Believing in Yourself Again: 10 Ways To Reverse Course on Self-Sabotage

Believing in Yourself Again: 10 Ways To Reverse Course on Self-Sabotage

Believing in yourself is the key to achieving your goals. When you think you can succeed, you’re more likely to take action and push forward. But when you doubt yourself, you tend to hold back or sabotage your efforts. You probably know this, and have experienced it too.

So how do you go about achieving it? And what does “believing in yourself” actually mean?

Simply put, it’s having faith that you can set meaningful goals and take steps over time to make them real.

It’s not about having sky-high confidence all the time or thinking you can snap your fingers to manifest anything instantly. It’s more about trusting that even with ups and downs, you’re able to gradually take control and move your life where you want it to go.

Believing in yourself rests on pillars like:

  • believing you have value
  • trusting your own judgment,
  • and feeling capable of learning, growing and contributing.

When these pillars weaken, your sense of agency tends to decline as well.

Here’s an important truth: believing in yourself isn’t an on/off switch. It grows slowly through understanding yourself and being honest with the circumstances you’re facing.

Believing in Yourself is a Journey, Not a Destination

Nobody just wakes up one day with complete unshakeable belief from the get-go. And if your belief feels shaky right now, that’s okay too. It simply means you’re human.

What matters most is your willingness to expand beyond your comfort zone bit by bit. Every small step into the unknown, facing a fear or trying something new is exercising belief in yourself.

Those steps might feel awkward and scary. But over time, they transform into positive changes and new abilities. Before you know it, “believing in yourself” moves from something you force yourself to do to a natural state of being.

The journey of believing in yourself can be challenging, but incredibly rewarding.

By understanding it as an ongoing process rather than a final destination, you relieve unnecessary pressure to instantly have it all figured out. Now let’s explore common pitfalls that sabotage self-belief and equip you with 10 transformational strategies for renewing faith in your abilities to attain the life you desire.

Things That Stop You From Believing

Now that we’ve reframed self-belief as an ongoing journey, let’s talk common struggles that can trip us up along the way. These hurdles might not outright shatter your belief, but they can definitely chip away at it over time.

Myths That Mislead

Sometimes we operate on false narratives that seem real, but are actually myths misrepresenting reality. These illusions masquerade as truths, misleading our actions by obscuring what’s really possible.

For example, the myth that some people are born creative while others lack any artistic flair. This becomes a convenient excuse to avoid expressing creativity without even testing abilities. However, creativity depends far more on bravely exercising the creative muscle versus mere inherited talent.

Belief-busting myths like fixed personality traits or intelligence levels discourage goal-seeking by falsely implying a predetermined fate.

Shedding limiting myths opens eyes to the possibilities we do have authority over in sculpting our potential.

Past Failures Relived

Ever catch yourself replaying old failures, disappointments or criticisms in an endless mental loop? Beyond simple reminiscing, this habit insidiously projects the past onto the ever-changing present and future.

Dwelling on the unchangeable while expecting similar outcomes becomes a suffocating self-fulfilling prophecy. New paths remain obscured by the looming shadows of history unless conscious effort redirects focus forward.

As peak performance expert Tony Robbins says, “The past does not equal the future.” In reality, we retain far more authority in authoring life’s next chapters than reused pain scripts convince us we possess.

Progress depends on acknowledging but not being defined by failures. Believe in second chances won not by circumstance but through courageously forging ahead today.

Over-Reliance on External Approval

Stepping into unfamiliar terrain filled with risk and unknowns is far from comfortable. To feel more secure embarking on personal growth journeys, we often over-rely on others’ opinions to determine next steps.

The temptation is strong to base life directions on whether key people approve or green light ideas. However, while feedback informs, external permission alone easily becomes a belief-busting crutch.

Waiting on the thumbs up of friends, family or societal norms often consigns key life callings to perpetual procrastination. Bold dreams demand acknowledging external voices while still cultivating the inner authority to take purposeful risks.

Progress may challenge disapproving perspectives. But believing in yourself opens the door to acting on soulful goals without total consensus or absolute certainty. Destinations worth reaching call for believing in your direction even when others hesitate to cosign the path.

10 Guaranteed Ways to Build Belief In Yourself

Regaining your self-belief is all about forward progress through simple but powerful steps:

1. Start Small for Quick Wins

Big, audacious dreams are exciting. But huge leaps fall apart without a foundation of small wins, like:

  • Learning to play one new song on the guitar
  • Starting a 5-minute meditation habit
  • Saving $5 a week

Small steps build the confidence and skills essential for bigger success down the road. And they liberate you from the perfectionist need to go big or go home.

Focus on consistent progress versus instant and absolute transformation. Build self-belief brick by brick through modest daily progress. In time, these mini wins stack up to attaining marvels you once only dreamt possible.

Do It Now: What’s one small goal you can tackle this week, like cooking a healthy meal or researching a hobby?

2. Eliminate Distraction Habits

You know those endless scrolling or video game sessions that swallow hours? It’s time to tame them. Distracted living erodes self-belief by preventing the dedicated skill-building essential to achieve aspirations like finishing your novel or launching a nonprofit.

Start by tracking your daily distraction habits with honesty, whether that’s monitoring your social media use or noting each TV show binge.

Awareness alone begins diminishing distraction’s control as you spot mindless time leaks. Build on this by imposing structure like setting a timer or going device-free for blocks of time purposefully channeled into developing goal-driving behaviors.

Redirected attention completes the one-two punch to clear time, energy and focus for the projects and practices making once-distant dreams an imminent reality.

Do It Now: Can you impose a 30-minute device-free block in your day for focused work?

We touched on this earlier, but it’s worth underscoring: the voices you surround yourself with directly impact the volume of your self-belief. Input from individuals who respect your dreams versus dismiss them changes everything.

Actively curate your community by taking stock of who nourishes your personal growth and who neutralizes it. Consider mentors and friends who dispense not just applause but constructive advice to refine your budding skills.

Limit time with individuals defaulting to pessimistic put downs or projection of their own insecurities. Instead, exchange empowering perspectives with supportive peers invested in cultivating your self-belief through camaraderie built on compassion over criticism.

Do It Now: Who’s one positive person you can connect with this week for encouragement?

4. Strengthen Self-Trust

Consider self-trust the cornerstone stabilizing self-belief through ups and downs. Self-trust is honorably adhering to your word, acting in alignment with your true values and building credibility by being reliable.

Start by keeping promises made to yourself, as small as sticking to your new workout routine. Progress to bigger acts of self-trust like setting challenging deadlines for projects and steadfastly abiding by them.

As you consistently come through for yourself, self-doubt diminishes. Feel your track record inject boldness into confronting bigger goals as reliability becomes your natural state, not wishful thinking.

Do It Now: What’s a small promise you can make and keep to yourself this week?

5. Reflect with Mindfulness

Beyond doing, also schedule time simply for non-judgmental self-reflection and conscious breathing. Mindfulness clears cluttered minds to locate truths, assumptions and patterns that either further or hinder personal ambition.

Allot even a few minutes a day to sit, eyes closed, observing the cadence of inhales and exhales. Resist reacting to intrusive thoughts. Instead, allow meditative gaps to surface saboteur stories undercutting capability so they can be dismantled.

Regular reflection opens space to revisit perceptions, inject compassion towards past failures, and realign to the reality that present potential vastly outsizes past shortcomings.

You can be the one to gently yet convincingly tell yourself, “You’ve got this.”

Do It Now: Can you take 5 minutes before bed to sit quietly and observe your thoughts before sleep?

6. Transform Limiting Narratives

Listen closely to beliefs about yourself murmuring underneath daily busyness. Do messages like “I’m not creative” or “Leadership roles aren’t meant for me” appear factual when held to impartial scrutiny?

