In my opinion, self belief is vital to achieve success in any field, and by success, I am referring to the sense of fulfilling the extremes of your potential.
For me personally, self belief is something I have battled with and something that I’ve changed my opinion as to what it really means. My ‘self belief’ has been largely built on the beliefs that have been instilled in me from others – beginning with my parents, teachers, coaches, team mates and other close friends who have been a part of my journey . However, this is a vulnerable place to be in due to the ever changing opinions of people around you. For example, this is likely to happen when you make it into bigger and better teams where the standards are raised and people are more critical of your ability/performance. For this reason it is important to have a resilient, even stubborn sense of self belief that comes from within and cannot be shaken or negatively influenced by others. Not to be misunderstood, if people are praising you, take the encouragement, but the underlying belief has to come from you and you alone.
Personally, both in my sport as a goalkeeper and as a student I have had to continually strengthen myself belief to overcome times when self doubt and doubt from others has lessened my ability to perform or has taken away my motivation to keep going.
Learning to practice self belief is an ongoing process but the more you feed the self belief the more it will grow while your self doubt will starve. For me, this is going to be a massive contributor to the success I know I can obtain with my football – and in life for that matter.
All in all, it is important to listen to the constructive advice others will give you on your journey and to use this to reach the heights you already believe you can reach, on the contrary, take the negative comments and use them as fuel to prove doubters wrong, but don’t ever let their negativity influence your self belief.