This may sound a bit biased because I am a Coach, but I firmly believe that one of the best ways to get help for limiting beliefs or self-doubt is by employing a Coach, the ability that a Coach possesses to lead someone to a deeper place innately is a true catalyst to building belief and self-confidence. If I were to give a story, it would be about Michael Jordan; now point to note is that both Kobe and Michael had the same Coach/Trainer, his name is Tim Grover. Both legends employed this guy because they realized that they needed to get past some limitations in their mindsets, and the results are there for all to see. They both set crazy heights of success because of his Coaching.
Starting something new is scary. Learning to believe in yourself can be a critical precursor to starting a new initiative. Why is it so important to learn to believe in yourself? How can someone work on gaining these skills? In this interview series, we are talking to business leaders, authors, writers, coaches, medical professionals, teachers, to share empowering insights about “How To Learn To Believe In Yourself.” As a part of this series we had the pleasure of interviewing Andy Anderson Charles. Andy is a Security Practitioner who owns a protective service agency, a minister of the Gospel, an Inspirational speaker, a singer, a writer, a Podcast host, and a Life & Development Coach. He is a Certified Public Speaker and Speechwriter from Udemy. Andy has been Coaching for the past 15 years and Speaking for the past 20 years. He is currently enrolled as a Scholarship Student at The Israel Bible Centre. His greatest passion is to help embolden and influence transformation in the lives of 3 million people during his lifetime. He is married to his partner in service Ena, a father of three and grandfather of five.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
I grew up in a small village in the central region of Trinidad with my parents and two sisters, being the eldest and the first it was my responsibility to ensure chores around the home got done. We were a struggling but happy family, my father was a Building Contractor, whilst my mom stayed at home to manage the household. I was exposed to music and singing by my father who was also a Baptist Minister, so there was a strong musical and spiritual influence earlier on in my life. I was always excited to attend Sunday School because I got to display my talents in singing, telling stories, and reciting poems, as well as remembering and quoting the Scriptures. I also played lots of sports like cricket, football, table tennis, volleyball, and basketball. When attending Primary School, I came to love English Literature, and on many occasions, I would be called upon to do a prose or skit on the spot and to sing a song or two, it was a fun time for me despite our challenges, and I fell in love with entertaining and giving people an experience, they would enjoy and remember. For me, that was the best time to forget the days we struggled for food, and the times I could not do what some of the other kids were doing, and so I was determined to find some joy in my life.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.
There are just a few people who have made great impressions on my life and the choices that I made career-wise, but if there is one person I can single out as my greatest inspiration it would be Martin Luther King Jnr. I remember looking at several of his speeches and thinking to myself; how can I have that kind of vocal mastery and influence all at once, how can I make that kind of memorable expression on people in any setting? That propelled me into taking some serious actions, and so I started taking courses, I searched and looked at all his speeches, and I became hungry for the influence I saw him having every time he opened his mouth, and I kept saying to myself, I must find a way to use what I am naturally blessed with to make a difference in the lives of many. I may not be a Martin Luther, but if only I can make a small dent, a little splash, maybe at some time it can become a sea of influence.
It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Haha, wow, I remember when I was given the opportunity to chair a Lions meeting for the first time and I could not find my voice, people started telling me to speak up and take control of proceedings, but they had no idea of the anxiety I felt at that time. I was not prepared even though I had accepted the position and the enthusiasm was ripe, I failed to prepare and to seek advice before engaging in the process, as I recall it now it is really funny, but there were several lessons learned. Firstly, always diligently prepare before a Coaching Session or making a Presentation, secondly, never take any moment or audience for granted, and learn how to breathe before starting any presentation. So, I went home and started going before the mirror and speaking to myself repeatedly, then to friends and family until I got the hang of standing before an audience and presenting, looking at a lot of videos helped as well. Yeah, it was funny.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
That’s a very good question. Currently, I am working on a program called Transactional Communication, it is a Coaching program geared towards improving the level of Communication in all areas of life, including that of Board to Shareholders; the idea is to ensure that the words used to communicate, are chosen for the process of making a valuable contribution not just in the conversation but in the conjecture of emotions you want to stir up in the other persons or party. In the end, everyone involved must come away with the conviction that not only were they heard and understood, but they all received proper appreciation and acknowledgment for the value of their time and input in the overall process. Secondly, my team and I are producing a new online radio and Facebook Live program entitled Breaking Out of Depression, in this program we highlight the several areas of depression one can go through, how to see and interpret signs and symptoms, how to address them for yourself or a loved one, how to insulate oneself from becoming a victim. We invite experts from the field, mainly those who were victims of depression and can now share their stories, and we do a holistic approach to solutions from physical, to emotional, to spiritual, and social. We respond in real-time to questions and comments, and we have challenges that are geared towards participation by our audience, who are then awarded online products as incentives. We firmly believe that many people will be helped to clearly define their personal or family struggles with depression and get information that will give them the life skills and the understanding of how to manage the influence of depression.
