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"If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride - and never quit, you'll be a winner. The price of victory is high but so are the rewards." - Paul Bryant
Good day my dear readers, trust you are very fine. I bring to you the concluding part of the last post. In case you are yet to read Part 1 of the Why you find it difficult to believe in yourself post, you can read it here Now let's consider the number 3 factor which can prevent a person from believing in himself or herself.
3. PAST EXPERIENCES OF FAILURE
This factor is perhaps the mother factor when talking about the causes of a lack of self-confidence in oneself. This is so because almost all the other factors that one might think of have their root cause in a past experience of failure. Take for instance the two other factors we had earlier discussed: Fear in most cases comes from a bad experience that a person has had, or a bad experience that had happened to another person which we know about. This creates in us the feeling that a similar thing could happen to us if we meet ourselves in a similar situation. Also, one of the causes of a low self-esteem is a failure that had been experienced in the past - we said something about this in the last post, but perhaps, we can now get to understand it better.
Now picture this: a man who has been jobless for about two years goes for a job interview. On getting there, he is asked some questions which he is expected to know the answer to, and which he himself believes he ought to know the answer to, but unfortunately, as it seems, his brain just goes blank and he is unable to provide a correct answer to just one of the questions asked, and therefore unable to get the job. What do you think would happen the next time he is invited for an interview?
I believe that such a man would have greatly suffered from that experience. He would have left the interviewer's office feeling so disappointed in himself. The disappointment would come not mainly from the fact that the interviewer asked him questions he couldn't answer, but from the fact that he personally believes that he ought to have been able to answer the questions - they were probably questions he had come across before in his career. It would even be more painful that he was unable to answer just one of the questions. In such a situation, the man would be more than disappointed in himself, and if asked to come for another interview, then, you can imagine the things that would be going on in his mind: "Oh my God, how am I going to perform in this interview? What questions would be asked? Am I sure I'd be able to answer the questions?" - A low self-esteem and fear would have greatly taken their hold on such a person.
From the above scenario, we could see the effect of a past experience of failure. It attempts to kill the self-confidence of an individual. It makes the individual not to believe in what he or she is capable of, and it is the same effect irrespective of the situation under consideration. For example, a person who has suffered from a broken marriage might feel reluctant to go into another marital relationship, the same way a person who lost a huge sum of money in a business which folded up might feel reluctant to invest his money in a similar business. The past failures might remain so fresh in the minds of such individuals, and thereby hinder them from reaching out to get the happiness, joy, success, and fulfilment which ought to be theirs.
What then is the solution to a past experience of failure?
The following seven steps will greatly be of help to anyone whose self-confidence is being affected by a past experience of failure:
i. Know that you are not a failure
The first thing that anyone who has experienced failure in the past must know is that: YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE. No matter what had happened to you, or that which is presently happening to you, you are not a failure. YOU ARE A SUCCESS. Believe me, there is hardly any successful man or woman today, who had not tasted failure in the past. They all rose from their failures to become successful. You MUST also rise from that failure to make a success out of your life.
ii. What led to the initial failure?
You need to sit down and sincerely ask yourself: what is(are) the reason(s) for my failure? Is there something that you ought to have done that you didn't do? Were you wrongly advised? Were you suffering from any form of physical or emotional pain during that period which could have contributed to the failure? Just carefully analyse the circumstances that led to the failure and extract from them the causes of the failure.
iii. Prepare for another attempt
Prepare your mind for another attempt. Yes, you have failed before, but now is the time to be successful. Now is the time to try again.
iv. Work on yourself
The next thing to do is to work on the causes of your initial failure. Do the things which you did not do in the past. Diligently work on yourself, and prepare yourself in every possible way for the next attempt.
v. Ease yourself of every tension
You must ease yourself of every tension and fear. You have nothing to be afraid of. What happened to you was in the past, we are now talking about the present. Focus on the present and leave the past to itself.
vi. Commit your next attempt into God's hands
If you are the type who believes in God and the power of prayer, then commit your next attempt into the hands of God. The Holy Book states that "with God all things are possible." Pray fervently about this next attempt of yours and have faith that God has answered your prayers.
vii. Go for it!
Finally, GO FOR IT. Attempt it again! Prove to the world that you are a success. I have no doubt that you will be successful this time around.
Before I bring this discussion about why you find it difficult to believe in yourself to an end, I would like to quickly give out five (5) things you need to do to help you believe in yourself. I'm sure you will find them useful although things related to some of them had been mentioned in the seven steps discussed above.
- Stop worrying: You need to put your mind at rest. Anxiety and fear will take you no where. Stop carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, and look at the brighter side of life. You can be successful in anything you do - mark my word ANYTHING.
- Take stock of yourself: You need to take a sincere assessment of yourself. A review of your life is very important in this process. This review is not meant to make you cry over the past, but to make you acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses. It makes you to see your abilities, which you can leverage upon in becoming successful.
- Build up your confidence: Having acknowledge your abilities and potentials, you can work more on them. You may need to re-learn, or redo one or two things. You may also need to reach out to a mentor or anyone who can offer useful perspectives to help you. You also need to hang out with the right sets of people. All these will help you believe in your abilities, and thereby build up your self-confidence.
- Make attempts: You just cannot afford to sit down without making attempts. Try to do those things which you have not had the courage to do in the past. Attempt them boldly, and see your dreams come true.
- Never be discouraged by a "NO": While making your attempts, it is possible you find yourself not being successful at some of those attempts. Don't give up. Try again! Keep on trying until you get what you want.
"Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy"