Develop a Growth Mindset: Seeking constructive feedback from trusted individuals provides insights for improvement. Accepting and implementing feedback contributes to personal and professional growth. In my life, developing a growth mindset has helped me embrace challenges as opportunities to try something new and learn, even if I discover that it’s not for me.
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 Navixha Bagga.
Navixha Bagga is known for being a social media creator, seasoned corporate leader, mindset mentor, and women’s leadership advocate.
Navixha’s mission is to empower individuals and organizations to unlock their true potential and realize their most flourished, synergized, and effective versions!
She aims to help others break through barriers and live to their fullest potential with joy and purpose.
Along with mental health and mindset development, Navixha avidly advocates for women’s leadership. Diversity is the true asset of any society or company — and as such, women are a tremendous force of insightful, effective, and inherent leadership.
Having 23 years of professional experience in corporate IT, Navixha brings a leadership mindset that has helped organizations achieve strategic alignment, optimize processes, and overcome constraining dependencies to realize their vision.
With life coaching and mindset management experience of over 25 years, Navixha empowers individuals to tap into their wealth of potential, innate creativity and talent, and inner joy that may seem hidden but exists deep within everyone.
Navixha envisions enabling people to reconnect with their inner powerhouse and source of peace and calm — to maximize their potential and significantly enhance their life experience.
By doing so, organizations are enabled to develop their workforce to its truest potential as a diverse, yet synergized, mutually trusting, highly productive workforce.
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?
My early years were genuinely joyful. As the eldest among my two lively sisters in Kolkata, my parents imparted the beauty of a typical middle-class lifestyle. Thanks to my dad’s position at an international airline, we had the privilege of enjoying fantastic vacations and exciting trips abroad. Amidst all the excitement, I was more of a reflective and contemplative child. I found solace in activities like reading and writing, and surprisingly, I cherished those serene moments when I could be alone with my thoughts. It was during these quiet times that I discovered a deep appreciation for introspection and the simple pleasures of life.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.
Ever since I was a little girl, returning from school on those muggy afternoons in Kolkata, my biggest joy would be to immerse myself in front of the TV set and tune into Oprah’s shows. Each human story that unfolded on her programs captivated me. The characters, their struggles, and the complexity of human relationships fascinated me, and even at that young age, my interest and attraction to this world were simply inevitable. It was then, I suppose, that a seed was planted in me to work directly with people, to understand their stories, and in some way, help them overcome barriers and move forward in their lives.
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?
In the early days of my content creation journey, I was diligently researching motivating personalities and celebrities to connect with, informing them about my work and extending invitations for interviews on my channel/platform. On one unforgettable occasion, I reached out to a highly acclaimed, award-winning actor. However, I inadvertently mixed-up names, addressing them as someone else I was simultaneously emailing. To my surprise, they responded appreciating my work, accepting my invitation, and cheekily signed off with the alternate personality I had mistakenly used. I was mortified, but fortunately, they didn’t mention it during our live chat. Haha, the joys of early journey mishaps!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
My flagship project, my ‘baby,’ is the 5K Saree Walk, launched in 2022. Every woman is a hero, carrying a multitude of stories — some of challenges overcome, and some of tribulations succumbed to. However, as women, we’ve yet to create a multitude of collective platforms to share these stories, to inspire and be inspired. The OYL Saree Walk is my humble attempt to facilitate such a platform, allowing women to share their narratives and showcase the inherent leadership qualities present in each woman throughout history — from Joan of Arc to Kalpana Chawla to you and me. This walk is a statement that, regardless of societal labels or attire choices (saree or a pantsuit), each person is limitless. For a woman, she can manage her home, lead her country in a saree — and can also complete a 5k in one!
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 goes beyond achieving success; it’s a key to survival. It’s the stable ground beneath your feet as you navigate life. No matter how many cheers or encouragements you receive, without trust in your efforts and abilities, holding onto success becomes a steep climb.
Having confidence in yourself becomes your anchor during challenging times and life’s unpredictable moments. It propels you forward and motivates you to take decisive action even during troubled times.
And you know what’s cool? Self-belief acts like a superhero power against the fear of making mistakes. Feeling anxious about failure is normal, but when you have faith in yourself, you can push those fears aside and continue making progress.
Self-belief also acts as your undercover tool for handling criticism and dealing with haters. It helps you differentiate between constructive advice and plain negativity. It’s the mindset that allows you to learn from the positives and continuously work on self-improvement. Above all, it keeps you grounded, preventing negativity from pulling you down.
I’ve encountered my fair share of gossip and direct hits. Developing a resilient attitude is something I’ve picked up along the way. The deal is this: people can have their opinions or throw shade, but I don’t have to let their negativity interfere with my vibe. They’re on their journey, and I’m on mine, doing my own thing.
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 oneself, to me, isn’t about concocting an impractical, unattainable self-image. I don’t picture myself winning bodybuilding championships, swimming the English Channel, dominating tennis courts, or donning the hat of a master chef. Those achievements seem too distant from my reality. Genuine self-belief starts with a pragmatic assessment of oneself. Then, it involves nurturing confidence to pursue challenging, perhaps even seemingly impossible, goals — ones that become feasible with unwavering dedication. It’s about confronting setbacks without yielding, maintaining a sense of worth and self-respect, regardless of the journey’s pace or outcome. Most importantly, it’s a journey marked by self-respect and self-love through every twist and turn.
Was there a time when you did not believe in yourself? How did this impact your choices?