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. This will be intuitive to you but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to believe in yourself? Can you share a story or give some examples?
I can give you two good reasons why someone should always believe in themselves; firstly, all of us were created and placed here for a purpose, when we find that purpose and embrace it, we are fulfilling the call of the Universe/the Creator, to give an ROI on the investment that brought us here which no one else can do. Secondly, you will never find another unique and original version of yourself or anyone anywhere else on the planet, one must appreciate the fact that their fingerprint, dental impression, and footprints are and can only be found on them and no one else. Why then should you not believe in yourself? There is a famous quote by Charles Horton Cooley, an American sociologist at the start of the 20th century, he said: “I am not who you think I am; I am not who I think I am; I am who I think you think I am“ Just imagine for the sake of identity, that almost everyone is always thinking about what someone else is thinking about them, how crazy is that? In my humble opinion, your opinion of yourself is your business, and everyone else’s opinion of you is their business, not yours. Regarding a story, in 1985 an explorer/treasure hunter by the name of Mel Fisher, discovered after 16 years of exploring half a billion dollars worth of sunken treasure dating way back to 1622. In the process, he lost one of his crew in a storm and was indebted to many, but his conviction and belief were so deep that nothing deterred him from achieving his original goal. That is a perfect example of unwavering self-belief even in the face of insurmountable odds.
What exactly does it mean to believe in yourself? Can I believe that I can be a great artist even though I’m not very talented? Can I believe I can be a gold medal Olympic even if I’m not athletic? Can you please explain what you mean?
To be honest, anyone can believe in anything about themselves or anyone, the difference is not in the belief of itself, but in the actions that convey the belief or display the belief. One must be aware that there are limitations to everything but not all things, for example, Michael Jordan was kicked off the High School basketball team because he was not meeting the standard and approval of the Coach, he could have decided that maybe basketball was not for him, but there was a greater level of drive and ambition which he was prepared to put the work and time in for and it resulted in his success. He succeeded not because he wanted to prove the Coaching staff wrong, he succeeded because he wanted to prove himself right. Lionel Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency and was not supposed to grow in height, to the extent that he could play soccer, but he believed and that belief took him from his home in Argentina to a restaurant in Spain, where the then Manager/Coach of Barcelona saw the potential and his belief in Messi’s belief not to mention all the steroids and therapy produced arguably one of the greatest soccer players of all time. So, what one believes can be achieved, but there is a process that follows which determines the true character of their belief.
Was there a time when you did not believe in yourself? How did this impact your choices?
There was, and I firmly believe that we all go through a time or season of doubt in our lives at some point, for me personally, it brought limitations to my choices. I became hesitant about things I normally would not doubt, and at times I made no decision or choice at all in fear of making the wrong one, and by the way, not making a choice is also a choice. I had to seek the counsel of a Coach to rekindle my confidence and discount my limiting beliefs. This was also a process, but I did the work and learned to develop the skills that I now share with others.
At what point did you realize that in order to get to the next level, it would be necessary to build up your belief in yourself? Can you share the story with us?
Yeah, look you only realize your limitations sometimes when faced with the overwhelming pressure to excel at something you are known for doing or have done before, where people have certain expectations of you and you attempt to live up to them and you fail, that disappointment is of more pressure to you than to the masses. So, what I realized is that if I filled my cup to the extent that it is running over, then the excess is what I will have to share with others, you must be constantly growing, building, and developing yourself focusing on your core strengths and abilities. Always invest at least one hour every day, feast on building up reserves of your core competencies, and never ask folks to do what you have never done yourself. Because in order to convince others you must have had that real experience; walking the talk is the best way to ensure that you can build your level of belief, I took leaps of faith not knowing where I was going to land, but it was how I learned to grow wings and survive.
What are your top 5 strategies that will help someone learn to believe in themselves?
1 . This may sound a bit biased because I am a Coach, but I firmly believe that one of the best ways to get help for limiting beliefs or self-doubt is by employing a Coach, the ability that a Coach possesses to lead someone to a deeper place innately is a true catalyst to building belief and self-confidence. If I were to give a story, it would be about Michael Jordan; now point to note is that both Kobe and Michael had the same Coach/Trainer, his name is Tim Grover. Both legends employed this guy because they realized that they needed to get past some limitations in their mindsets, and the results are there for all to see. They both set crazy heights of success because of his Coaching.
