The Power of Believing in Yourself

A while ago I was speaking at a conference with Lou Holtz, one of the most successful football coaches of all time. Both of us were speaking on the topics of success and performance but I especially liked the way Lou got right to the bottom line. He simply said, “The most important thing I can tell you is to believe in yourself. Have faith in yourself.”

In fact, he said the secret to his success as a coach … and the secret to his teams’ winning records … was self-esteem. The more he built the players’ self-esteem, the better they did.

And that makes total sense to me. In fact, the first of the 12 keys I teach in my Journey-to-the-Extraordinary experience is self-esteem. And I drive home the point that you perform exactly as you see yourself. If you see yourself as mediocre, you’ll give a mediocre performance. But if you see yourself as gifted and confident, you will perform accordingly.

So how can you see yourself more positively? Or how can you raise your self-esteem … and thereby your effectiveness in every part of your life?

► 1. Do what’s right

Your self-esteem grows when you know what’s right and do it. As Lou Holtz would say, “This first rule in self-esteem is not real complicated. Do what’s right. Don’t do what’s wrong. And if you have any questions, get out your Bible to find the answers.”

(Side note: For me, doing what’s right is making sure I express my gratitude. That’s why I’m giving ten $2000 bills away to my customers. Click here for more information.)

For strong healthy self-esteem, you’ve got to do what’s right. Or put another way, there is no way you can feel good about yourself if you do what is wrong.

When you follow this rule, you also gain the trust of others. In fact, there’s really no way others can trust you if you don’t do what’s right.

And many companies and relationships have learned that lesson the hard way. When they’ve done something wrong and lost the trust of their employees, the public, or their partner, they have a difficult, if not impossible, time staying profitable or staying in business.

► 2. Do the best you can.

Don’t accept anything less than the best from yourself. Like rule #1, there is no way you can feel good about yourself if you do just enough to get by or turn in work that is barely good enough to meet the expectations and standards of your industry. You’ve got to do the best you can.

When you do that, you reap all the benefits of peace, joy, and self-esteem. As author Pearl S. Buck noted, “The secret of joy in work is contained in one word — excellence.”

President Lincoln lived by that principle. He said, “I do the very best I know how … the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end.

Do the best you can … even though you are bound to face obstacles.

Such was the case with Peter Falk. At the age of three, he lost an eye as the result of a tumor and from there on out, he wore a glass eye. But he didn’t slink around the back corridors of his school with his hand over his eye hoping no one would see him. No, he became president of his senior class and one of the school’s outstanding baseball players. In fact, one time when he slid into third base and the umpire called him out, Falk took out his glass eye and said, “Here, you can use another eye.”

After high school, Falk went on to acting in a small community theatre. But his big break came when he got a call from Columbia Pictures, asking him to come to Hollywood for a screen test. It was very exciting, but they didn’t sign him. An executive said, “For his price, I can get can actor with two eyes.”

The strange thing is … no one remembers which two-eyed actor Columbia Pictures signed instead. But millions remember Peter Falk from Broadway, TV, and the movies, for which he received two Oscar nominations.

Despite his so-called “obstacles,” Falk always lived by this second rule. He did the best he could … making his success a foregone conclusion.

Carmen Fish learned and applied the same lesson after she attended my Journey-to-the-Extraordinary program. She says, “Your Journey program turned my self-esteem upside down. To give you but one example, I never liked speaking in front of a group of people. In fact, I would never consider doing such a thing even if someone asked me to do so.”

“After your Journey, I was asked to share a few words at a farewell party. I agreed to do it. Now that may not seem like a huge achievement to some, but for me … even agreeing to do it was a huge milestone. I envisioned myself in this situation, rehearsing what I would say, using a strong clear voice. It went so well. My supervisor even commented that he can see a change in me, which reaffirmed the fact I am applying what I learned at the Journey. And other people are noticing the changes as well.”

(F.Y.I. I have two Journey programs coming up this fall, and when you register by September 30th you save $400 on your tuition. )

► 3. Treat other people the way you’d like to be treated.

It may sound as old-fashioned as the Golden Rule, but you show me a person who treats others badly and I’ll show you an insecure person with poor self-esteem. You cannot treat anybody … and I do mean anybody … badly and feel good about yourself.

As author Michael Josephson puts it, “The way we treat people we think can’t help or hurt us (like housekeepers, waiters, and secretaries) tells more about our character than how we treat people we think are important. People who are honest, kind, and fair only when there’s something to gain shouldn’t be confused with people of real character who demonstrate these qualities habitually, under all circumstances.”

I agree. Treat people with respect, and you will respect yourself.

But you get an additional benefit as well. You gain the affection of others. They like you more. After all, it’s almost impossible to dislike someone who genuinely likes you, cares about you, and treats you well.

Dr. Zimmerman’s Tuesday Tip, Issue 952 – The power of believing in yourself