Illustration of the Belief Triangle

You Can’t Sell It If You Don’t Buy It

Illustration of the Belief Triangle

It doesn’t matter what you’re selling. In the courtroom, I had to sell my case to a jury. It was impossible to help my jury believe in my case if my client and I didn’t believe. We couldn’t prove it until we believed it. My work was always to get my client and I in full belief first. Then we’d move on to the jury’s beliefs. That method–we believe, they believe–led to many wins in the courtroom.

Then I started my business and at the beginning I had many unsuccessful sales calls. I’d talk to someone about my keynote, my training or my coaching and never hear from them again. I struggled to understand what I was doing wrong. Others who didn’t have as much experience, education, training or passion were winning clients I knew I could serve more effectively. The problem wasn’t in my offering. It was in my belief. I was new to this world, and I wasn’t sure I was offering enough. I had doubts, so they had doubts. I had to get to work believing so that my potential clients could follow my lead. It was only after I focused on the work of building credibility with myself that I was able to build it with my clients. Then my business took off.

Your lack of belief is keeping you from your full potential too. You can’t prove yourself to others until you’ve proven yourself to you. When it comes to believing, you go first. I know it because I see it every day, especially with the women I coach. They don’t believe they’re enough, so they keep looking for more.

There was the woman who thought she needed another certification before she could ask for the raise. Or the woman who wanted to start a business but thought she needed to have a perfect website before she’d ask anyone to work with her. And perhaps saddest of all, the woman who thought she’d never find true love until she lost ten more pounds. These women didn’t ask for what they wanted because they thought they needed more first. How frustrating is that? They collected things they didn’t want because they were afraid to ask for what they did want.

These women didn’t need certifications, websites or diets. They needed to believe. We got to work helping them prove themselves to themselves. If they could build credibility with themselves and believe that they were enough and they had enough, the rest would follow. We used my Belief Triangle.™ You can use it too.


You have to believe that your passion, your training, your experience and your talent has value. This doesn’t mean you’re perfect or that you can stop learning and improving. But time and time again I’ve found that my clients already have all the evidence they need to believe in themselves. They’re just too busy looking at what they could be missing that they don’t see what they have.


You want to know that when you make yourself a promise, you keep it and when you set yourself an expectation, you meet it. So set that alarm, and don’t hit snooze. Write those 500 words you said you would. Get dressed in a way that makes you feel elegant and comfortable, even if you don’t have plans. Promises kept, expectations met. But the most important piece of believing yourself is owning it when you break a promise or don’t meet an expectation. We all miss the mark at times. Own it, learn from it, and plan for it so you can avoid repeating yourself. This is a credibility multiplier.


Finally, and most powerfully, you have to believe that you can and will take care of yourself. You have to know you have your own back. No one else knows your wants, your needs, your passions and your dreams better than you do. No one else has your heart. So you have to be the one to help you. When you know that you can help yourself, your credibility with yourself skyrockets.

Once you’ve worked on the Belief Triangle™ with yourself, you can work on it with others. My clients have done this work and suddenly they were getting those promotions, those sales and those relationships that they wanted. These women were enough. They just needed to believe it.

In my book The Elegant Warrior there’s a chapter called “Don’t Fake It Until You Make It. Show It Until You Grow It.” When you prove yourself to yourself, you believe. When you show that belief, others believe. As a result, your belief grows. That’s what I want for you.

You can’t sell it if you don’t buy it, and you can’t prove it if you don’t believe it. Believe in yourself. Buy what you’re selling. Others will follow your lead.

Heather Hansen

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