your belief in yourself and the belief that it’s possible.” So, what exactly does believe in yourself mean?
It means you have faith that you can rely on yourself. It means you are able to choose and direct your own behavior. It means knowing you have value as a human being. It means you have a positive attitude about your qualities and abilities. It also means you know your efforts can result in the goals and dreams you desire.
According to the Mayo Clinic there are steps you can take to begin the journey of believing in yourself.
Step 1: Identify Negative Surrounds or Situations: Are you currently experiencing negative energy at work due to friction with a group of coworkers? Do you have a challenge with your significant other or a family member? Are you concerned with an upcoming task such as traveling by car for 3.5 hours to visit your in-laws or meeting with your child’s teacher for parent teach conference?
Step 2: Pay Attention to Your Thoughts: Once you’ve identified negative situations in your life, begin making a point of paying attention to your thoughts surrounding these situations. These thoughts can be positive, negative, or neutral. They can be absurd or rational. They can be based on facts or an unconscious narrative.
Take a moment and ask yourself if you would say them to someone else. Would you be comfortable saying them to your mom, a close friend, or even a stranger? If you wouldn’t say them to someone else, you shouldn’t save them to yourself.
Step 3: Adjust Negative Thoughts: Replace any negative thought with a constructive one. This will take time to learn. So, practice, practice, practice. Try focusing on the positive, using hopeful statements, and engage yourself for future growth.
Never forget, you have amazing dreams that you deserve to have come true. The first step in achieving those dreams is to believe in yourself.