Set achievable goals: Setting realistic and achievable goals is the first step towards building self-belief. Choose goals that align with your passions and interests, and break them down into small, manageable tasks. Celebrate your successes along the way, no matter how small they may be.
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 Laura Hansen.
Laura Hansen is a board-certified health and wellness coach on a mission to help people live healthier, happier lives through lifestyle medicine. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, with a compassionate, gentle approach to guide busy professions to better health. Laura lives in the Pacific Northwest near the stunning Salish Sea, where she loves spending time with her four children and appreciating the natural beauty of the P.N.W. To get in touch with Laura or to schedule a free get-acquainted session, visit www.laurajanewellness.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?
Looking back at my childhood, I am grateful for the lessons that have shaped me into the successful entrepreneur I am today. I vividly remember my first job at age 11, where I opened an avocado stand in my sunny Southern California neighborhood. Though it may have seemed like a simple endeavor, this experience instilled in me the drive and determination to pursue my passions and create something of my own. Little did I know this early business venture would set the stage for countless opportunities and successes later in life.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.
Inspired by my experience of raising four amazing kids, I decided to head back to graduate school as an adult to explore ways to create more health and wellness in our society. It was a transformative journey that taught me a strengths-based approach to behavior change, which became the foundation of my coaching practice. Today, I am proud to say that I have come a long way since then. My clients appreciate my ability to inspire them to reach their full potential through effective communication and unwavering support.
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?
Life’s greatest teachers are often the mistakes and failures we encounter along the way. As A.P.J. Abdul Kalam once said, “If you fail, never give up because F.A.I.L. means ‘first Attempt in Learning.’” This quote has helped me to keep my sense of humor and perspective when faced with setbacks, reminding me that every mistake is an opportunity to learn and grow. By embracing our mistakes and failures as valuable lessons, we can become stronger and more resilient individuals, personally and professionally.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
Helping people improve their health is one of the most exciting projects I’m currently working on. I am determined to find ways to introduce health coaching into health clinics that serve the underinsured. Unfortunately, many individuals were not taught the importance of whole-person health or did not have a solid, healthy example to follow when growing up. Therefore, I aim to empower, educate, and hold people responsible for their health. By doing so, I hope to positively impact their lives and help them achieve a healthier lifestyle.
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?
Believing in yourself is not just important for achieving success in your career or personal life, but it also significantly impacts your health. People with low self-esteem or self-confidence often experience anxiety, stress, and depression. On the other hand, those who believe in themselves tend to have better mental and emotional health, which leads to a better quality of life. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as your physical health and believing in yourself is crucial. So, take the time to reflect on your strengths and accomplishments and use them as fuel to boost your self-confidence. You’ll see improvements not only in your mental health but also in other aspects of your life.
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?
Believing in yourself means having confidence in your abilities and potential, regardless of perceived limitations. It means envisioning a future where you achieve your goals and take the necessary steps to make that vision a reality. Whether becoming a great artist or winning a gold medal in the Olympics, creating health in your mindset is essential to achieving success. By developing a positive attitude towards yourself and your abilities, you can unlock your full potential and see the possibilities. At times, it may seem daunting, but anything is possible with a bit of faith and hard work. So, believe in yourself, take action, and create health in all aspects of your life.
Was there a time when you did not believe in yourself? How did this impact your choices?
Growing up in Southern California was a challenging environment. There were constantly people around who seemed to have it all together, never made mistakes, and always looked perfect. It was intimidating and overwhelming, causing many of us to doubt ourselves and our abilities. For me, this meant that I often felt like I didn’t measure up to the people around me. I struggled with self-doubt and made choices that didn’t necessarily align with my true passions and goals. But over time, something began to shift within me. I realized that the pressure to conform to the stereotypical image of beauty and success was not worth sacrificing my own sense of self. And so, I decided to embark on a journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance. At first, it was difficult. I had to confront the parts of myself that I had been trying to hide away for so long. But slowly and surely, I embraced my unique qualities and talents. I learned to create health in both my mind and body, which helped me overcome my insecurities and pursue a career aligned with my values. Now, I look back on my journey with pride and gratitude. I am grateful for the struggles that taught me so much about myself and what I am capable of. And I am proud of the person I have become, someone who isn’t afraid to be different, to stand out, and to pursue their passions with everything they have. The end of my story is not a neat and tidy conclusion. Instead, it’s an ongoing journey of growth and self-discovery. But one thing is certain: I will always continue to embrace my unique qualities and abilities, no matter what the world around me may say. And that is a gift that I will treasure forever.
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?
Today, I use my personal experience of overcoming adversity to help others facing similar challenges. It is difficult to overcome adversity but necessary for growth and development. As a business owner and mother, I have had my fair share of struggles, but during the pandemic, I realized the importance of building up my belief in myself. Focusing on my mental and physical wellness was crucial in pulling through tough times and coming out stronger on the other side. Through the passion I have for my work and my kids’ motivation, I found the strength to keep going even when life seemed overwhelming. Now, I help others find their inner strength and build resilience to overcome adversity and focus on their wellness.