Often these underlying stories take root in early life experiences, going unchallenged for decades. But present realities hold far greater possibilities than past programming acknowledged if we courageously question their accuracy.

Refresh your mental software through identifying and rewriting self-limiting assumptions. Experiment believing “I am wildly creative when I stretch my imagination,” even if doubt lingers. Repeated like affirmations slowly transform saboteurs into cheerleaders practically destined to manifest reality.

Do It Now: What’s one empowering phrase you can repeat to yourself daily this week?

7. Regularly Stretch Beyond Comfort

Venturing outside the cozy contours of your routines tests courage and capability, unlocking growth unavailable if we stay inside our comfort zones. But radically flipping life overnight often proves unsustainable and daunting.

Instead, make manageable discomfort a habit through regular but gradual forays beyond your existing boundaries. Give speeches, take unfamiliar routes to work, sign up for an art class – it matters less what you do and more that you continually nudge the limits.

Allow these small initiations to recondition self-perceived constraints on executing goals once automatically deemed improbable if not impossible. In time, you’ll watch the horizon of what’s conceivable for your life expand exponentially thanks to consistently exercising self-belief despite the initial doubts and uncertainty.

Do It Now: What’s one small new habit (like a new route or food) you can adopt to stretch your routine?

8. Adopt an Attitude of Flexibility

Having rigid expectations of instant and perfect success is a surefire path to disappointment and self-doubt when faced with inevitable stumbles. Counteract this by cultivating self-compassion along with an adaptive, flexible mindset focused on progress over perfection.

View setbacks as feedback guiding smarter solutions. Hold dreams loosely, allowing them to organically deepen and evolve. Progress happens in spirals, not straight lines. Make patience and flexibility your secret weapons enabling you to persist where you once would have given up.

Do It Now: Can you identify 1-2 overly rigid expectations to relax into preferences this month?

9. Challenge Comparisons

Contrasting your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20 is rarely motivating, and mostly misleading. Ditch diminishing comparisons. Instead, contrast yourself today to your past self, appreciating growth gained. Reframe envying others’ strengths as opportunities to learn, not evidence you fall short.

Your path is meant to be entirely your own with its very own special upsides. Leaders charting new terrain face doubts, but believe in their direction nonetheless. Forge ahead.

Do It Now: Can you name 1 positive or skill another inspires in you that you’d like to develop?

10. Chart Micro-Wins

Major undertakings like career changes overwhelm when viewed as monoliths and stifle self-belief. But almost any endeavor can be transformed into manageable markers when broken into micro-wins built step by step.

Identify mini-accomplishments marking progress across longer journeys. Did you secure one potential mentor this month? Did you research a niche industry? See each micro-win as building belief-boosting momentum.

Do It Now: What’s one small milestone you can celebrate this week on the path towards a bigger goal?

Your Time is Now

Believing deeply in your ability to accomplish meaningful goals is no small feat. Which is why understanding it as a journey of small but courageous steps is so critical.

When self-doubt drops by unannounced, recognize you retain far more power in authoring your life’s direction than these uninvited guests suggest. Put limitations in their place by taking purposeful risks rather than falling back to the same old assumptions.

Reflect on how far you’ve already come in your one-of-a-kind life journey. Note the dreams once deemed impossible that, through dedication, manifested into your reality. Consider how clearing distractions, surrounding yourself with encouragers and venturing outside comfort zones played a part.

Let this fuel faith that taking the next step, despite discomfort, will unlock unforeseen growth. By regularly facing fears, however slight, you condition yourself to believe in dreams bolder than before.

Progress lives in balanced patience with the process coupled with dogged persistence in small habits. Know that the simple willingness to begin believing in yourself today connects the dots to abundantly greater belief tomorrow.

Your time to step towards long-held goals is right now. What first step can you take this week? Who can support you on the path? Which limiting narrative needs retiring?

All it takes is achieving your first small win.

Looking for more? Here’re 8 steps to a more confident you:

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Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via

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