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What to Do When Someone Doesn’t Believe in You (Or You Don’t Believe In Yourself)

An illustrated person sitting alone looking unhappy
An illustrated person sitting alone looking unhappy


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    Photo by Katrina Wright on Unsplash

    Have you ever just known that someone doesn’t believe in you? You most definitely are not the only one, trust me. 

    With the fallout of last year’s chaos, I think we are all struggling with the concept of belief. Maybe we’re doubting whether we believe in ourselves as well. 

    My name is Caylin and I’m just like you. I get up every day and try my best. But inevitably, the doubt is there. 

    What I want to talk about today is what to do when you know someone doesn’t believe in you. Because it happened to me (several times) and I learned a few ways to get back up when I got knocked down. I thought I’d share. 

    First, let’s clarify what I mean by “belief.”

    Clarifying belief

    Let’s take a quick step back for a second and just clarify what I mean when I say “belief.” This is not about believing in fairy magic or a certain type of religion. This is about humanity. 

    There are two types of belief in your life: 

    1. Believing in yourself. 

    2. Knowing people believe in you (which empowers you to believe in yourself). 

    Believing in yourself is core to most things in your life, wouldn’t you say? “I believe I am going to get this job,” “I believe I am going to have a bright future”…the list goes on. 

    Knowing when people believe in you encourages you to continue believing you can truly do it. “I know my mom believes I can be an artist, so I am going to keep making art.” “I know my boss believes I can crush this, so I’m going to”…the list goes on. 

    You may not even know you’re seeking it out – but you are. You want people to believe that you can do anything! 

    So then, what happens when that rug is pulled right out from under you and you’re hit with the fact that no, in fact – that person does NOT believe in you.

    This is what happens. 

    Understanding the impact of belief

    When you first realize that there is a hint of doubt that someone may not actually believe in you, you start to doubt. 

    And doubt, as we all know, is the antithesis of fear. And fear begets worry. And worry breaks us down. 

    So doubt takes over. 

    Then you begin to doubt other things in your life. “Am I going in the right direction? Am I good enough to do…anything?” 

    Then the fear takes over. “Am I going to fail at this? I am going to fail at this!”

    Pretty soon you’re worrying more than you’re living. And it’s all because you know that someone doesn’t believe that you can do it. 

    So then, do you ultimately stop believing in yourself? 

    Spoiler alert: no, you don’t. And here’s why.

    What to do when someone doesn’t believe in you

    This comes from years of learning what to do when someone didn’t believe in me – Caylin Brie. Take whatever gems you want out of this list. I truly hope it helps. 

    Here’s what to do when someone doesn’t believe in you: 

    Rage it out

    Getting angry is 100% acceptable, believe it or not. You have every right to take a moment, be angry, and actually rage. Don’t do anything destructive, of course! 

    Notice, I said a moment. Don’t let your anger fester. Don’t let it sit. And don’t take more time needed to waste your energy on that toxicity. 

    I think it’s important to recognize anger as a step in the healing process, and not to shunt it. Be angry, and then let it go. 

    How do you do that? 

    Write it out

    Even if you aren’t a writer, there are some major psychological benefits to writing down your feelings

    Even if it’s a one-liner on a sticky note. 

    Writing down how you feel is a portal for the negative feelings to leave the body. When the feelings are trapped in your brain, they are tumbling around with nowhere to go. Write (or type) it out. Try it! 

    What’s next? 

    Talk it out

    Reach out to your support system and (calmly) explain the situation. Be open to advice, because everyone is going to give it to you anyway. 

    When you talk it out, speak what you want into existence. Instead of complaining about what happened, explain how you’ve grown from it. Change your mindset from anger to relief. 

    It’s time you were free of this quest for their belief anyway, right? 

    Now it’s time to face yourself. 

    Reaffirm your belief 

    After you’ve hashed it out with yourself and your support system, it’s time to get back to the task at hand. That’s regaining your sense of belief (if you lost it). 

    I found that going back to the basics helps me. I like to play something called “The Glad Game.” When I’m really down and out, I stop my negative train of thought and I ask myself what three things am I glad for, right now? 

    Changing your mindset to gratitude takes you out of that path of doubt. Try it – maybe even right now. 

    What three things are you grateful for? 

    Create a new goal 

    Now that the previous goal is gone and that belief is in the past, there is room for new. So, it’s back to the drawing board. 

    What a lovely feeling! A clean slate. 

    Create a new goal for having someone else believe in you – maybe that’s your spouse, your boss, your kids, your friends – anyone! 

    Just to clarify – seeking belief from others does not mean you need that to believe in yourself. Belief in yourself comes from within, not from others. 

    Forgive your non-believers

    Now you’re pumped up, right? You’ve got new goals, you’re ready for action. But wait – there is one more crucial step to moving on. 

    You have to forgive your non-believers. This is important for closure, you might have guessed. It’s also not the easiest thing in the world. I said, forgive – not forget. 

    You are more than welcome to remember it if you want to, but you must forgive that person for not understanding and truly believing you could do it. 

    And this is how you keep going. 

    Keep going with a new mindset 

    Last but not least, keep going. No matter what. 

    Life is full of non-believers. You are not one of them. You either pick up and move on or live with the anger in your heart, which sounds better to you? 

    Keep moving. Even if you don’t know the direction or not, just go. And when you go, believe that where you go, you got this. 


    Seeing is believing

    If you experienced the hurt of someone not believing in you, I’m sorry. I truly am. But now, you have some tools that will enable you to get back up. 

    And I want to say thanks to ALL the people that didn’t believe in me. You really made me realize who I am today. I wish you well on your own journey and I hope that you know I don’t hold a grudge. You do you, boo. 

    For more ways to get back up, check out this post on when the going gets tough

    Shout out to Big Orange Heart, who has continued to be there (albeit in the background until now) throughout my journey, posting positive things and encouraging me to work through my feelings. I appreciate you, BoH. 

    I will be out here believing in myself if you need me! Connect with me at @CBCInked on Twitter or at where I’m spreading the art love. 

    You got this! 

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