Celebrate. Believing in yourself implies that there is some end-goal on the horizon. It’s no small task to embark on a journey of any kind. Don’t forget to celebrate the wins. Either in your heart and quietly, or outload with others to share. But don’t forget the wins.

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 Elias Christeas.

Elias Christeas is the founder of Lighthouse Digital Marketing in Sarasota, FL. Elias has been a successful business owner for over 20 years but he knows that success doesn’t always come easy. Knowing when enough is enough is key — and taking the leap has been at the core of his most successful venture — life.

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 blue-collar home to an artist and a teacher. My father (the artist) always found a way to provide for his family. My mom was the internal support system for everyone. While our life wasn’t always easy, both of my parents were exceptional models of how to make a split-second decision and follow through. Both of them have amazing survival instincts and I (my sister, too) have been very lucky to draw on them as an example.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

As you know, I wasn’t always a digital marketer. I’ve owned several businesses throughout my adult life — but if there is a thread that unites them all — it’s caring for people. I love being the person responsible for delivering on a promise. Especially in a world where integrity seems to be slipping away.

I always did my own marketing and finally decided to help other businesses see the same type of results by implementing similar strategies.

It’s not just a day job for me. Digital marketing is a passion and a calling because I get to see people achieve their wildest dreams. When you think about it, our businesses are our dreams. We could’ve been anything else we wanted to be in our lives. And it’s a wonderful feeling to see my clients reach a level of success that previously evaded them.

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?

Oh, I love this question! There’s a quote our there I love from Les Brown: “Fail your way to success.” If you don’t know who he is, look him up. Listen to a YouTube of his. He’s so inspirational. But back to your question –

To be clear, I have excelled at failure. If I am good at anything, it’s been failure. While I think I could fill a novel with my painful stories of failure, one springs to mind from the start of my career as a digital marketer.

I got a referral for a big enterprise level contract. In those days, Zoom calls were still a relative rarity and you really had to be on-point to be taken seriously over video.

Anyway, I was looking to fill the marketing needs for a company whose internal teams couldn’t deliver on SEO.

For the most part, the call was going great, until mid-thought, I blacked out. I was trying so hard to repress my nerves that I completely forgot what I was talking about.

An uncomfortably long silence “filled the room.” Their eyes were burning into me and I was thinking to myself, “Holy smokes, dude. Say something. Anything. Why aren’t you saying anything? This is so weird. DUDE! SAY SOMETHING!!!”

It was so bad that the only thing I could do was call it out. I said something like, “Guys, I’m so sorry. I’m a new parent. I haven’t slept in days. I don’t even remember what I was saying. Was anyone taking notes?”

And you know what? They all burst out laughing and were quick to interject times when they got hung up in important meetings.

Needless to say, it was an awesome ice-breaker moment, and it warmed them to me. And I got the contract.

What’s the lesson? Nobody is perfect. Be yourself. Take the risk. You might just be surprised by the outcome.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I’d hate to sound like a cliché, but everything I’m working on excites me. On the client side of things, I’m pretty selective. I don’t work with just anyone. I have to believe in their purpose. When our interests are in line, shared passion makes for explosive results.

But that said, I’m teaching a masterclass right now about how to become a profitable marketer. It’s geared towards marketers and copywriters that have struggled to break into the industry for one reason or another.

So far, members of this masterclass are already getting in front of prospects, have bids out for projects, and are performing beyond expectations.

I have to say… on a deep human level… to know that I’m helping others find success is one of the great privileges of my life.

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?

Belief in yourself is everything. No matter who you are or what you want to do, knowing that you can find a way to do whatever it is you’re trying to do is the key to a fulfilling and purposeful life.

In terms of a relevant story, I’d love to backtrack and talk about this masterclass I’m teaching. I was urged by a few people to take on this project and I knew the need was dire.

The problem was… I never taught a class like this before (it’s gone throughout the duration of Q1). The group sessions are over an hour a piece (one per week), and everyone gets a private 30-min 1:1 to personalize the theories into practical application.

I was asked to do this in December of 2022. Q1 of 2023 was weeks away. I am literally building this plane as I fly it. But in terms of what’s being taught and how it’s being received, it’s first rate all the way.

Stronger than the terror of failing the people counting on me is the desire to help them succeed. So no matter what block I might hit while trying to prepare, their need gives me the strength to press on and deliver. No excuses.

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?

In the case of the above two examples, belief can anchor you. It can motivate you. But it should also enable you to seek the skills or abilities that you don’t have in order to pursue your dreams. But to a certain point. Tony Robbins talks about belief like this. And he says no matter how much you may believe you’ll see the sunset by running east, you never will. Sometimes our realities inform a needed strategy revision to achieve our belief.

But for me, I think I define belief in yourself as ultimate trust. The common most denominator in my core is that no matter what happens, I will find the way. And if there isn’t a way, I will make the way. I trust myself to be that resourceful.