Certainly, there was a phase in my life when self-doubt had a profound impact on my choices. I tended to second-guess my abilities and avoided situations that required stepping out of my comfort zone. This cautious approach limited my creative progress, as I refrained from trying different styles of content creation or expressing myself in various flavors. This really stunted my development as a creator and caused me to plateau. It also affected my reach, and my audience was not growing; my content became predictable. As you can tell, this was not a good development! Recognizing this, I decided to confront my self-doubt, experiment with new content formats, push the boundaries of my creativity, and rekindle the spark of excitement in my creative journey. The results were transformative, leading to a surge in audience engagement and a renewed sense of fulfillment in my work.
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?
Taking heed of constructive criticism from fellow bloggers who expressed feedback about the monotony of my content, I eagerly embraced the challenge of injecting a new lease of life into my creations. Venturing far beyond my comfort zone, I dabbled in the world of memes and delved into the creation of comic-themed videos aimed at spreading positive messages. While the initial steps into this uncharted territory were daunting, my unwavering belief in this novel approach fueled my persistence.
Over time, the once intimidating journey became a source of genuine joy, as I found myself not only adapting to but reveling in the creative process. This foray into creative exploration not only brought a refreshing diversity to my content but also forged a stronger bond with my audience. The positive responses and increased engagement served as a powerful testament to the importance of challenging oneself and the myriad opportunities that arise when one steps out of their comfort zone. It was a transformative experience that not only revitalized my content but also highlighted the dynamic and limitless nature of creativity.
What are your top 5 strategies that will help someone learn to believe in themselves?
- Positive Affirmations: Positive self-talk shapes our reality. By consistently sending positive messages to ourselves, we channel that energy into our actions. Creating a positive mental roadmap, taking impactful actions, and visualizing meaningful results can manifest positive outcomes. I’ve experienced this phenomenon firsthand. When inviting notable speakers or political figures to my events, approaching them with self-doubt yielded negative results. On the other hand, when I channeled powerful positive intentions, I witnessed positive outcomes — even if the initial intention morphed into something different but yet meaningful.
- Celebrate Small Wins: Acknowledging and celebrating progress, no matter how small, is crucial. It’s essential to take note of the baby steps completed and not stay fixated on the miles ahead. Recognizing progress charges us with enthusiasm and positivity for the future journey. I used to withdraw whenever people congratulated me on a successful event, but now I’ve opened up to positively receiving compliments. Acknowledging my hard work allows me to feel good and fuel my energy into the next project.
- Set Achievable Goals: Breaking down larger goals into smaller, achievable tasks provides a sense of progress. Each accomplishment reinforces belief in one’s capabilities. For instance, if the goal is to write a book, planning mini-milestones like writing 10 pages each week or 2 pages each day makes the overwhelming task more manageable.
- Acknowledge and Learn from Mistakes: My personal motto is that there are no hard failures, only lessons to be learned. Embracing failure as a learning opportunity, instead of a setback, builds resilience. Thomas Edison’s numerous attempts before inventing the light bulb are a testament to the importance of overcoming failures and persistently trying until we find the light at the end of the tunnel.
- Develop a Growth Mindset: Seeking constructive feedback from trusted individuals provides insights for improvement. Accepting and implementing feedback contributes to personal and professional growth. In my life, developing a growth mindset has helped me embrace challenges as opportunities to try something new and learn, even if I discover that it’s not for me.
Conversely, how can one stop the negative stream of self-criticism that often accompanies us as we try to grow?
Absolutely, self-compassion is the cornerstone of protecting your mind and energy from self-criticism. It involves extending the same understanding and kindness to yourself that you would readily offer to a friend coping with challenges. Embrace the reality that mistakes and setbacks are universal aspects of the human experience. Instead of dwelling on the negative aspects, shift your focus to the valuable lessons learned during the process.
Take the opportunity to reflect on what you’ve gained from the experience and consider how you can implement improved strategies moving forward. Transform regret into a catalyst for future action. By cultivating self-compassion, you create a supportive inner dialogue that encourages growth, resilience, and a positive mindset. This practice not only shields your mind from the damaging effects of self-criticism but also nurtures a healthier relationship with yourself.
Are there any misconceptions about self-confidence and believing in oneself that you would like to dispel?
Indeed — self-confidence doesn’t hinge on external validation.
While appreciation and compliments provide temporary feel-good moments, their impact is limited.
Genuine self-confidence originates from within, deeply rooted in an individual. It stands firm irrespective of others’ opinions or beliefs about you. Understanding your abilities and limitations, coupled with the determination not to give up, forms the core foundation of authentic self-confidence. It’s about embracing your true self, regardless of external judgments, and persisting in your endeavors with a sense of self-assurance.
What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with imposter syndrome?
Beating imposter syndrome is about realizing it’s normal, even among successful people. I do too have to cope with this intermittently. What helps is to know that your achievements come from hard work, not luck. Talking about your feelings with trusted friends and family helps to clear up the mind and sift through confused emotions. When negative thoughts pop up, question them and focus on evidence. Setting achievable standards and embracing the inevitability of making mistakes are key mindset shifts. Celebrate even small wins and use positive affirmations to build a healthier view of your abilities.
These are some strategies that help me.
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.
The movement I would love to inspire would be — to have your own back.
Having your own back means supporting and advocating for yourself, especially in tough times. It includes developing self-compassion, self-belief, and relying on your own strength. When you have your own back, you take charge of your well-being, make choices aligned with your values, and face life’s challenges with resilience. This mindset encourages self-kindness, recognizing your worth, and trusting in your abilities. It involves standing up for your needs, setting boundaries, and celebrating even small victories. Ultimately, having your own back is about being your own best ally, providing the support and encouragement you would offer to others.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Readers can follow me on Instagram at my handle @Navixha108 or on my Facebook page — Organicize Your Life.
Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.