• Motto

How to Start Believing in Yourself More

3 minute read

Maybe you’re not quite where you want to be professionally. You’re doing OK, but you’re not rising as fast as you’d like within your company. Or it could be your personal life that feels like it’s lacking. You’ve set goals that you haven’t been able to reach, or you’re struggling to create good habits, but the “bad” ones keep seeping back in.

Regardless of what area of your life has you wanting more, you can start getting it by believing in yourself.

Granted, it can be quite challenging to do this, especially when there’s this tiny little voice inside your head constantly telling you that you’re not “good enough” or “smart enough” or “pretty enough” or whatever enough.

But here’s the thing: Those are just thoughts. And you can’t let these thoughts become your realities. You can’t let these beliefs turn into your truths.

You have to combat them—here’s how.

Start by pretending
One option is to “fake it till you make it.” Just pretend that you’re a person who believes in themselves.

It’s OK if you don’t fully believe yet. But it’s important that you believe and trust in yourself just a little bit more than you don’t. In other words, you need to believe in your strengths and your abilities more often than you question them or think that they’re subpar.

When you find self-doubt creeping in, making you feel weak and uncertain, imagine that you’re a powerful, prominent person with complete and total confidence. Train your brain to feel that way—and eventually it will.

Follow Motto on Facebook.

Flex your courage muscles
When you venture outside of your comfort zone and do things you wouldn’t ordinarily do, you’ll probably doubt yourself—but you’ll also get practice at overcoming that doubt. By putting yourself in these strength-building situations time and time again, you’ll begin to build your courage, and your self-confidence.

Read more: The Most Important Thing I Learned At Harvard Business School

Make a success list
During those times when you don’t believe in yourself as much as you should, it helps to remember that you’ve already had success in your life—times when you felt unsure of yourself yet did great things anyway.

Make a list of these types of the things, the things you’re proud of accomplishing, and refer to it when you need that little reminder of what you’re capable of.

Use it to help you push past uncertainties so you can achieve success again.

Chris Winfield is a productivity expert who’s worked with companies like Disney, Virgin, Macy’s, Viacom, Conde Nast, Intuit, NBC and others.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com