The Truth about Self Belief May Surprise You

By  Steve

Do you have to believe in yourself to build a great business?

​I’ve just read a post on LinkedIn that asked a question from a statement.

​True or False...

“You become what you believe”

It’s a popular notion to suggest you must believe in yourself to succeed in anything, but I happen to think it’s simply not true and in fact could be harmful to your hoped-for outcome.

The Self-Help industry is full of books which teach you all sorts of things that in theory are supposed to point you in the right direction, but do they?

On opening the website of one well known bookseller, these were some top titles included.

"Happy: Finding joy in every day and letting go of perfect" - Fearne Cotton

"Good Vibes, Good Life: How Self-Love Is the Key to Unlocking Your Greatness" - Vex King

"You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life" - Jen Sincero

"The Secret": Rhonda Byrne

Self Esteem

Many of these books suggest, you should beef up your self-esteem and think positively. If that’s the case, why do so many apparently successful people have low self-esteem?  

Mariah Carey said, “I’ve always had really low self-esteem, and I still do.” https://pagesix.com/2017/08/21/mariah-carey-i-have-always-had-low-self-esteem/

David Bowie said, “I had enormous self-image problems and very low self-esteem.”

" In 1997 he told Q magazine: "I had enormous self-image problems and very low self-esteem, which I hid behind obsessive writing and performing… I was driven to get through life very quickly… I really felt so utterly inadequate. I thought the work was the only thing of value." https://www.theguardian.com/theobserver/2012/sep/09/observer-profile-david-bowie

Bob Dylan said, “All I can do is be me, whoever that is.”

Apparently, he said a bit more and it came from In-Beat Magazine. “Bob Dylan: I do, but I don’t expect anything from it, you dig? All I can do is be me — whoever that is — for those people that I do play to, and not come on with them, tell them I’m something that I’m not. I’m not going to tell them that I’m The Great Cause Fighter or The Great Lover or Great Boy Genius or whatever. Because I’m not, man. Why mislead them? That’s all just Madison Avenue, that’s just selling. Sure, Madison Avenue is selling me, but it’s not really selling me, because I was hip to it before I got there”.


If you have the time and scour the internet with your favourite browser you will find athletes, pop, stage, and screen stars who vomit before a performance.

They don’t and may never teach this at school, in fact schools are often stuck with pop psychology which causes some students to look inwards. Creating and building a business, a pop career or whatever is about looking outwards. Looking outwards irrespective of one’s feelings because it works.  

If self-esteem isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and we don’t need it to succeed what is it that successful people have or do which helps to make them successful?

What they all have is a desire, a want, an objective, a goal, or a vision IE an outcome!

I’d like to share a quick story.

A while back I knew someone, who lacked confidence, had low self-esteem, and would walk half a mile rather than pick up the telephone to speak to someone. He would go red at the first sign of any trouble which happened to include seeing, let alone meeting a girl!

One day this person wanted a car, he wanted a car because his own car, a Mini Cooper had become too expensive to own and his pay wouldn’t cover the costs. He loved driving in the countryside, and it gave him a sense of freedom

What did he do?

So strong was the desire for a car that he decided to kill two birds with one stone.

Yes, this person with low self-esteem, low self-worth and was generally scared of girls, decided to get a job as a salesman!

His thinking was simple, get a job as a salesman, a company car and overcome his critical shyness.

Who was that person? Well, it was me, yours truly, Steve Prior.

I had a desire, a want, an objective, a goal, or a vision IE an outcome and in the end, I got what I wanted. A gleaming new car and I overcame my shyness (it did take six months though).

My main message to all you entrepreneurs, business owners and managing directors is to.

Have a Clear Vision because it really does pull you through!

All comments below appreciated and will be read and published.


A Tennis playing father of two. The two in question are at an age where everything they do is correct and anything I suggest is stupid! Luckily business is a tad easier... Once I start to understand the challenges and your vision, I can usually plot a way forward. Understanding and Discovery are my two watch words.


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