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Self-Authority: What It Really Means to Believe in Yourself

Nobody but you can be the final authority on your life. If you don’t step up in that role, someone else will try to fill it for you. Empower yourself to stake a claim over your own life.

The phrase, “Believe in yourself,” is a common piece of advice. But, what does it really mean? Although part of it is self-confidence, there’s a deeper meaning to be found and appreciated.

Believing in yourself is about self-awareness. Deep down, you know what you’re able and unable to do. When you believe in yourself, others are unable to pressure you into doing anything you don’t want to do. On the other hand, no one can hold you back from doing something you know you can do.

Outside perspective is important, but nobody knows you like you know yourself. With regular introspection, you can build unshakable self-confidence. The Delphic maxim “Know thyself,” inscribed for all posterity on the Temple of Apollo, speaks to this truth.

What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Only you can answer these questions. You’re the only person in the world who truly knows your capabilities. Too often, people walk away from opportunities muttering “coulda,” “woulda,” “shoulda.”

The Importance of Self-Esteem

Self-esteem needs to be cultivated, just like a garden. Weeds, in the form of negative self-talk, can creep in at any time. High self-esteem can help you communicate better, make you more decisive, earn you the respect of others, and allow you to maintain your integrity.

Increasing your self-esteem becomes an exercise in writing a self-fulfilling prophecy. As you build your confidence, you’ll empower yourself to achieve more in your personal and professional lives.

Believe in Yourself

Some think of self-doubt as a monster, greedily sucking away their motivation. This outlook isn’t particularly helpful because it sends signals to the subconscious that can strengthen self-doubt even more. Instead, be aware that self-doubt is a part of you that’s vulnerable and in need of support.

Take these steps and increase your self-esteem starting now:

1. Explore self-doubt. Doubt is part of the human experience, just like joy, fear, and sorrow.

* If you discover what’s at the root of self-doubt and explore that, you may find that the doubt loosens its paralyzing grip. This will help you stop fighting with yourself, and you can move toward your goals. * The key is to get to the bottom of your insecurities and face your fears. Addressing your fears is easier if you itemize them first. Putting your fears down on paper puts them in perspective.

2. Take stock of your fears. Your fears will appear menacing when they’re staring at you from within your own mental space.

* Record your fears daily, in a journal, and watch the list shrink before your eyes.

3. Pay attention to your thoughts. Another way that you can cultivate self-confidence is to listen to your internal dialog.

* Your fears can lurk in the words you use to describe yourself. Instead of saying, “I won’t be good at this,” try, “How can I make myself better?” out for size.

* Consider separating yourself from chronically negative people. Cutting ties with toxic people is difficult, but do what’s best for you. Becoming assertive will allow you to help yourself and others.

4. Relish your successes, but avoid living in the past. When you’re feeling down, it’s easy to focus on your failures. Instead, recall your past successes. It’s okay to feel grateful for all that you have.

* Maintaining an optimistic mindset will help you recognize opportunities when they arise.

Ultimately, believing in yourself means claiming self-authority. Avoid letting others make decisions for you or limit your potential. More often than not, these people are projecting their own self-doubts onto you. Focus on your goals and talents, and remember: you deserve success.

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