Driftless Stories -

11 Ways to Start Believing in Yourself

By Aryn Henning Nichols | Winter 2023-24

Believing in Yourself

Self-doubt is a frequent visitor of mine. Despite being most excellent at cheering others on, it can be hard to turn my megaphone around. 

The self-doubt comes in cycles, like so many things. But if I remember the tools I’ve attempted to gather over the past several years, I can generally pull myself out of the spiral. Going on a walk. Saying affirmations. Taking a shower. Making a list of my accomplishments. Making a gratitude list. These are the things I look to. 

I first read the phrase self-efficacy in 2021, as I was attempting to learn more about mental health – and also prioritize my own. Psychologists define the term as a person’s belief in their ability to accomplish specific tasks. Folks with low self-efficacy might not try as hard at a task because they don’t believe they’ll succeed, thus increasing the likelihood of failure. High self-efficacy can lead to more self-confidence, which in turn, can lead to higher self-esteem. And when you put it all together, it brings you to a place of recognizing your self-worth (Read Olivia Lynn Schnur’s mental health piece exploring this more). You are worthy.

Believing in yourself, acknowledging your strengths, and in general, not being so dang hard on yourself helps pave the path to a much happier life. And hey, you’re already on that path, cause you’re reading this article in Inspire(d) Magazine. Woohoo! Thank you for being part of this positive news movement this year (and longer!). Here’s to heading into 2024 believing in your abilities to create positive change in your communities. I am grateful for you! 

XOXO, Aryn

Believing in Yourself
Graphic design by Aryn Henning Nichols / Ribbon illustration by Lynsey D. Moritz

11 Steps to Believing in Yourself

1. Imagine the worst thing that could happen. Make a plan for how you’ll handle it. Then believe you can do it. (I mean, you already have a plan!)

2. Eat the Frog

“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” – Mark Twain

• Complete the biggest task early in day

• Feel confidence

• Repeat daily

3. Recognize limiting beliefs, question their validity, and replace with affirmations.

4. Sit up / stand up straighter.

Good posture increases confidence. Really need a boost? Set a timer and do the superhero pose. Stand tall. Put your hands on your hips, shoulder back, chest out. Hold for two minutes. It might feel silly, but it works (at the very least, you’ve taken a moment to be mindful of your body).

5. Tell yourself what you would tell your friends.

6. Surround yourself with people who encourage and support you.

You are worthy.

7. The law of attraction: If you believe in positive outcomes, you’re more likely to get positive outcomes.

8. Kick your impostor syndrome in the shins!

Write a list of your strengths and accomplishments, and revisit it every time you feel that ol’ jerk impostor syndrome sneaking back in. Really can’t think of any? Ask a loved one to get it started.

9. Make incremental goals, then Celebrate the Victories, big and small

10. Do one thing beyond your normal in order to push yourself toward your goals a little more each day. Getting out of your comfort zone increases confidence.

11. Self doubt is normal. Fall back on your tools and remember: You are Worthy of being your own cheerleader.

You’ve got this.