Picture this. Two colleagues at work are given a challenging project. One holds the belief “I can learn what I want to learn.” The other holds the beliefs “I am not good enough. I am a fraud.”
Who do you think will do better?
The learner will approach the project with excitement. She will be confident, assured and eager to begin. She is not afraid of asking questions, does not feel threatened by getting others involved or exploring ideas.
The one who believes he isn’t good enough will act as if he isn’t good enough. Since that belief is firmly rooted in his subconscious, he will tackle the project more apprehensively, perhaps procrastinate or be unwilling to ask for help in case he gets “found out.” He will more likely interpret events in ways that are consistent with his belief of not being good enough. “There I go again, I knew I couldn’t do it. That’s just who I am.” As time goes by, he’ll continue to find ways of proving this to himself.
“Believing in yourself” is not just an everyday mantra. Who we believe ourselves to be significantly affects how we live our entire lives.