“As as a man thinks, so he is; as a man continues to think, so he remains.” -James Allen, As a Man Thinketh
Nobody becomes a winner until they think they can become one.
The same goes for every role you’ll ever play. Husband. Mother. Author. Business-owner. Singer. Podcast producer. Juggler. Investor.
The same doubt that prevents a man from learning to juggle is the same doubt that prevents him from opening a business.
If he doesn’t believe he can — he won’t.
Successful people who achieve true success don’t leave their lives to chance. They take firm, direct action to seize what they want. They plan for the future, and firmly believe they will receive what they strive for.
In the famous words of Henry Ford:
“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”
Your Goals Are Not Possible Until You See Them As Reality
“What you habitually think largely determines what you will ultimately become.” -Bruce Lee
Before 1954, no human had ever recorded running a mile in under 4 minutes.
It had practically become a scientific fact — the human body simply could not do it. Runners had been trying for over a thousand years from every continent and culture on earth, and no one had succeeded.
Then on May 6, 1954, a young man from England named Roger Bannister broke the 4-minute barrier, with a time of 3:59.4.
The media exploded. Bannister became famous overnight. He later told reporters he accomplished the record by relentlessly visualizing the achievement in order to create a sense of certainty in his mind and body.
Then, something even more extraordinary happened.
6 weeks later, someone else broke Bannister’s record.
Then more people broke it.
In the following months, 8 more people broke the record that had been held for centuries. After that, 4-minute miles became commonplace. Now, even high school athletes run sub-four minute miles.
What you habitually think determines what you will ultimately become.
There are potential scenarios of your future you do not believe are possible. But they become possible once you believe they are.
Maybe this is owning a successful personal business doing what you love.
Perhaps it’s building enormous wealth so you never have to work again.
Maybe it’s developing 6-pack abs, traveling the world, or amassing millions of fans for your band.
Most people don’t think these incredible lifestyles are possible. They’re a “pipe dream” — meant for others, but not for you. That’s “just how it works.”
But this is a lie.
Said Napoleon Hill in Think and Grow Rich, “No one is ready for a thing, until he believes he can acquire it. The state of mind must be BELIEF, not mere hope or wish.”
Your ideal deepest hopes and dreams are possible. But you need to visualize them first in order to make them become possible.
You must envision them before they become a reality. You must truly believe you are capable of achieving greatness.
Believing you can change is the most important step before metamorphosis is possible.
While caterpillars cannot help but become a butterfly, we humans must consciously choose to transform into something greater.
It does not happen automatically. Many grown adults are still children on the inside, while many youths are wiser than their parents.
The life you want is blocked; that is, until you actually believe it is possible.
“The will to do springs from the knowledge that we can do.” -James Allen
Most People Don’t Have Self-Belief
In the words of iconic entrepreneur Tim Ferris:
“It’s lonely at the top. 99% of the world is convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for the mediocre middle-ground.
The level of competition is thus fiercest for “realistic” goals, paradoxically making them the most time- and energy-consuming.”
Most people don’t believe they could ever accomplish enormous goals like starting a business or building massive wealth.
So, they dedicate all their time and energy towards what 99% of everyone else does, like getting an average job, an average paycheck, and living a generally average life.
And in the words of Seth Godin:
“Is there a difference between ‘average’ and ‘mediocre?’ Not so much.”
Self-belief is the firm belief that you are capable of becoming a better version of yourself and achieving your goals. That you will do what you say you will do.
Unfortunately, this strength has become extremely rare.
Just about everyone would say they want to improve their lives. Some of the most commons forms of this are to lose weight, get in shape, become financially secure, or land a dream job.
The problem is, whenever most people attempt to secure these goals, they give up after the first few problems.
Individuals who declare a new healthy lifestyle often go back to their old habits after a few weeks of the short-lived “diet.” Starting a budget isn’t that difficult, but maintaining one is; after a few grueling months of tracking expenses with little progress, people give up and go back to spending.
With every defeat, an individual’s self-belief often gets weaker and weaker. Another precious piece of self-belief gets chipped away every time someone doesn’t follow through on their commitments.
