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Just Believe in Yourself – But For Real (A Science-First Approach)


Everyone throws around cheap advice like “Just believe in yourself”.

How inspirational! And it feels good. You believe in your abilities to believe in yourself for a whopping 3 seconds after that.

It’s not a long-term solution.

Logically, we all know that. It doesn’t work. If it did, we would all magically be cured of insecurities and anxiety just like that.

You can’t change who you are by someone telling you to believe in yourself.


Science to the rescue.

The very concept of “Self-Efficacy” refers to our beliefs in being able to do <insert anything here>. What anything? Anything! Stuff! The good stuff you need to get done!

Let’s have a look at the dictionary definition of self-efficacy:

“A person’s belief in his or her ability to effect change in his or her life, achieve goals, or produce desired results.”

Now we’re getting somewhere.

This is exactly the kind of concept that should be taught in schools (but is not). And it has everything to do with your abilities to be productive, able to finish your work, and just, in general, get s**t done fast and well.

It’s the “just believe in yourself” but for adults! And now that we have a name and a meaning to it, we can measure it. And what you can measure, you can change.

You can start believing in yourself.

So here are six free ways to start believing in yourself finally!

1) Consider problems as challenges to master

When you encounter problems in your life, don’t see them as negative roadblocks.

Everyone has problems. Some are just better at hiding them from the public eye.

Try to see your problems as challenges you can master.

Because one day you will. Think back. You’ve dealt with problems before. And you will again.

In this way, many of our problems are just things that will make you stronger as you crush them on your way!

2) Orchestrate mastery experiences

Make sure many of your problems are something that you can actually conquer.

Don’t always aim super high.

Find “easy problems” in your life that take you to a positive direction.

Do things that are a little above your skills.

Do a hard exercise.

And tackle those problems.

And this way you’ll have some guaranteed successes in your calendar!

3) Celebrate your successes

Those guaranteed successes?

Celebrate them!

Don’t let any success go without intentionally giving yourself credit.

High-five yourself.

This way, your brains will start to look forward to succeeding.

You’ll look forward to finding ways to succeed – all subconsciously!

4) Observe others who are just like you succeed

This is a cool one!

When you see others succeed, it’ll make you sense “I can do this too”.

The easiest way?

Find your gang and do similar stuff together.

Watch them succeed.

Imitate them.

Because you can do the same!

5) Seek positive feedback

Position yourself in a supportive environment where you get encouraging feedback for your efforts.

The easiest way is to leverage reciprocity.

When you give, people are more likely to give back.

Your gang?

Yes, give them positive feedback and make sure they keep you going too.

Celebrate together.

Pat each other on the back.

Make those high-fives a habit.

6) Control your inner talk

And finally, self-efficacy has just about everything to do with self-awareness.

What do you say to yourself when life gets difficult?

Or even when it doesn’t?

Just like you can lift yourself up, you can sabotage yourself.

When you find yourself bashing yourself for ordinary things (and, as we already talked, even failing is quite ordinary) stop it! Say something positive about what all you have been able to do instead of what all you have failed to do!

Highlight your own achievements.

Hey I did all that, whatever happened now is just life. Just another challenge to master!


Try to incorporate even a few of these techniques into your days. It should not feel like a chore or work that just further stresses you but a natural part of who you are.

It’s only natural that you should celebrate your successes. It should be obvious and very natural to seek and enjoy time with friends who encourage you. Or eliminate toxic self-talk. But many never do any of these things intentionally, drifting through life, wallowing in cynicism.

But not you, champ!

You can do it!

About the author 

Simo Hosio  -  Simo is an award-winning scientist, Academy Research Fellow, research group leader, professor, and digital builder. This site exists to empower people to build passion projects that support professional growth and make money.

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