Challenge Yourself, Believe in Yourself, Build Self-Confidence
In my last article I talked about How Your Attitude is Affected When You Challenge Yourself, where I shared a great backpacking experience that taught me a valuable lesson. Today I would like to continue the discussion about being challenged, how one challenge can lead to another and then finally to self-belief.
The month after the backpacking trip, I was amazed at what I had accomplished. I started to look for other challenges, not competing against other people, but simply against myself. What else could I accomplish that I thought was impossible for me to do?
I found my next one in riding my bicycle. Riding my bike was always a favorite hobby, but true to my nature, I didn’t go on any rides that were too difficult. I lived near Mt. Diablo, which rises to a height of 3,849 feet above sea level and has a lookout on top. The road up was 11 miles long with lots of curves, just like the hike. The elevation gain was over 3,000 feet, which I felt was clearly impossible for a guy like me.
I decided that riding to the lookout on Mt. Diablo was my next challenge. I took my bike to the bottom of the mountain. My goal for the day was to ride to the first gate about 3 miles up. Then each day I would ride farther until I reached the top. The ride to the first gate wasn’t as difficult as I had thought and was actually a lot of fun. Instead of feeling tired when I got there, I felt excited and energized. So I pushed on to the next milestone, which was at 6 miles. That section was less steep than the fist, so it also was not as hard as I had thought. Now I was more than halfway up the mountain and still feeling good. I started the third leg, which was a lot steeper, and after about a mile, I was dead tired. But I was feeling elated because I had done more than I thought possible for me. I didn’t make it to the top that day, but I did many times after that, and I felt like a winner every time. Not only was I seeing the mountain’s beauty and doing something that few people living in the area do, I was challenging myself and surprising myself by accomplishing more that I thought I could.
What is the next step?
After this I looked at my fears and insecurities and wondered about which challenge I would like to tackle next. The next challenge I undertook was acting in a play. I had been a professor for a few years and found it enjoyable. Acting in a play seemed a whole lot scarier. In the next two years, I acted in two plays and enjoyed them a great deal. Once again, I surprised myself by doing something that I thought was impossible for me.
We must believe in ourselves.
Before the hiking trip on Easter weekend, my belief in myself was limited. I believed I could only do the easy things in life. However, completing that hike taught me that I could also do difficult things in life. Riding up the mountain and acting in plays verified that idea.
I also saw that not only had my belief in myself changed, but belief itself had also changed to certainty. I went from believing I could only do the easy things to believing that I could also do the difficult things and then to knowing with certainty that I could accomplish almost anything I set out to do. Writing a book has been one of my latest challenges, and I approached it without any doubt of accomplishing it.
The other lesson in all of this is that belief in ourselves carries over to other aspects of our lives. If we have poor belief about ourselves, then we will have poor self-confidence and self-esteem, and it will affect other areas of life. However, if we have strong belief in ourselves, then we will have strong self-confidence, which will spill over into all aspects of life.
Belief in ourselves, or self-confidence, is critical to living life successfully. I see many people with so much inside but who are afraid to try anything because the lack the self-confidence. I want to really encourage everyone to try new things, to challenge yourself ad go into the challenge believing you can do it. Just watch what happens.
Here’s my challenge to you: Make a list of challenges that you would like to undertake. Start by simply writing down every idea you think of without evaluating it. Once you’re finished, look the list over ad evaluate them, then determine timelines for undertaking them. Once you’re ready to undertake a challenge, turn it into a written goal and focus on it. It will happen!
This is an excerpt from my book Attitude Determines Destiny. In it you will learn how to get the most out of life by changing your attitude and making personal changes…changes that can lead you down a life-long path of personal growth.
As a motivational speaker, I conduct seminars and workshops based upon the ideas in my book. I will entertain and inspire your audiences, and I can customize my topics to fit your needs and desires.