Develop self-awareness: Self-awareness is the foundation of self-belief. Encourage introspection and reflection to gain a deeper understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, values, and aspirations. Recognize and acknowledge your achievements and past successes, no matter how small they may seem. By understanding yourself better, you can build a stronger sense of self and confidence. Throughout the majority of my adult life, and particularly in the past few years, I have delved into an extensive quest of self-discovery. This journey has encompassed a broad range of practices, including hypnosis, human design, manifesting and mindset,breathwork, meditation,channeling, spirituality, and Reiki.
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 Nicolette Halladay.
Making waves in the publishing world, bestselling author and publisher Nicolette Halladay is the CEO of Inspired Hearts Publishing. A storyteller, a publisher, a purpose-seeker… She is here to help entrepreneurs, creatives, and changemakers find the courage to be seen and heard.
After spending 5 years behind the scenes supporting other businesses as a virtual assistant, she decided it was time to stop hiding. She felt called to help women, who had stories just like her, take center stage by becoming published authors.
She’s on a mission to create a world where aspiring leaders can become published authors without gatekeepers — using the pen to empower and amplify women’s voices one book at a time!
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 cozy little town called Grand Junction, Co, nestled on the western side of Colorado. In our humble home, there were my parents, my three older sisters, and me. Our house had three bedrooms and one bathroom, but we made the most of it.
We were fortunate to have a big backyard with a vegetable garden and an abundance of raspberries. It was like having our own little slice of nature right outside our door. Those were the days in the 80s when life was simpler. We would play outside until it got dark, exploring the neighborhood endlessly and discovering new things about ourselves along the way.
As kids, we had a lot of freedom, but also a fair share of responsibilities. We had to figure things out on our own and learn to navigate through adolescence. It was a time of self-discovery, where we stumbled and made mistakes, but ultimately grew into more independent individuals.
One activity that played a significant role in shaping my character was competitive gymnastics. Through this sport, I learned about discipline, dedication, and embracing my natural talents. It taught me that success comes from working hard and utilizing my strengths to achieve my goals.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career?
Monique Alvarez, my mentor, taught me a valuable lesson about chasing my dreams and encouraged me to reflect on the ultimate question: “What does it really mean to live a great life?” She helped me overcome my own limitations and obstacles along the way.
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?
One of the silliest mistakes I’ve made, which many people can relate to, is taking ourselves too seriously when pursuing our dreams. We often make it all about ourselves and forget about the impact we want to make. Have you ever felt like a deer caught in headlights? It’s that moment of freezing because you’re worried about what others might think. Thoughts like “Who am I to write and publish this book?” or “Is it even good enough?” or “Will people think I’m crazy?” have plagued me. These self-sabotaging thoughts have caused me to stumble and hesitate in my creative and entrepreneurial endeavors countless times.
I remember the first time I published my story in a book with other authors. When it came to marketing it, I froze. While my co-authors were sharing and celebrating this significant achievement, I couldn’t bring myself to promote it. I had written a deeply personal story that left me feeling vulnerable and exposed, and I was anxious about what people would think. Instead of trusting that the right people would connect with my story, I allowed my fear of failure to hinder me from reaching those who needed it the most. Somehow, choosing to fail seemed safer than failing despite giving it my all.
The important thing is not to let these failed attempts discourage us from trying again. Many people see these failures as evidence of our incompetence, when in reality, they just show that growth is challenging, putting ourselves out there is terrifying, and learning to overcome our own obstacles is often the hardest and most valuable lesson we can learn.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
I’m currently overseeing the creation of a collaborative book titled “Sacred Self: Everyday Rituals for the Modern Woman.” This remarkable compilation features a collection of accessible and powerful rituals shared by esteemed experts in self-care, healing, and spirituality from across the globe. Our intention with this book is to offer a lifeline to women who find themselves entangled in the repetitive patterns of societal expectations and external rewards. We aim to invite them to slow down and forge deeper connections with themselves, others, and the world around them, through meaningful practices. In these transformative times, radical self-care emerges as the remedy, and the remarkable authors contributing to this book are the ones called upon to facilitate a more nurtured human experience.
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?
Self-belief is essential because it serves as the foundation for personal growth, resilience, and achievement. When you believe in yourself, you possess a deep sense of confidence and faith in your abilities, ideas, and potential.
