How to Believe in Yourself: 10 Tips for Becoming Your Best Self

Guest Post by William Anton PhD on June 12th, 2022

William D. Anton, Ph.D is a renowned clinical psychologist, psychoanalyst, and founder of CEO Effectiveness.

Best of all, he is also my father.

I was thrilled when he accepted my invitation to share his wisdom with my readers.

I know you will enjoy what he has to say as well.

Portrait of a young confident smiling indian man who believes in himself

Almost all of us want to feel more confident, happy, and successful!

And believe in our ability to create these outcomes.

What keeps many people from achieving these desirable outcomes is often a lack of belief in themselves.

And as a result, they avoid taking the actions that would lead to these desirable outcomes.

This unfortunately leads to a self-perpetuating cycle that leaves many people feeling stuck.

Learning how to believe in yourself is necessary for achieving goals and handling challenges, but how do we do it?

Factors That Influence Belief

There are key factors that influence our self-beliefs.

As described by the famous psychologist, Albert Bandura, our thoughts/emotions, behaviors, and environment influence each other in a reciprocal manner.

This means that any time we change one of these factors, we are automatically influencing the other factors.

So, an important first step in developing a strong belief in yourself is recognizing which of these factors may be influencing your beliefs about yourself, oftentimes it is all three!

The Path to Your Best Self

Before we get into specific steps that can be taken to improve this self-belief, it’s important to recognize that there will always be a discrepancy between the ideal or “perfect” you and the present you.

This gap is there for everyone, but for some people the gap is discouraging and can lead to negative self-talk and abandonment of behaviors that would have moved them closer to their goals.

Conversely, the gap can be motivating for others and lead them to take greater action.

So, what makes the difference in the two outcomes?

In this case, the key difference related to the thoughts/emotions about the gap.

Avoid Negative Self-Talk

If you are someone who finds yourself engaging in negative self-talk related to your behaviors, then an important step in developing greater belief in yourself would involve paying more attention to what you are saying to yourself.

You see we all talk to ourselves throughout the day, which is why it’s very important to pay attention to what we are telling ourselves to ensure that our self-talk is working for us, rather than against us.

Take Small Daily Actions

Of course, all the positive self-talk in the world will not lead to a true belief in yourself if it is not accompanied by actions that are aligned with your goals.

So, if you are someone who is good at being positive but not as good at taking actions, then an important step would be to start by taking small actions towards your goals every day.

Remember, you win the game of life one step at a time.

And it’s important to trust the process when carrying out a plan.

Prioritize Personal Growth

Believing in yourself also means prioritizing yourself and your self-growth.

This means saying no to things that do not serve you and saying yes to things that challenge you, but that are in line with your vision of yourself, also known as self-vision.

This is the vision of your best self, the one who puts forth effort into activities that are aligned with your goals.

This means being clear on the goal and then spending time on activities that are aligned with these goals.

Ultimately, believing in yourself is about living your life in accordance with your values.

Avoid/Limit Toxic Environments

Last but not least, if you are someone who is motivated and typically does not have problems taking actions but finds themselves in a toxic or discouraging environment, then the key step would to find ways to remove yourself from, or minimize time spent in this environment.

Recognize the value of certain tasks and people, and whether or not they are enhancing your experience or taking away from it.

Engage in behaviors that provide positive outcomes and try to limit the number of interactions with experiences that are negative or do not provide a feeling of satisfaction.

10 Key Skills to Help You Become Best Version of Yourself

To become the best version of yourself, you must not be overly concerned with other people’s lives or world affairs.

This is because every moment spent focusing on other people’s actions is a moment that could be spent on self-improvement, or on creating the life you want.

Bringing the energy spent on reading news, pop culture, and talking about others to work on your own affairs and progress can make such a big difference in your self-belief and becoming the best version of yourself.

Below are key skills to help you do just that:

#1 – Clarify Your Values

  • Know what truly matters to you!!!
  • Pretend you only have 6 months to live and make three lists:
    • Things you have to do
    • Things you want to do
    • Things you don’t have/want to do
  • For the rest of your life, do not engage in activities in the 3rd category

#2 – Goal Setting

  • Important to set goals but also to be patient with self when working on them
    • Negotiating life’s demands is not easy
    • Everybody encounters barriers along the way
  • If initial goals are too demanding, take a step back and re-evaluate
    • Important to not let lapses and/or relapses turn into collapses
    • Better to arrive at your destination later than planned than not at all!

