AFFIRM YOURSELF — Always give yourself credit for your best effort. There is no certainty in entrepreneurship. If you only value successful results, you’ll give up. You have to give yourself credit for doing your personal best when nobody is looking and when nobody acknowledges you. I have a story like this every single day. Even today, I succeeded in getting my Instagram verified (the Blue Check), but not on TikTok. I need to gather some more resources and retry in 30 days. It’s not a failure. We must celebrate our best efforts, gather the resources, and go at it again.
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 Julia Cha.
Julia Cha is a business and leadership coach for entrepreneurs and founders in the coaching, training, and consulting industries. She is a human power dynamics advisor for 6 and 7-figure entrepreneurs to increase their profitability with their personal branding, copywriting, and sales. She advises accomplished individuals on executive presence and on how to successfully navigate business relationships and partnerships. www.juliacha.com
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 was born in Seoul, South Korea. When I was 5, we immigrated to Buenos Aires, Argentina. When I was 11, we moved to Vancouver, Canada, and I’ve been living here since. My father was an entrepreneur and did import-export between Korea and other countries. That’s why we moved so much. Living in different cultures from a very early age helped me become aware of the effects of social, cultural, and gender conditioning on people’s mindsets and how they play out in the context of power dynamics. Not to mention, business runs in my blood. I never saw my father having a job. He had a business even before I came into this world. He was a constant initiator and pivoted multiple times in his businesses.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.
My dad. For much of my adult life, I thought I was sure that I wanted to stay away from business, because of the turbulence and the unpredictability I experienced while being hauled around all over the world by my dad. As I got older, however, I realized that I had inherited a lot of his qualities, and being in a job did not satisfy me. Doing the same thing for many years made me restless. Those of us who pursue entrepreneurship get a high from risk-taking. That fear of uncertainty feels just like excitement.
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?
The funniest rookie mistake I made was when I was recording content in the early days. Sometimes I didn’t wear pants because all you can see in the content is up to the shoulders. So I was often entirely made up with my hair and makeup, with a nice top on, but no pants. It was one of the perks of working from home. Until one day, my phone popped out of the tripod and fell, exposing my bottoms. I was on a Facebook live!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
I have two projects:
First, I have developed a fool-proof program on teaching entrepreneurs how to influence, lead, and persuade to get business opportunities and make sales. It all comes down to a deep understanding of power dynamics and embodying power body language and communication skills. Anyone can become an influencer and make money when they understand and embody my teachings. It’s a whole unlearning and relearning process of releasing insecurities, embodying powerful communication strategies, and turning them into habits.
Second, I’ve developed a training program for the Speed Coaching Process, which is my own rapid coaching process that taps into the subconscious mind, helping people uncover the root cause of their behavioral symptoms, such as procrastination and mental blocks around being a magnetic speaker and influencer. It takes 30 minutes to uncover the root cause and develop a tangible solution that will retrain their mind to achieve their goals. In this training program, I train coaches to become expert transformation facilitators.
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?
You can’t do anything without unshakable self-belief. You can have lots of dreams and goals, but if you don’t believe that you can achieve them, you won’t push forward. You’ll procrastinate. You will give up at the first sight of missed sales calls, getting a “no,” then quit and stay in limbo. Staying stuck is really a symptom of a lack of self-belief. Self-belief is everything and more.
When I was first starting out in coaching, so many people told me that this is not a real line of work. They were sure that I was going to fail. I was even told that business isn’t for someone like me. If I lack self-belief, I would have listened to all the nonsense noise and given up even before starting.
That’s why self-belief is essential to your success.
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?
You need to have talent. For example, I succeeded as a coach but wouldn’t have succeeded as a basketball player, no matter how hard I apply myself. I know that basketball isn’t my strength. To become successful, you have to know yourself and your strength and believe in it. Everyone has a gift. You have to know what yours is, and how you can pragmatically make money from that. No matter what I do, I can never be a Michael Jordan. I don’t have the talent that it takes. This kind of delusion isn’t self-belief, it’s just delusion. You can’t just believe to manifest success.
Once you find your strength, then you have to start giving people value with that talent. You get paid to serve, and as you do, you have to develop and polish your talent to become the best at it. Otherwise, you will get lost in the sea of others who can do better than you.
Believing in yourself means that you found your strength, and with it, you believe in the possibility that you can become a person with high proficiency. Helping and influencing a lot of people with that skill equates to financial success, which also helps to build your reputation.
Competency becomes your privilege, and that privilege gives you the life that you want.
Was there a time when you did not believe in yourself? How did this impact your choices?
Absolutely. I was trained to not know my value. I come from a very patriarchal family. Women are trained to give non-stop and never expect anything in return. Also, career conversation was not a thing for me in my family, because I’m a girl. I was expected to marry a man and support his career.
I became an adult not knowing what my strength and privilege were. That led me to a very toxic relationship where I got the worst deal out of the biggest financial contract of my life, which is what marriage is. That marriage was not a fair collaboration. It ended up becoming a huge loss in time, energy, and resources for me… giving my best years to an undeserving individual who does not know how to appreciate a woman with so many talents and abilities.