This is why doing what you say you will is so important. If you lie to yourself, you lose trust with yourself. You won’t believe yourself the next time you declare it’s time for a change.
The answer is simple:
You must do what you say you will do.
This is how you protect and nurture your self-belief. If you build trust with yourself, you’ll have more confidence to take on greater challenges.
The book The Millionaire Mind described a study where 733 millionaires were asked what their most important values were, the vast majority of them had the same number one:
Being honest with themselves and others was the most important factor to their success.
You need self-belief to be successful. You nurture self-belief by learning to trust yourself to do what you say you will.
“All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is a direct result of his own thoughts.” -James Allen
Successful People Believe Their Result is Inevitable
“Inevitability Thinking is thinking and acting as if what you are doing is a forgone conclusion because you set up the conditions for it to happen.” -Eben Pagan
The next evolution of accomplishing our goals will move away from relying on willpower.
Instead, the focus will shift on creating environments and conditions that make it impossible for you to fail.
According to productivity expert Eben Pagan, once we create an environment for success, success becomes inevitable. Unfortunately, most people will never achieve true success. Anyone who continues to rely simply on willpower and white-knuckling will ultimately fail.
If you do not truly believe you will succeed, you probably won’t.
In his famous book The Business of Life, author Frank Crane penned, “No man becomes noble, good, and great until he lays down the law that he is so.”
If you do not declare your environment to condition you for success, you will fail.
It’s like someone who declares they are starting a new diet, but don’t remove any of the unhealthy, tempting food in their pantry. Sooner or later, they’ll give in. They’ve made failure inevitable.
On the other hand, truly successful people see their goal with intense clarity of vision. They don’t just say what they want — they rearrange their environment to succeed. They remove junk food by throwing it away completely.
They can tell you exactly what victory will feel like, taste like, and even smell like. It’s real, and it will happen.
This level of self-belief is extremely rare. Then again, individuals who are living the life of their dreams are rare, too.
If you want to succeed, you need to paint a vivid, graphic picture of what your result will look like.
If you want to lose significant weight, tell me what it will feel like to slowly pull on those slim designer jeans you’ve always wanted, but never had the courage to buy. What does the texture feel like between your fingers? What do they smell like?
If you want to build enormous wealth, tell me what your lawn looks like as you walk out to the mailbox to get your monthly check of $50,000 dollars from passive income alone. How deep is your pool in the backyard? What do you feel when you gaze at the number in your checkings account? What is that number?
Make the picture as vivid as possible.
Then believe this reality has no choice but to come to fruition.
This is inevitability thinking. This is how truly successful people see the future.
This is how you will start thinking from now on.
“Once you design the right conditions, your desired behavior naturally follows.” -Benjamin Hardy
You Will Get Precisely What You Think You Can Get
I had a conversation with one of my career clients the other day. She’s an extremely qualified engineer, with a dazzling pedigree. MBA from a top school, and experience at several major tech firms. But she struggles with self-confidence.
She was worried about an upcoming salary negotiation. She confided to me that she didn’t think she would be offered the amount she wanted.
I told her she will receive only as much as she thinks she can receive.
Most people just wait for a raise. They wait in hopes their dreams will finally be offered to them; that everyone will finally recognize their worth and reward them.
But that’s not how it works.
In truth, you will receive only what you believe you will receive — at best. Most people even receive less.
But if you have the firm, unwavering belief that you deserve more, that your ideal life is not only attainable, but inevitable…
That’s the beginning of true success.
“One will never get any more than he thinks he can get.” -Bruce Lee
“A man’s wishes and prayers are only gratified and answered when they harmonize with his thoughts and actions.” -James Allen
Most people will never achieve true success because they don’t believe they can.
You receive what you believe you will receive.
Ironically, individuals would have a better chance of achieving greatness than securing an average life, because there’s hardly any competition. The bulk of the competition is for the average outcome; there’s less competition in the higher echelons of effort.
The individuals who believe they can achieve massive success usually do.
Those who don’t believe they could ever achieve this life are usually correct.
If you don’t believe you can, don’t even bother trying.
Only when you decide your dream is possible and inevitable will it actually become so.
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