Self belief is confidence in your own abilities, but how important is self belief???
Self belief has been shown to influence how we think, act and feel. Self belief about our capabilities to learn or perform tasks can play an important role in both motivation and learning of these tasks. Our ability to achieve a task depends on the interaction between behaviour, personal factors and environmental conditions. Ones own level of self belief can be a good predicator of success and achievement. A famous quote by Henry Ford states ‘Whether you think you can or can’t, you are usually right’. Self belief is about the word CAN. The opposite of self belief is self doubt. This is the little voice inside you that says can’t which is developed from negative thoughts and is strengthened over time.
So how do we build self belief?
Self belief is based on solid facts. Positive thoughts build self belief but need to be honest and realistic. The following four points can help build positive thinking;
1. Keep a record of achievements
2. Quality practice of tasks wanting to achieve
3. Understand your strengths
4. Utilise feedback from others such as family, friends, carers and therapists
If you keep a record of your accomplishments, strengths, practice and feedback you can review them and reflect in times of self doubt in order to realize how much you have already achieved.
How powerful is self belief?
Studies have looked into neurophysiological and neurochemical activity in the brain and have shown that beliefs and expectation can effect the regions of the brain involved in perception, movement, pain and emotion processing considerably.
Athletes are often coached about the importance of positive thinking and how it can influence them in an event. Take the 100 metres sprint as an example. Carl Lewis broke the record in 1988 running in 9.92 seconds and then broke it again in 1991running 9.86 seconds. Usain Bolt broke the record twice in 2008 running the race in 9.72 seconds and then 9.69 seconds. He then broke his own record in 2009 running 9.58 seconds. If these athletes didn’t believe in their previous accomplishments, strengths and quality training they may not have been able to break the world record. The question remains what else can Usain Bolt go onto achieve and what other athletes have the self belief to take the world record away from him.
So next time you’re in the rehab gym, have some self belief and remember the word CAN is much stronger than you think!!