Why you need to bet on yourself

Betting on yourself means carrying a belief that you can set out to achieve what you imagine. You are capable. You are worthwhile. You can and will make great things happen for yourself and you are a person who is happy in themselves.

For some of us, this level of confidence comes as naturally as breathing. For others it can feel like a foreign land where everyone else is in control and you don’t speak the language.

This lack of faith in ourselves is a learned behaviour. Most of us will all too easily be able to recall an instance in our lives where someone we love and trusted said something that shook our belief in ourselves. A family member who laughed at your innermost desires or a teacher who belittled the work you tried so hard to create. The danger is that we start to believe this fiction and it becomes our reality.

As a culture, we love to bring down people when they seem too big for their boots. Tall Poppy Syndrome. Knock her down a peg or two. Pride comes before a fall. The fabric of this cultural norm all too often informs the way we speak to ourselves, keeping us small so we don’t rock the boat, and further adds to the doubt and negativity we ascribe our own thoughts and actions. But betting on yourself is not about arrogance, it is about having faith in your ability to create the life you want to lead.

I recently attended a meditation retreat where the instructor asked us to imagine our five year-old self sitting on our knee and looking to us for affection and comfort. Would you say cruel and damaging things to this child? Of course not! But we often say these things to our adult selves and don’t question the validity of the statement or how hurtful these may be to our self-esteem. If we can’t be kind and loving to ourselves, then surely nobody could be! I better just keep my head down and stay quiet.

This is flawed thinking but it is consistently reinforced by the messages we hear all around us.

Betting on yourself puts you front and centre at the creation of the life you want to live. It allows you to think audaciously about the life you could lead and suddenly new possibilities open themselves up to you. There will always be obstacles and I’m not suggesting the path will always be golden, but you certainly will never take the steps toward that happiness if you can’t imagine a path to begin with.

At the risk of sounding trite, let me repeat the first part of this article to you again because I know it to be true:

You are capable. You are worthwhile. You can and will make great things happen for yourself and you are a person who is happy in themselves.

I would invite you to observe how you treat yourself and what your inner thoughts say to you about your own worth. Do you offer yourself the kindness and love you would treat others with?

Please share in the comments an example of when you realised how you had been speaking to yourself negatively impacted your life, or perhaps a way in which you will now look at how you plan to bet on yourself more. I’d love to hear from you.