#3 – Time Management (Key Principles)

  • Know what you want to achieve – Stay focused!
  • Focus your attention on activities that add value
  • Use To-Do lists to remember everything
  • Do “similar” tasks together (e.g., people’s problems)
  • Say “No” to monkeys (other people’s problems)
  • Work in your ‘prime time’
  • Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize
    • When you prioritize, everything flows naturally and the key decisions are made with less stress
    • Work when it’s time to work, and workout when it’s time to work out

#4 – Problem Solving

  • Problems/barriers frequently interfer with meeting goals
  • The IDEA problem-solving model breaks problem solving into a 4-step process:
    • Step 1 – Identify the problem specifically
    • Step 2 – Develop a list of potential solutions
    • Step 3 – Evaluate each possible solution
    •  Step 4 – Action. Try out the best solutions and if it works congratulate yourself, if not, go back to step one

#5 – Positive Self-Talk

  • All of us talk to ourselves all the time
    • e.g., “I’m too tired to go to work today”
  • Negative self-statements decrease ability to cope with stress, increase fatigue, depression, and pain
  • Goal is to make self-talk work for you
  • Making change requires practice and patience (just like riding a bike initially) but can be achieved!

#6 – Match Coping Style to Stressor

  • Two distinct types of coping:
    • Problem-focused – attempt to resolve or eliminate stressor
    • Emotion-focused – attempt to resolve or eliminate negative feelings associated with stressors
      • Problem Focused Coping – best when stressor under your control (e.g., flat tire)
      • Emotional Focused Coping – best when stressor uncontrollable (e.g., demanding boss)

#7 – Relaxation/Meditation

  • Meditation/relaxation decreases sympathetic arousal, release of cortisol, systolic blood pressure, breathing rate & cholesterol levels (Roth, 1987)
  • Notice that these changes are the exact opposite to the physiological changes of a stress reaction
  • If you are a workaholic, consider that you owe it to yourself to relax or else you jeopardize staying at your job over the long haul

#8 – Exercise Regularly and Eat a Healthy Diet

  • Exercise and Diet are demonstrated to improve:
    • Immune function, glucose intolerance, bone mineral density, body composition, blood lipid profiles
    • Psychological function, well-being, and self-esteem
    • Sleep

#9 – Enlist Social Support

  • Three types of social support:
    • Emotional – relief from emotional distress
    • Instrumental – helping with work or other tasks
    • Informational – providing critical info
  • Social support appears to have a buffering effect on stress-illness relationship
    • Quality of social support is most important

#10 – Avoid “chemical haze”

  • We’ve seen the negative impact that loss of control has on stress levels
  • Important not to depend on chemical/artificial means to acquire control
    • Smoking – stopping is probably the single best thing for health
    • Drinking – in moderation may be beneficial but not in excess
    • Caffeine – too much can make you jittery, irritable, prone to headaches
    • Drugs – only if prescribed
  • Chemicals create the illusion of control
  • Real control takes effort, not escape

Believe in Yourself and Become Your Best Self

Learning how to believe in yourself is learning to pay more attention to things that move you forward, and less attention to things that aren’t aligned with your path.

Spending time on skills like the ones mentioned above will increase your effectiveness, confidence and self-belief.

As your belief grows, you will be stepping into and becoming the best version of yourself.

More on mind health:

Brain Fog Diet: 4 Diet Tips to Help You Reduce Brain Fog

How to Quiet Your Mind: 10 Helpful Strategies to Get You Started

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Anton

I’ve had the privilege of studying the fields of obesity, metabolism, and aging for the past 20 years and felt an increasing desire to share what I’ve learned with as many people as possible the past few years.

More About Dr. Anton
RECENT ARTICLES

How to Believe in Yourself: 10 Tips for Becoming Your Best Self

Guest Post by William Anton PhD on June 12th, 2022

William D. Anton, Ph.D is a renowned clinical psychologist, psychoanalyst, and founder of CEO Effectiveness.

Best of all, he is also my father.

I was thrilled when he accepted my invitation to share his wisdom with my readers.

I know you will enjoy what he has to say as well.

