In life we often find that others have more faith and belief in us than we do in ourselves. While this is sad, there are a number of reasons for it, from self-esteem, to experience, to simple disbelief. It is interesting that others are able to see in us, what we deny in ourselves, or that we refute what they tell us when they do. We cannot believe that they are authentic, or think they are somehow mistaken if they believe in us, when we struggle to believe in ourselves. So why is it that others are able to believe in us, when we struggle to do this ourselves? The reasons are many.
1. While many do not want to think that their past impacts their future, it can when it comes to self-esteem. We do not want to believe that there are parents or partners that do anything but build people up, but this is not nearly always the case. There are many people who grew up hearing negative messages about themselves, their performance and their abilities. These people are also more likely than others to go on to be involved in relationships where the person they are with repeat this pattern. We attract how we feel about ourselves, so if we feel poorly we choose poorly. When we feel poorly, we are more likely to believe the negative messages, and these become ingrained even more about how we feel about ourselves.
2. The people who have belief in us not only came from a background, and relationship where they were revered for their own successes, but they have achieved professional success as well. They see the diamond in the rough that you are, and they believe in the importance of telling people when they have done something well. They may even be emotionally savvy enough to know that you need the positive reinforcement for a job well done. They know what it means to them when someone tells them that they have done well, and they believe in paying it forward when someone else has done a good job as well. They have nothing but the best of intentions in what they are saying and doing, and they genuinely mean what they say.
3. This could actually be someone who came from an environment and relationships similar to yours, but they had someone who saw something in them that helped them be successful. They want to do the same for you. Often we recognize things about ourselves in others, and it makes us want to reach out and help them. Someone who has been successful, despite their past, and who had someone who cared enough to help make them the person they are today, sometimes want to do that and be that for someone else. This is someone who can be a great mentor and friend if the person is able to take a leap of faith and believe they are being genuine. Believing that the person is genuine does not mean that the person has to believe what they are saying about themselves. However, if they allow themselves to believe that this person believes it, a seed has been planted that can be built upon. From one seed, can come a great harvest of lessons, successes, and positive experiences. If the person can start to see themselves through this person’s eyes, and eventually start to see what they see, they can start to believe in themselves the way this person does.
4. One of the most common reasons that others believe in us, when we do not believe in ourselves is the most obvious. We have low self-esteem. The reasons we have low self-esteem could be many, and they may not have anything to do with anyone else, or our history. We may have just decided somewhere along the way that we are not good enough, that we do not measure up, and that others are far better at what we are doing than we are. This might be despite positive reinforcement, and being told things to the contrary. They may believe that people are being kind, that they are mistaken, or that they are simply wrong. We just cannot see it. This is the one where we need to do the most work ourselves. Whether is it doing things little by little that build our confidence, seeing a therapist to try and figure out the root of this belief, or perhaps consulting a life coach who can help us frame what we want to achieve, and show us how we are already achieving some of it, and the path to achieve the rest. The most important thing is that we start to believe in our own abilities, even if that means trying to see ourselves through others eyes while we work on it.