Was there a time when you did not believe in yourself? How did this impact your choices?

Similar to running east in hopes of seeing a sunset, I had a wrong idea once about success and the belief I thought I had in myself. I lived for half my adult life in Los Angeles. Where I saw that most successful people were assholes. Some are, some aren’t. But I concluded that to be a success, you had to be an asshole.

And because I never wanted to be an asshole, I decided that success, at least the way I saw it, wasn’t for me. So for many years, I kept myself back because of a false belief in myself about what was real and what wasn’t.

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?

I’ve told this story before in some other places. But I won’t pretend that I’m a success because I’m sitting on a trust-fund. I was in my early thirties. I was a young father of two. And had $57 in the bank.

The existential crisis I felt knowing that the 1st of the month (bills) was coming was enough for me to revise my strategy on having an income and building wealth.

Forget about what I “believed.” I went to the numbers. I was looking at cashflow YoY and had a sobering realization that life in SoCal (as sad as I am to say it) wasn’t sustainable for me (at that time anyway). I saw an enormous volume of cash every year, but come tax time, the sheer cost of life and running a business there was making it a zero sum game.

It was then I knew that the needle needed to get dragged across the record. We packed up and moved from Los Angeles maybe 60 days later (with the funds I had from liquidating a business of mine).

What are your top 5 strategies that will help someone learn to believe in themselves? Please share a story or example for each.

1 . Have a vision. You need to be able to see something beyond your current circumstances in order to drive you.

2 . Take action. No one is ready. Ever. So get that idea of a perfect time, place, or skillset out of your mind.

3 . Take the hits. Yes. You are going to take a beating. But think of life as the hammer. You’re the metal on the anvil. Steel gets the crap beat out of it before getting dipped in the water as a beautiful sword. Welcome the process of change. You’ll be glad you did.

4 . Focus. Even if you are thinking you’ve got nothing to feel good about, I call BS. Everyone has something. No matter how small, start there. That’s your first win. Focus on that and never break it. The more you focus on the good, the more good will find you. And if someone reading this is saying yeah right, I offer this: you deserve whatever it is you secretly want out of life. Hold onto the purity of that idea. Start telling yourself that you deserve it. And maybe that, right there, is the first (of many) wins.

5 . Celebrate. Believing in yourself implies that there is some end-goal on the horizon. It’s no small task to embark on a journey of any kind. Don’t forget to celebrate the wins. Either in your heart and quietly, or outload with others to share. But don’t forget the wins.

Conversely, how can one stop the negative stream of self-criticism that often accompanies us as we try to grow?

Negative voices are always there. I have them, too. But I’m reminded of a South American fable. The tale of two wolves. To sum it up in very few words, a grandfather is teaching his grandson about life, and the struggles we all have within. There is a constant battle between two wolves — one good. One evil. Both equally as strong. Both competing for our soul. And in a moment of panic, the little boy ask which wolf will win. The grandfather smiles at him and says, “the one you feed the most.”

Are there any misconceptions about self-confidence and believing in oneself that you would like to dispel?

This is the million-dollar question. Yes. There’s a huge misconception. Don’t mistake or tolerate a vice posing as a virtue. “Oh I’m just going to read one more book. Take one more class. Do this other thing.” Watch out that your “noble” actions aren’t really just excuses keeping you from moving forward.

What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with imposter syndrome?

I think everyone feels this way at times. Successful or not. You can have all the training, motivation, role-models, and experience that you want. But at the end of the day, the buck has to stop with you. You have to be enough. You’ve got to be comfortable with making the call. That is the burden of command, and the secret to real success. Owning your capabilities and being responsible for the actions you take.

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.

My motives are highly existential. I haven’t made up my mind yet about what comes after. I don’t know if I ever will. But that aside, regardless of what the truth is about that, we’re here now. In the spirit of being present in this moment we call life, I sure as hell want it to count.

I love the idea of people embracing their innate power for good. For somehow being able to look beyond their present circumstances to do and to create and to give.

There are people out there who have really been to hell and back. And have done beautiful things since.

Imagine if we all did.

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 🙂

Oooooooooooooooooooooooh. Good one. I have dedicated my life to finding the greatest truth about myself — so that I can operate at my best. So has Tony Robbins. If I have any walls left, he can smash through them.

And while I’m waiting for the discretionary funds to meet with him (I’ve heard how much an hour costs), I’ll call my own bluff. Meeting with him would inspire and terrify me. But because I am a believer in doing things that are hard for me, let’s start there. And I live pretty close to him, too.

Should he read this, I’ll treat to lunch. And maybe just maybe, I’ll be able to give him a few good ideas, too.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

I think the best way to connect with me is over LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/in/eliaschristeas/ or if someone needs help with marketing: https://lighthouse-digitalmarketing.com/

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

Thank you, me too! It was a pleasure to chat and I look forward to another some day soon.


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.