Portrait of a young confident smiling indian man who believes in himself

Almost all of us want to feel more confident, happy, and successful!

And believe in our ability to create these outcomes.

What keeps many people from achieving these desirable outcomes is often a lack of belief in themselves.

And as a result, they avoid taking the actions that would lead to these desirable outcomes.

This unfortunately leads to a self-perpetuating cycle that leaves many people feeling stuck.

Learning how to believe in yourself is necessary for achieving goals and handling challenges, but how do we do it?

Factors That Influence Belief

There are key factors that influence our self-beliefs.

As described by the famous psychologist, Albert Bandura, our thoughts/emotions, behaviors, and environment influence each other in a reciprocal manner.

This means that any time we change one of these factors, we are automatically influencing the other factors.

So, an important first step in developing a strong belief in yourself is recognizing which of these factors may be influencing your beliefs about yourself, oftentimes it is all three!

The Path to Your Best Self

Before we get into specific steps that can be taken to improve this self-belief, it’s important to recognize that there will always be a discrepancy between the ideal or “perfect” you and the present you.

This gap is there for everyone, but for some people the gap is discouraging and can lead to negative self-talk and abandonment of behaviors that would have moved them closer to their goals.

Conversely, the gap can be motivating for others and lead them to take greater action.

So, what makes the difference in the two outcomes?

In this case, the key difference related to the thoughts/emotions about the gap.

Avoid Negative Self-Talk

If you are someone who finds yourself engaging in negative self-talk related to your behaviors, then an important step in developing greater belief in yourself would involve paying more attention to what you are saying to yourself.

You see we all talk to ourselves throughout the day, which is why it’s very important to pay attention to what we are telling ourselves to ensure that our self-talk is working for us, rather than against us.

Take Small Daily Actions

Of course, all the positive self-talk in the world will not lead to a true belief in yourself if it is not accompanied by actions that are aligned with your goals.

So, if you are someone who is good at being positive but not as good at taking actions, then an important step would be to start by taking small actions towards your goals every day.

Remember, you win the game of life one step at a time.

And it’s important to trust the process when carrying out a plan.

Prioritize Personal Growth

Believing in yourself also means prioritizing yourself and your self-growth.

This means saying no to things that do not serve you and saying yes to things that challenge you, but that are in line with your vision of yourself, also known as self-vision.

This is the vision of your best self, the one who puts forth effort into activities that are aligned with your goals.

This means being clear on the goal and then spending time on activities that are aligned with these goals.

Ultimately, believing in yourself is about living your life in accordance with your values.

Avoid/Limit Toxic Environments

Last but not least, if you are someone who is motivated and typically does not have problems taking actions but finds themselves in a toxic or discouraging environment, then the key step would to find ways to remove yourself from, or minimize time spent in this environment.

Recognize the value of certain tasks and people, and whether or not they are enhancing your experience or taking away from it.

Engage in behaviors that provide positive outcomes and try to limit the number of interactions with experiences that are negative or do not provide a feeling of satisfaction.

10 Key Skills to Help You Become Best Version of Yourself

To become the best version of yourself, you must not be overly concerned with other people’s lives or world affairs.

This is because every moment spent focusing on other people’s actions is a moment that could be spent on self-improvement, or on creating the life you want.

Bringing the energy spent on reading news, pop culture, and talking about others to work on your own affairs and progress can make such a big difference in your self-belief and becoming the best version of yourself.

Below are key skills to help you do just that:

#1 – Clarify Your Values

  • Know what truly matters to you!!!
  • Pretend you only have 6 months to live and make three lists:
    • Things you have to do
    • Things you want to do
    • Things you don’t have/want to do
  • For the rest of your life, do not engage in activities in the 3rd category

#2 – Goal Setting

  • Important to set goals but also to be patient with self when working on them
    • Negotiating life’s demands is not easy
    • Everybody encounters barriers along the way
  • If initial goals are too demanding, take a step back and re-evaluate
    • Important to not let lapses and/or relapses turn into collapses
    • Better to arrive at your destination later than planned than not at all!

