All that matters is that you believe in yourself
On Wednesday I went to a DisruptHr event.
The format is 14 speakers, 5 minutes each and slides rotate every 15 seconds, whether they’re ready or not.
I went with a good mate who kept whispering in my ear that I should do it.
The battle in my head started.
My well-fed cheerleader was full of encouragement, “Yeah do it, it would be amazing.”
Then my old mate the vampire voice piped up. “Nah, you can’t do this. Listen to these speakers, they are so polished and knowledgeable. You’d look like a fool.”
Back and forth this convo went on in my head.
Does this resonate with you?
It seems to echo the conversations I have with my Thinkers. On the one hand they know they’re good at their job and on the other they feel like an imposter waiting to be found out.
So today I want to devote the 100th edition of this letter to self-belief, because you deserve to believe in yourself enough to say yes to the things that will make your career even more awesome.
Self-Belief is like a muscle not a tooth
Straight up I need to tell you that self-belief is like a muscle, you can strengthen it and it will take consistency and effort. It’s not like a tooth that you either have or you don’t.
Just like when you’re strengthening a muscle there are a variety of exercises you can do. They will feel weird to begin with, sometimes you won’t be arsed and you’ll skip a day or seven. Keep at it.
Your mind will want to resist these exercises. It doesn’t make sense but your brain is as dumb as it is smart. It’s also lazy, why put effort into new thinking when the old thinking is already there. Keep at it.
Self-belief is also not constant, it waivers for EVERYONE, whether they show you or not.
Exercise 1 – Accept and Thank you
When you get compliments and praise, accept them. You don’t have to believe them and you don’t have to dismiss them, simply say thank you and move on.
When this starts to happen naturally you can level up by adding something nice about yourself, “thank you, I’m proud of that too”.
This works because it helps your brain to retain the belief others have in you so you can draw on it when you need it.
Exercise 2 – Talk to yourself as you would a friend
When the vampire voice in your head starts talking shit about you, pretend it’s talking about your bestie. What would you say in response? Hint, maybe those nice things others have said to you might help?
When you engage with the vampire voice it will suck the belief right out of you so you need to consistently explain to yourself why it’s wrong. Even if you don’t believe it, yet.
Exercise 3 – Acknowledge the vampire voice – what’s the real message it’s trying to tell you
The vampire voice is not all bad, it has a function to try and keep you safe. So when it pipes up, pause for a moment and tap into what you might be afraid of.
For me it’s humiliation.
Sitting in the auditorium watching the other speakers I was able to reassure myself that the speaker is set up for success. There is a huge countdown timer, they can see a copy of the slides in both corners of the room and the audience is hugely supportive.
It also helped me to realise that I will need A LOT of practice and I should ask friends who are expert at public speaking to help.
Exercise 4 – Surround yourself with positive messages
Your brain takes in huge amounts of information every day and it does influence the way you feel about yourself.
Next time you’re on social media unfollow anyone who’s posts make you feel shit. All of them, you don’t need to be feeding your vampire any more than you already are.
Actively seek out people to follow who make you feel good.
If you see something that makes you smile, feel good, feel inspired, capture it and put it somewhere you’ll come across often.
I have this on my phone:
And on my wall above my desk:
Exercise 5 – Spend more time with people who lift you up
Like the mate I told you about above. She’s been encouraging me to do DisruptHR for ages, it took a hiatus over covid but now it’s back and I’ve already messaged the organiser.
Spend more time with the people who believe in you, would have your back in fight and who can’t help sing your praises.
Exercise 6 – Remembering in balance.
We have a tendency to remember the bad stuff more than the good stuff. My goal was to write a letter every week for 100 weeks and I missed some weeks because I had too much on or was ill.
It wasn’t until I did the maths that I realised I had only missed 10 weeks. I thought it was more because every week I don’t write a letter sticks with me more than the weeks I do.
I hope one of exercises these resonates with you. Take it, try it for a week and notice if it makes a difference. Let me know if it does. I love getting your letters and I reply all the time.