Self-belief is crucial.

Mine has recently been put to the test in the journey to achieving my dreams.

Four months ago when I launched niccimcshane.com, I was worried. Would anyone care what I had to say? How do I even set up a blog? How do I learn about the dos and don’ts? What if no-one reads my posts? I was nervous, but I did it and the blog is gaining momentum well.

I recently interviewed for a new job. I needed to prepare a 20 minute presentation to share in front of 5 people over video conference, in another country. What if my content is rubbish? What if I mess the whole thing up? What if my body launguage is poor? I was nervous, but I did it and I got the job.

With my new role brings relocation. Oh my, you really do underestimate how much and what is involved in moving countries! One day I will share the process with you in case you ever consider a move yourself. I am nervous, I am in the thick of it, but I am doing it. Three weeks to go!

There are so many learnings from just these three instances. What did all that worrying do for me? Why did I doubt myself so much at every stage, on each occasion? Why did I not believe in myself more?

The thing is, of course we all sometimes fall flat, we all sometimes feel distressed and we all sometimes just want the ground to open up so we can disappear. Believe me, I have been feeling some, if not all of these emotions lately, but can you just imagine if I had more self-belief from the beginning? I would have enjoyed more peaceful sleep, not eaten so much naughty but de-li-sh comfort food (I am so going to miss McDonalds delivery in Singapore! Oh yes, you heard it right!) and maybe not suffered with that dull headache which lasted for weeks!

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Photo Cred: Megan Hodges

The top and bottom of it is, I was and am, far too hard on myself. My friends are always scolding me for this! I don’t step back enough to look at my strengths, appreciate them and understand how I can apply them. Instead, the panic hit, my brain’s drivel-filter intermittently kept switching off and the negativity and apprehension was seeping right in. The thing is, I knew it was happening.

How many times have you not done something due to a lack of self-belief? Spent your time worrying about whether you can do something, wondering what people would say if you made x, y or z decision? How much time have you wasted through deliberation and worry?

If we combine self-belief with an appreciation for ourselves we are on the road to success. I am not talking about conceit or being narcissistic. I mean having a healthy respect for ourselves. Celebrating our strengths, acknowledging them and accepting who we are. Instead we are so good at criticizing ourselves. A few years ago one of my colleagues complimented me on the necklace I was wearing. I touched the necklace and played it down that it was just something I threw on that morning. My colleague flashed a look at me and said, “Don’t be so rude, I just gave you a compliment. I think what you meant to say was thankyou!” I was mortified, he was right. I should have immediately thanked him! This self criticism not only affects our own self worth, it also displays a lack of confidence to others.

Each and every one of us have successes and strengths. It’s time to start celebrating them.

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Photo Cred: Seth Doyle

4 Quick tips to help build that self-belief:

Acknowledge your doubts and worries – say them out loud, write them down or talk to a loved one. Release it. It helps.

Remember your successes – list 10 things you have achieved and that you are proud of. If you find this difficult, ask a friend to tell you their opinion of what you have achieved. You will be surprised at what they tell you! A friend of mine recently did this without me asking. I needed a bit of a reality check at some of my strengths and oh man I was emosh! But dam proud afterwards!

Surround yourself with positive people – don’t let toxic people steal your energy just because they have misplaced theirs!

Remember this….

“No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent” Eleanor Roosevelt

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