The week, the racket rose for the 4th match point.  The crowd held their breath waiting to cheer the winner. The Thwack of the ball echoed around the court as it hurtled back and forth reaching 108mph. Then it happens. Match point. The seven-times grand slam champion Venus Williams had been beaten by 15 year old girl, Cori Guaff, the teenage sensation showed remarkable composure and belief. A belief in herself that has led her to become the youngest player to win a main-draw match since Jennifer Capriati in 1991 at Wimbledon.

Reporters are saying that Cori demonstrated a mental attitude beyond her years to win the game. She remembers her father encouraging her to always have a ‘can do’ attitude and instilling confidence in her since the age of 8. “I just literally don’t play with any pressure. I just tell myself whatever happens happens. I mean, my motto is just, like, wing it” she says. She reassured herself that although the court at Wimbledon was a larger arena than she was used to, the tennis court lines were the same, she just had to play.

Winning by believing you’re the best

She has been nurtured by her parents to believe that she can be the best she can be – they believed in her. They invested in coaches for her, as they knew she had that something special to become a success.  Cori had no problem achieving sponsorship when the time was right because of her talent and the fact she had no doubt in her mind. From here on in, she was surrounded by reinforcing messages of ‘we believe in you’ and ‘you can do it’. Sacrifices were made by the whole family, including Cori in pursuit of her goals – that’s how important her success was. A clear focus accompanied by a winning set of thinking and beliefs is often unstoppable.

So, what if you haven’t been nurtured with a can do attitude?  What if you haven’t spent time with a coach to make the most of your natural talent or grew up in an encouraging environment?  What if you are no longer 15? Does this mean we you’ve missed out on success?

Reinforcing the winning mindset … underpinned by belief.

One thing that seems to link most success stories is the belief “I can”. Take any successful sports star and they’ll have dreamed, visualised, practiced, had feedback, honed their skills AND believed.  For many having an encouraging team of people and environment around them has acted as a springboard to success.  I love the fact that Cori had the opportunity of a coach so young.  Coaches bring a wealth of magic.  A good coach will push you, guide you and help you find the success you seek. They can be your cheerleader too!

6 tips for increasing your inner belief and success

Here are 6 Top Tips for increasing your inner belief and putting you on the path to achieving success

  1. Picture your success

“What the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.” — Napoleon Hill

Creating a mental picture of yourself succeeding is a powerful tool.  Really get into the detail. What would you see if you were a success, how would you dress, how would you speak, what would you hear? What might success smell and taste like…the brain is unable to tell the difference between reality and fiction so practicing visualizing a fantastic version of yourself achieving your goals and being a total success

  1. Note your inner talk and conversations

“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” — Louise L. Hay

What do you say to yourself when no one else is listening? Listen to the self talk and limiting beliefs that you carry and look to see if the words are true. Some of the harshest comments that we get come from ourselves, via the “voice of the inner critic.” If you struggle with this, there is a possibility that your inner critic has become overactive and inaccurate.

NLP can help you to question your inner critic and look for evidence to support or deny the things that your inner critic is saying to you. For example, if you think that you are a failure, ask yourself, “What evidence is there to support the thought that I am a failure?” and “What evidence is there that doesn’t support the thought that I am a failure?”

  1. Celebrate Success

‘The more your praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate’ – Oprah Winfrey

Take some time to celebrate your success.  What successes have you have today, this week, this month, this year? Successes come in all shapes and sizes, big and small. In NLP we know that what we focus on is what we get. If you start focusing on the successes in your life, it’s funny how to start to get more of it.  Create a list of at least 20 things that you can celebrate, as a success. Write them down and put the list somewhere you can see it.  Add to the list as you go along.  Then when you need a ‘pick me up’ dig out your list and take a read. It’ll probably bring a smile to your face.

  1. Affirm yourself every day

“Affirmations are a powerful tool to deliberately install desired beliefs about yourself.” — Nikki Carnevale

We tend to behave in accordance with our own self-image. The trick to making lasting change is to change how you view yourself.

Affirmations are positive and uplifting statements that we say to ourselves. These are normally more effective if said out loud so that you can hear yourself say it. We tend to believe whatever we tell ourselves constantly. For example, if you hate your own physical appearance, practice saying something that you appreciate or like about yourself when you next look in the mirror.

To get your brain to accept your positive statements more quickly, phrase your affirmations as questions such as, “Why am I so good at making deals?” instead of “I am so good at making deals.” Our brains are biologically wired to seek answers to questions, without analyzing whether the question is valid or not.

  1. Change your thinking, change your results

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin

You can be totally in control of your thinking. If you currently thinking isn’t getting you the results you want, then simply changing your thinking WILL change the outcome or results you get. You have all the resources within you to believe in yourself and become the success you dream of.  If you do not agree, you may want to consider some personal development training.  In NLP we can change a limiting belief for example of “I’m not good enough” in about 15 minutes to “I’m totally good enough. We can also resolve inner conflictual thinking – when part of you believes “I’ll never do this” and part of you says yes I can. The opportunity to take time out for your own development can pay back dividends (want to find out more about how you can change your thinking, check out our NLP Practitioner course)

  1. Find your Tribe

“I believed I was alone. This I met my tribe. Now I have people to share my triumphs with and who challenge and support me” – anon

We are often influenced by those around us and if those around us have no ambition, goals or self belief, you guessed it, it is going to have an impact on ourselves. Spend time with people who raise you up, who inspire you, who push you to be better.  Let go of those who hold you back, those who speak poorly or negatively of your dreams. Recognise the negativity and walk away.  The successful ones will take you with them.

What next?

We hope you’ve enjoyed this blog and if you did share it with someone who you think will benefit from the top tips. If you’d like to find out more about how you can change your beliefs and acquire a winning mindset for sport, business or life in general, check out our NLP Practitioner course TODAY!