nelson mandela Cliché right? Possibly, but does that mean the statement has no merit? If the Wright Brothers hadn’t believed they could make a flying machine, chances are they never would have. If Nelson Mandela didn’t believe he could make a change in the world, he would have never even tried.

The point here, is that believing in yourself is a crucial element to your success. No one can stymie your dreams faster than you can. But believing in yourself is no easy task, and there are plenty of things that get in the way of your own confidence in yourself. Many common behaviors that you may not even be aware you are doing can get in the way of believing in yourself.

Here are a few things you can do to eliminate self-doubt and reinforce your self-confidence:

1. Know your Purpose

This is, admittedly, a hard nut to crack, but it can be done with a little creative thought. When contemplating your purpose, think about your goals, and even more importantly, your values. Look at the things that are important to you and use them to guide you toward your ideal life.

2. Say it Out Loud

There is a lot of power in spoken word. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves just how amazing we are. Speaking affirmations is a good way to do this. Speak your goals. Tell yourself why you are confident. Remind your psyche that you are valuable and intelligent. And do all these things out loud. It may feel silly at first, but as you continue doing it, you will find that it becomes easier, and it becomes your reality.

3. Remember You are Not Alone

Everyone on earth has experienced self-doubt. The richest and most powerful people in the world second-guess themselves. So when this happens, remember that you are in good company. One key to believing in yourself is knowing that you are no alone in your struggles, and that, like other successful people, you can get through them.

4. Don’t Be a Lone Wolf

Having a support system is crucial. Sometimes, your self-confidence may wane to a point you don’t feel you can pick it back up, but if you have people around you to get you back on your feet, you will spend less time in that pit of despair. Having even just one supporter makes all the difference and they can remind you why you are on the path that you are.

5. Accept Positivity

Many people who experience self-doubt cannot accept positive words. Make it a practice to accept and believe the positive things that people say to you. When you receive a compliment, fight off the immediate reaction of discounting it and instead, say “thank you” and acknowledge the value in their statement.

6. Be Assertive

Sometimes, you just have to fake it ‘til you make it. Even when you are not feeling very confident, pretend that you are. Speak with assertion. Be decisive. Maintain an air of confidence. Doing so will convey to others that you are a confident person, leading them to trust your judgment and allowing you to be more confident in your abilities. If you keep at it, it will eventually become a habit and you will be able to internalize it.

7. Let it Go

In life, we will all face rejection. You will likely fall more times than you fly. You will hear the word no, you will be told your ideas are crazy, and you will want to carry those losses with you. But you cannot. Let the negativity go. Know that success isn’t defined as not falling down, but as falling down and standing up again. Shake off the ‘no’s and move forward, having learned from the situation.

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