I have a friend who was on the verge of being a sports star, but was held back by a lack of self-belief. Because of this, she was never picked for the team. She used to blame the coaches for not selecting her, further damaging her self-belief.  

One day, her father took her aside and said to her, “How can you expect anyone else to believe in you if you won’t believe in yourself?” She really took those words to heart and started playing as if her life depended on it. In doing so, she allowed her talents to shine through and the coaches could no longer ignore her. Soon, she was a vital part of the team.  

Of course, we are not all lucky enough to be blessed with heaps of sporting talent, but the valuable lesson is that we are all worse versions of ourselves when we don’t at least believe that we can achieve what we set out to do.

If you want to see my other work, please have a look at my website, which is an influencer agency.

Photo by

So, how does one begin to foster a sense of self-belief? I found the following tips insightful: 

Self-doubt is normal 

Successful people often seem like they don’t have any self-doubt at all. But rest assured, nobody is that confident. Successful people often doubt themselves as much as the rest of us do. But what makes them different is that they are really good at talking themselves out of that doubt. Once you make the decision to go for it, no measure of doubt should stand in your way.  

Eyes on the prize 

One of the biggest problems with self-doubt is that the more you focus on everything that could go wrong, the less you focus on the task at hand. Self-doubt is not just bad for your confidence, it is also a distraction. As my friend’s coach later said in a team talk, “If you keep on watching a tree by the side of the road because you’re afraid you might hit it, instead of keeping your eyes on the road, you are going to end up hitting that tree.”  

Your expectations are all that matter 

One of the things most of us get wrong at least some of the time is caring too much about what other people think. Our first thought when we fail is what others might think of us. This is most certainly the road to poor self-belief. We live in an era of social media, where everyone just posts their biggest successes or most beautiful moments online. This makes us feel that they are so much more successful than us. But the truth is that they probably had to endure some struggles of their own. By only being accountable to yourself, you realize that others’ expectations are a drop in the bucket compared to your own self-image. As a bonus, if you adopt this approach, you lose the envy and you can be happy for your friends and celebrate their successes with them.