Only you can be the final authority in your life. If you don’t step up in that role, someone will try to fill it for you. Empower yourself and claim sovereignty over your own life.

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

Believing in yourself is really about self-awareness. Deep down, you know what you’re capabilities are, as well as those things you aren’t so great at. When you believe in yourself, others are not able to pressure you into doing anything that you don’t want to do. On the other hand, no one can hold you back from doing something you know you can do.

An outside perspective is important, but no one knows your inner workings like you do. 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. All too often, people walk away from opportunities they could have taken, only to regret it later.

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 much 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 up your confidence, you will empower yourself to achieve more in your personal and working life.

Believe in Yourself

Some think of self-doubt as a monster, greedily sucking away their motivation. This perspective isn’t very helpful because it sends the wrong signals to the subconscious, strengthening self-doubt even more. This is the wrong kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead, be aware that self-doubt is a vulnerable part of you that is in need of support.

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

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

  • If you discover what’s at the root of your self-doubt and explore that, you will find that doubt loosens its paralyzing grip. This will help you to stop fighting with yourself, and you can move forward 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 make a list of them first. Putting your fears down on paper helps puts them into perspective.


2. Take stock of your fears. Your fears will appear threatening when they’re staring at you from within.

  • 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 dialogue.

  • Your fears often 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 at this?” out for size.
  • Separate yourself from chronically negative people. Cutting ties with toxic people is difficult, but do what’s best for you. Being assertive will allow you to help yourself and others more.


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 important 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 your self-authority. Do not let 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. Remember that you deserve to be successful in all that you do, so use these four steps to improve your self-esteem now.