One of the biggest hurdles to pursuing your passions is believing in yourself. Here's some rules of mine to help you overcome that.
Rule#1 - Start your own path
For the longest time I put off pursing my passions to follow a path that others dominated. I saw other people take certain steps towards their aspirations and rather than developing the mind-set of starting my own journey, it seemed to make more sense to follow/mimic somebody else's.
I was wrong. I needed to stick by my own passions if I truly wanted my own success. I didn't want to follow the path of the family man, or the big shot corporate guy, nor the broke artistic guy nor did I want to fit into any stereotype. I didn't want to be so easily defined so I took a vow to set out my own rules with my own identity and let that guide my success.
Rule#2 - Drop everyone's expectations
Shed the expectations people have of you. Shed the burden of living up to someone else's design of your life. I place emphasis on, more than anything, the importance of living life your own way. Here's why: if you live life by living up to someone else's expectations then you relinquish control to someone who can never understand what you truly want, because nobody can.
Be sure to expect the best for yourself and determine what would make you happy and take charge of your own life. Yeah sure by all means accept help and guidance when you need it, but know when you need it and when you don't. You want to believe in yourself? Get to know yourself.
Rule#3 - Learn how to handle challenges
Challenges vary, but consider all things that you find difficult, all things that make you feel inadequate and all the negative impacts from life as your challenges to overcome, not burdens to live with. You need a positive way to work through them, faced with a tough task? Perhaps break it down into small easier tasks. Finding it difficult to handle negative comments? Then use that negative energy and drive it in your passions; there is nothing wrong with wanting to prove people wrong, so long it's with your actions.
How you handle each and every challenge life throws at you will determine your ability to actually succeed. Trust me on this one, challenges are like tests, how you handle them determine whether you pass or fail.
Rule#4 - Overcome your problems - learn to fight
People always have two options when dealing with issues and problems. It's the classic fight or flight, you face them and deal with them head on, or you avoid them and run away from them. If you choose the latter you will never feel like you believe in yourself, because each and every problem needs a solution. Fix them, you may not even want to, but you have to, failure to do so will only further prove you can't handle what it is you want from life.
Rule#5 - Consistent activity - engage in your passions
There is something you want and you probably believe you won't get it. Put that belief aside for now and just carry on. If you want to pursue something and you believe it won't happen, just continue to engage in your passion regularly. The more knowledge you gain and the more you throw yourself into the world of your passions, that glimmer of hope you hold onto, will get brighter.
You will slowly tip the balance from self-doubt to self belief. You'll notice that your haters will not be able to challenge you as much and that your disbelievers can't deny you anymore because each time you engage, your closing that gap between yourself and your dream.
Remember - LEARN, IMPACT, FULFILL and ENGAGE (L.I.F.E).
Rule#6 - Find supporters and surf the wave of encouragement...
...even if it's your Nan, or your dentist or some random stranger in a coffee shop that struck up a conversation because of mutual interest- there are plenty of opportunities to find encouragement. When you do come across it, accept it, don't deny it..it is totally OK to let others believe in you if you might not do so right now. Don't disprove them.
The energy you receive is based on the energy you put out there, so if your focused on your passion and its evident, people will eventually notice and start believing in you, even if you might not right now. Follow this rule and watch your confidence grow and you will begin to believe in yourself the sooner you accept that others do.