One bad marriage will have a tremendous impact on your finances and long-term wealth. Subsequently, I also undervalued myself in work situations, where I was overgiving and underpaid.
There was a lot of unlearning and relearning I had to do in the last 20 years.
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?
It took me two years to start offering coaching as an entrepreneur. During those two years of being in limbo between depending on an employer and taking the leap as a true entrepreneur, I noticed my own dependency to rely on my employer to provide me with a regular paycheck. The fear of uncertainty was the root cause of the dependency, which was what stopped me from taking a leap. That dependency was a sign of not believing in myself. I had never thought that being in a job was a dependency issue. This awakening was where I began to work on my self-belief.
What are your top 5 strategies that will help someone learn to believe in themselves? Please share a story or example for each.
1 . COUNT ALL YOUR SUCCESSES
It doesn’t matter how small or when you’ve achieved something, you have to make them count. If you don’t give yourself credit, nobody will. When I first started, I gave myself credit for everything, even the things I did when I was a teenager. I gave myself credit for studying hard to get into a good university, despite the odds I was facing and having no parental or guardian support. I gave myself credit for graduating uni when nobody encouraged me to get a good education. I gave myself credit for making the right career moves and never settling in the same job for more than a year without any promotions. Giving myself credit gave me the self-belief to start my business, and I gave myself credit for all my achievements along the way to create more success.
2 . START SMALL BUT BE CONSISTENT
When in doubt, take action that will help you feel inspired. If you have a hard time putting yourself out on social media, make one short piece of content a day and post it. Your comfort zone expands as you take action. When I first started, I was nowhere near feeling as comfortable as I feel now when it comes to writing content and expressing even controversial ideas, such as topics on gender and race when it comes to power dynamics. My comfort zone expanded with consistent action, and my self-belief grew in that process to fully expand my voice. I comfortably discuss controversial topics when it’s relevant to my audience, which in turn, invites more people who are fully aligned with my message.
3 . USE POWER WORDS
Use words that empower you even in your thought processes. It’s not a failure, it’s an experiment. It’s not that you’re not talented or good at anything, instead, acknowledge that you’re learning. When I first started out, my copywriting wasn’t where it needed to be to be successfully influential. There were many times I created content and it didn’t generate any financial returns. All of these experiences were not failures… they were opportunities to polish my skills.
4 . AFFIRM YOURSELF
Always give yourself credit for your best effort. There is no certainty in entrepreneurship. If you only value successful results, you’ll give up. You have to give yourself credit for doing your personal best when nobody is looking and when nobody acknowledges you. I have a story like this every single day. Even today, I succeeded in getting my Instagram verified (the Blue Check), but not on TikTok. I need to gather some more resources and retry in 30 days. It’s not a failure. We must celebrate our best efforts, gather the resources, and go at it again.
5 . TREAT YOURSELF
Every time you do your personal best, you need to reinforce good habits to train your mind to become more of an achiever. You can do this by attaching rewards at the end of any important task. What you give yourself as a treat must be something that is good for you, and not something unhealthy or unproductive. When I finish this article, I am excited to have my favorite yogurt and go to my fun exercise class. There are two rewards waiting for me, as well as the feeling of accomplishment, which is a huge dopamine hit in itself. Always treat yourself right and you’ll keep your momentum alive.
Conversely, how can one stop the negative stream of self-criticism that often accompanies us as we try to grow?
Any time you give yourself self-criticism, it must be helpful. Don’t cut yourself down. Instead of saying, “I am so bad at this,” or “I failed,” say, “I can see that I need to improve on this skill. How can I improve? What and who can I leverage?”
Are there any misconceptions about self-confidence and believing in oneself that you would like to dispel?
Competency stops self-belief from becoming delusion. To have real self-belief, you need concrete skills to back it up. Otherwise, you don’t really believe in yourself. That self-belief is still fantasy until you can back it up with 100% trust in yourself that it’s true. It’s essential to back up your self-belief by polishing your skills. You need to be ready to present your competency when opportunities rise. When you demonstrate your competency with confidence in front of the right people, you get opportunities. Other people believe in you too, and that’s how you climb the ranks of success. You need to affirm yourself when you make these achievements, which leads you to create more success. This is why there is no such thing as overnight success. It took many little achievements for anyone highly successful to get to where they are.
What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with imposter syndrome?
Imposter syndrome to a certain level is very healthy. If you never question yourself, you cannot improve your competency. You have to learn to soothe yourself and bet on yourself when you feel that imposter syndrome. As you feel the fear, take the required action anyway. When you’re afraid, be bold.
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.
Stop being nice and pleasant, and instead, become bold. Take the right action, despite the fears. It’s the only way to become that successful version of yourself that you desire to be. I call this metamorphosis the journey of a Good Girl becoming a Bad Bitch. A Good Girl is a pleaser who is controlled by what people think. A Bad Bitch is a success magnet because she discerns the right move based on the outcome she wants, and takes ruthless action.
I’d love to see everyone reading this article become their version of a Bad Bitch.
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 🙂
I’d love to spend a day with Arlene Dickinson. Her career trajectory and decision-making represent self-belief. She’s the OG Bad Bitch that I came across 14 years ago.
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.
Thank you for having me here.