2 . Secondly, one must have Intentional Clarity about the specific role they need to take on in life, this is not always easy, but if we take time to know deep down who we really are and what we are meant to become if we can speak freely to this discovery in detail, then it gives us the opportunity to build a foundation and create a visionary plan for the fulfillment of that discovery. A perfect example is the story of Lionel Messi, he knew at an early age what he wanted to become, he was clear about it and fully believed that he was born to be who he eventually became, but it begins with that sense of self-realization and acceptance.
3 . Thirdly, one must find themselves in a community or constant company of people who are like-minded, who are seeking success or have achieved it, people who want more for themselves, and people who had the challenge of overcoming self-doubt and managed to rebuild their imagery or brand. This is the art or process of learning to adopt change by association, changing your environment, or trading your current social status for more uplifting social engagements is key to affecting a healthier state of mind regarding self-belief.
4 . No 4 is Accountability, this means taking time to build a team of persons who will keep you accountable for what needs to be done with your core competency, they have one job only, and that is to keep you in check and on track. What this does is it creates an avenue for someone else to remind you of how you can stay the course, they help you to navigate the seas of doubt when they rear their ugly heads, and they ensure that you reach your goals and do so in a certain timeframe. You get to choose these people based on their skill level and ability to be consistent in a specific area. A perfect example is the story of Henry Ford who said: “Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is a success.”
He said this boldly because he understood the power of employing people who could do what he could not but needed to be done, even if they were smarter than him.
5 . Lastly, you must become a goal-setter. Your life must be guided by something of such great value that it becomes your big why, the why you get up in the morning, the way you invest time and resources in it, the way it keeps you up at night, the way you get all fired up about the mere mention of it. It may be more family time or a better lifestyle, or the car of your dreams, it may be travel and vacations. Whatever it is, create a goal for it and give yourself the benefit of the doubt by ensuring you do whatever it takes to get to that goal no matter the cost. This leaves little or no room for self-doubt because your focus is on getting to the goal. The perfect story is that of Mel Fisher who took 16 years to accomplish his goal because his sense of belief never allowed him to doubt himself at any time, he was determined beyond doubt to get the tangible experience of completing what he had begun.
Conversely, how can one stop the negative stream of self-criticism that often accompanies us as we try to grow?
Well for starters, one must decide to place real value on themselves and the life that they have been given, you need clarity, you need purpose, and you need a vision with an intense level of intent. No one is going to give you the value that you seek until to raise the bar for yourself, ideally, it requires an understanding that life is a process, and you get to decide how far along you are in the process. In addition to that, we must desire personal growth and development for ourselves, one percent at a time a steady and methodical approach can go a long way in addressing self-criticism. I must say though that in some instances it is quite healthy to be able to criticize ourselves, especially among people, introspection is a healthy key to unlocking the doors of self-acceptance as well.
Are there any misconceptions about self-confidence and believing in oneself that you would like to dispel?
Ultimately, one should never equate success externally with the inner virtues of self-confidence or self-belief, what we may achieve, or build must not be aligned to our innate values, we must separate the two. E.G. One should not say “We won the Super Bowl because we had confidence and we believed in ourselves”, however, if one were to say, “Because of our level of confidence and self-belief we are able to perform so well that winning the Super Bowl was made possible”. The first statement indicates that we won only because of self-confidence and belief, the second statement makes it more real by pointing to the possibilities that are available when one possesses self-confidence and belief.
What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with imposter syndrome?
Imposter syndrome largely comes about because of people looking for outward success and validation from inner struggles. One cannot and should not ever live their lives seeking to be validated by the outer world, since the outer world is seeking validation from others for themselves. Living to please the masses and be accepted by the majority, is a life lacking purpose and evading fulfillment. Find your true purpose as early as you can and embrace every opportunity given to develop it, and to share it with those who need it. Your personal story matters, it is different from every other story and it is unique to you only, someone will learn from your story and be inspired because you kept it real. The best way to avoid Imposter Syndrome, is to be real, be yourself, and stop trying to be who you are not.
Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
For me, it’s as simple as restructuring the universal education system to include Personal Growth and Human Development, the best educational institutions teach you what to think without giving you the how; and so, but what if we could change that to include a Curriculum that teaches our children real-life skills and prepares them for the challenges they would face in life. Keeping them aligned with their skill set, their career or job choices, marriage, family life, and financial management. That would be the movement I would love to inspire.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂
Yeah, it would be former President Obama, I would love to sit with him one day and get his perspective on life, the world in its current status, and the future as he sees it.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.