What are your top 5 strategies that will help someone learn to believe in themselves? Please share a story or example for each.
1. Set achievable goals: Setting realistic and achievable goals is the first step towards building self-belief. Choose goals that align with your passions and interests, and break them down into small, manageable tasks. Celebrate your successes along the way, no matter how small they may be.
2. Practice self-care: Taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally is crucial for building self-belief. This includes getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and engaging in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.
3. Surround yourself with positivity: Surrounding yourself with positive people and influences can help boost your self-belief. Seek supportive friends and family members, read uplifting books and articles, and listen to motivational podcasts or speeches.
4. Embrace failure as a learning opportunity: Everyone experiences failure and setbacks at some point in their lives. Instead of letting these experiences crush your self-belief, use them as opportunities to learn and grow. Identify what went wrong, plan to improve, and try again.
5. Challenge negative self-talk: Negative self-talk can be a significant barrier to building self-belief. Monitor your thoughts and challenge any negative self-talk that you notice. Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations and create new ways of thinking.
Conversely, how can one stop the negative stream of self-criticism that often accompanies us as we try to grow?
As we embark on a journey of personal growth, it is common to face a barrage of negative self-talk that can hinder our progress. These internal voices, often referred to as gremlins, can be incredibly damaging to our self-esteem and motivation. However, it is possible to stop the negative stream of self-criticism and move forward towards our goals. The first step is to recognize these gremlins and acknowledge their existence. Once we understand that these voices are not representative of our true selves, we can begin to challenge and reframe them. This can be done through positive affirmations, visualization, or seeking support from trusted friends or professionals. It is also important to practice self-compassion and forgive ourselves for any mistakes or setbacks along the way. By addressing our gremlins and taking proactive steps toward self-improvement, we can break free from the cycle of negativity and continue on our path of growth with confidence and self-assurance.
Are there any misconceptions about self-confidence and believing in oneself that you would like to dispel?
There are several misconceptions about self-confidence and believing in oneself that need to be addressed. One of the most common misconceptions is that self-confidence is something that people are born with or that it is a fixed trait that cannot be changed. This is not true. Self-confidence can be cultivated and improved over time through practice, experience, and learning. Another misconception is that self-confidence is the same as arrogance or overconfidence. However, self-confidence is about having a healthy belief in one’s abilities and trusting oneself to make good decisions. It is not about being superior or better than others.
Furthermore, self-confidence is often associated with autonomy and self-efficacy. Autonomy refers to the ability to make decisions and take actions independently, while self-efficacy is the belief in one’s ability to succeed in specific situations or tasks. These concepts are related to self-confidence but are not the same thing. It is possible to have high levels of autonomy and self-efficacy without having high levels of self-confidence. Conversely, it is possible to have high levels of self-confidence without having high levels of autonomy or self-efficacy. Overall, dispelling these misconceptions about self-confidence and believing in oneself is crucial. By understanding that self-confidence can be developed and improved and that it is not the same as arrogance or overconfidence, individuals can work towards building healthy self-esteem and achieving their goals.
What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with imposter syndrome?
If you’re struggling with imposter syndrome, you’re not alone. Many people experience feelings of self-doubt and worry that they’re not qualified or deserving of their achievements. My guidance is to recognize that imposter syndrome is a common experience and does not reflect your actual abilities or accomplishments. It’s important to remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments and recognize that you have earned success through hard work and dedication. Another helpful strategy is to focus on your wellness values. This means prioritizing activities that support your physical, emotional, and mental well-being, such as exercise, meditation, and spending time with loved ones. When you prioritize your own wellness, you’ll feel more confident and capable in all aspects of your life. Finally, seek support from friends, family, or a mental health professional. Talking through your feelings with someone you trust can help you gain perspective and feel more grounded. Remember, imposter syndrome is a common experience but doesn’t have to hold you back. You can overcome these feelings and achieve your goals with the right mindset and support.
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.
Health equity should be a top priority for any movement to bring the most good to the most significant number of people. Health equity means that all individuals have the same opportunities to achieve optimal health, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, or geographic location.
To achieve health equity, we must address the root causes of health disparities, including poverty, discrimination, and lack of access to healthcare. This could involve initiatives to increase access to affordable healthcare, improve health education and literacy, and address social determinants of health such as housing, transportation, and food security.
By promoting health equity, we can help ensure that everyone has the opportunity to live a healthy and fulfilling life, free from preventable diseases and health issues. This movement has the potential to create a healthier, more just, and more equitable world for all.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, V.C. funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the U.S., 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 🙂
Oprah Winfrey is a true visionary who has overcome countless obstacles to become the powerful woman she is today. Her success story inspires anyone who believes in the power of believing in oneself. I would love to have lunch with Oprah and hear about her journey firsthand and gain insights into how she became such a successful entrepreneur and media mogul. Her ability to overcome challenges and stay focused on her goals is a testament to the power of determination and resilience.
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.