In 2021, I worked as a virtual assistant dedicated to supporting female owned publishing houses. The work I did resonated deeply with me, as I witnessed the remarkable growth of individuals who shared their stories, experiences, and visions through books. Motivated by this profound connection, I made a life-changing decision to embark on my own journey as a publisher.
To pursue my newfound passion, I parted ways with my retainer clients at my virtual assistant agency, committing myself fully to establishing my own publishing company. I made a significant investment in my business, preparing myself for increased visibility and the most transformative phase of my career. Little did I know, just a few weeks later, my husband of two decades shattered my world by expressing his desire for a divorce, stating that our marriage was beyond repair and he had no intention of exploring any other options. The impact of this revelation was devastating.
Despite the immense challenges I faced, I understood that the stakes were higher than ever, and my unwavering belief in myself became a non-negotiable pillar of strength. Recognizing the need for support in both my healing journey and my vision for the publishing company, I sought out a network of individuals who could provide the necessary guidance and encouragement. Surrounding myself with these like-minded individuals became an essential component of my recovery and success. I learned that facing difficult circumstances is an opportunity for growth, resilience, and self-discovery, ultimately revealing our own remarkable capabilities.
What are your top 5 strategies that will help someone learn to believe in themselves? Please share a story or example for each.
- Develop self-awareness: Self-awareness is the foundation of self-belief. Encourage introspection and reflection to gain a deeper understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, values, and aspirations. Recognize and acknowledge your achievements and past successes, no matter how small they may seem. By understanding yourself better, you can build a stronger sense of self and confidence. Throughout the majority of my adult life, and particularly in the past few years, I have delved into an extensive quest of self-discovery. This journey has encompassed a broad range of practices, including hypnosis, human design, manifesting and mindset,breathwork, meditation,channeling, spirituality, and Reiki. Looking behind every single curtain, shadow and crease of my soul — of my humanness. Honoring ALL the parts of me has been a painfully enlightening experience. To see yourself so completely is a gift many will never get to receive. A raw and vulnerable path to the depths of you.I’ve never seen myself so clearly. Paying such Reverence to the whole of me.
- Set realistic goals and celebrate progress: Set realistic and achievable goals that align with your passions and values. Break these goals down into smaller, manageable steps. As you achieve these milestones, celebrate your progress and acknowledge your efforts. This not only builds confidence but also reinforces the belief that you are capable of accomplishing what you set out to do. I’ve learned from a mentor the significance of acknowledging and celebrating our achievements, regardless of their size. Now, I make a conscious effort to commemorate something each day. This practice keeps me motivated and serves as a constant reminder of the progress I’ve made.
- Challenge negative self-talk: Negative self-talk can be a major barrier to self-belief. Pay attention to your inner dialogue and replace self-defeating thoughts with positive and empowering ones. Challenge negative beliefs by questioning their validity and replacing them with more realistic and supportive perspectives. Practice self-compassion and treat yourself with kindness and understanding. I can still vividly recall the exact moment it hit me: I had a realization that I would never treat anyone else the way I used to treat myself. It’s crazy to think back and realize just how harshly I used to judge and criticize myself. But now, things have changed. Incorporating positive affirmations and consciously catching myself when I start spiraling into negative self-talk has become crucial in boosting my confidence and fueling my motivation to conquer challenging tasks.
- Surround yourself with positive influences: The people we surround ourselves with greatly influence our self-perception. Surround yourself with supportive and positive individuals who believe in you and your abilities. Seek out mentors, friends, and colleagues who can encourage, constructive feedback, and inspiration. Their belief in you can help bolster your own belief in yourself. Building a network of supportive individuals who believe in and contribute to my goals has played a vital role in my achievements. Sometimes, we place excessive expectations on those closest to us — our friends and family — who may have their own perspectives on our successes and failures, making them less than ideal supporters. In the beginning, I relied on the support of my loved ones, only to be disappointed when they couldn’t fully back me up. Looking back, I now understand that I didn’t explicitly seek their support; I simply expected it, even though they might not have been the best people to provide it. That realization prompted me to create Get Published: Industry Experts Share Their Secrets, a collaborative book and publishing network. I yearned for a community that shared my passion for publishing, so I decided to establish one myself.