#3 – Time Management (Key Principles)

  • Know what you want to achieve – Stay focused!
  • Focus your attention on activities that add value
  • Use To-Do lists to remember everything
  • Do “similar” tasks together (e.g., people’s problems)
  • Say “No” to monkeys (other people’s problems)
  • Work in your ‘prime time’
  • Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize
    • When you prioritize, everything flows naturally and the key decisions are made with less stress
    • Work when it’s time to work, and workout when it’s time to work out

#4 – Problem Solving

  • Problems/barriers frequently interfer with meeting goals
  • The IDEA problem-solving model breaks problem solving into a 4-step process:
    • Step 1 – Identify the problem specifically
    • Step 2 – Develop a list of potential solutions
    • Step 3 – Evaluate each possible solution
    •  Step 4 – Action. Try out the best solutions and if it works congratulate yourself, if not, go back to step one

#5 – Positive Self-Talk

  • All of us talk to ourselves all the time
    • e.g., “I’m too tired to go to work today”
  • Negative self-statements decrease ability to cope with stress, increase fatigue, depression, and pain
  • Goal is to make self-talk work for you
  • Making change requires practice and patience (just like riding a bike initially) but can be achieved!

#6 – Match Coping Style to Stressor

  • Two distinct types of coping:
    • Problem-focused – attempt to resolve or eliminate stressor
    • Emotion-focused – attempt to resolve or eliminate negative feelings associated with stressors
      • Problem Focused Coping – best when stressor under your control (e.g., flat tire)
      • Emotional Focused Coping – best when stressor uncontrollable (e.g., demanding boss)

#7 – Relaxation/Meditation

  • Meditation/relaxation decreases sympathetic arousal, release of cortisol, systolic blood pressure, breathing rate & cholesterol levels (Roth, 1987)
  • Notice that these changes are the exact opposite to the physiological changes of a stress reaction
  • If you are a workaholic, consider that you owe it to yourself to relax or else you jeopardize staying at your job over the long haul

#8 – Exercise Regularly and Eat a Healthy Diet

  • Exercise and Diet are demonstrated to improve:
    • Immune function, glucose intolerance, bone mineral density, body composition, blood lipid profiles
    • Psychological function, well-being, and self-esteem
    • Sleep

#9 – Enlist Social Support

  • Three types of social support:
    • Emotional – relief from emotional distress
    • Instrumental – helping with work or other tasks
    • Informational – providing critical info
  • Social support appears to have a buffering effect on stress-illness relationship
    • Quality of social support is most important

#10 – Avoid “chemical haze”

  • We’ve seen the negative impact that loss of control has on stress levels
  • Important not to depend on chemical/artificial means to acquire control
    • Smoking – stopping is probably the single best thing for health
    • Drinking – in moderation may be beneficial but not in excess
    • Caffeine – too much can make you jittery, irritable, prone to headaches
    • Drugs – only if prescribed
  • Chemicals create the illusion of control
  • Real control takes effort, not escape

Believe in Yourself and Become Your Best Self

Learning how to believe in yourself is learning to pay more attention to things that move you forward, and less attention to things that aren’t aligned with your path.

Spending time on skills like the ones mentioned above will increase your effectiveness, confidence and self-belief.

As your belief grows, you will be stepping into and becoming the best version of yourself.

More on mind health:

Brain Fog Diet: 4 Diet Tips to Help You Reduce Brain Fog

How to Quiet Your Mind: 10 Helpful Strategies to Get You Started

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Anton

I’ve had the privilege of studying the fields of obesity, metabolism, and aging for the past 20 years and felt an increasing desire to share what I’ve learned with as many people as possible the past few years.

More About Dr. Anton
RECENT ARTICLES
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Anton

I’ve had the privilege of studying the fields of obesity, metabolism, and aging for the past 20 years and felt an increasing desire to share what I’ve learned with as many people as possible the past few years.

More About Dr. Anton
BLOG CATEGORIES
RECENT ARTICLES

Get the Introduction to Dr. Anton’s Upcoming Book ‘Magic Morning Routine’

Take advantage of this 100% free PDF and learn how to create a morning routine that sets you up for success!

    Get the Introduction to Dr. Anton’s Upcoming Book ‘Magic Morning Routine’

    Take advantage of this 100% free PDF and learn how to create a morning routine that sets you up for success!

      Get the Introduction to Dr. Anton’s Upcoming Book ‘Magic Morning Routine’

      Take advantage of this 100% free PDF and learn how to create a morning routine that sets you up for success!