- Take calculated risks and embrace failure: Stepping out of your comfort zone and taking calculated risks is crucial for personal growth and self-belief. Embrace the idea that failure is not a reflection of your worth or capabilities but rather an opportunity for learning and growth. Celebrate the courage it takes to try something new, and view setbacks as valuable lessons that will ultimately contribute to your success. By embracing risk and learning from failures, you will develop resilience and a stronger belief in your abilities to overcome challenges. When I decided to launch my virtual assistant agency back in 2016, I was pretty terrified. It was a big leap into the unknown, and I had no idea how things would turn out. But I took a deep breath, trusted my gut, and went for it. Then, in 2021, I decided to expand my business and venture into the world of publishing. Once again, fear and uncertainty flooded my mind. But I reminded myself of all the times I had taken on challenging tasks before and how it had paid off. So, despite the nerves, I dove right in.
Looking back, I can honestly say that trusting myself and taking those leaps of faith was incredibly beneficial. It wasn’t easy, and there were definitely bumps along the way, but I learned so much and grew as a person and as an entrepreneur. So, if you’re facing a scary endeavor, remember that sometimes the biggest rewards come from pushing past your fears and trusting in yourself.
Conversely, how can one stop the negative stream of self-criticism that often accompanies us as we try to grow?
To stop the negative stream of self-criticism while trying to grow, it’s important to cultivate self-compassion and self-awareness. Practice being kind to yourself and challenging negative thoughts with more realistic and positive ones. Focus on your progress and celebrate small victories along the way. Surround yourself with supportive and uplifting people who can help you maintain a balanced perspective. Additionally, engaging in activities that promote self-care and mindfulness can also help interrupt the cycle of self-criticism.
Are there any misconceptions about self-confidence and believing in oneself that you would like to dispel?
Self-confidence is not about having zero doubts or insecurities. It’s about acknowledging them and still moving forward despite them. Self-confident individuals recognize that self-doubt is a natural part of growth and learning. Self-confidence and believing in ourselves are personal journeys that differ from person to person. It’s important to embrace your unique qualities and understand that self-confidence is a continuous process of growth and self-acceptance.
What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with imposter syndrome?
Imposter syndrome can be tough to deal with, but it helps to remind yourself that your goals and aspirations are not solely about you. Instead, focus on the impact you want to make in the world or the difference you hope to create for others. By shifting your mindset to the bigger picture, you can overcome self-doubt and find the motivation to keep pushing forward.
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.
Imagine a world where we embrace a simple yet profound idea: prioritizing our own well-being. In this movement, we understand that taking care of ourselves is not a luxury or an afterthought; it’s a fundamental necessity. It’s about recognizing that our own happiness and fulfillment are not selfish acts but essential ingredients for a better society.
Too often, we find ourselves caught up in the relentless demands of work, the endless cycle of chores, and the pressures of keeping up with everyone around us. We place our own well-being at the bottom of the list, sometimes forgetting it altogether. But what if we shifted our perspective and placed ourselves at the top of that list?
This movement encourages radical self-care, reminding us to prioritize our own needs and nurture our own growth. It’s not about neglecting our responsibilities or dismissing the importance of our loved ones. Instead, it’s about realizing that by putting our own oxygen mask on first, we become better equipped to serve others.
When we make our well-being a top priority, we’re able to show up as our best selves. We have the energy, the mental clarity, and the emotional resilience to tackle challenges and make a positive impact. We become more compassionate, more patient, and more present for the people who rely on us.
By leading with self-care, we become beacons of inspiration for others. We show them that it’s possible to break free from the cycle of burnout and exhaustion. We demonstrate that taking care of ourselves is not a luxury, but a vital part of living a fulfilling life.
Imagine a world where we all commit to this movement. A world where we celebrate the power of self-care and encourage each other to prioritize our well-being. It starts with each one of us, taking small steps towards radical self-care and inviting others to join us on this journey.
Together, we can create a ripple effect that touches countless lives. By embracing the idea that our own well-being matters, we unlock the potential for a society that is not only more productive but also more compassionate, more understanding, and more connected.
Let us inspire this movement and uplift one another, knowing that by putting ourselves first, we are paving the way for a brighter and more harmonious world. The time for radical self-care is now, and the benefits will reverberate far beyond our own lives.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Connect with Nicolette:
Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.