Today is the day your life changes.
That morning, she woke up and decided: she’d had enough.
For three years she had been trying to quit her tedious job to launch her own exciting business. For three years, the world had been crushing her dreams. For three years she didn’t truly believe she could make it.
So, she didn’t.
“We don’t believe in the great dreams we had as kids anymore. We don’t believe we have the power to create the lives we want. We don’t think that we can really make a difference by the things we do (…) It’s almost like we sabotage ourselves. We run away from the very thing we want the most.”
— Robin Sharma
You’re Afraid To Fail
We all want success, regardless of what it means for us. We all have dreams. But so few of us take action. Real action.
We daydream, we scribble down ideas, we get excited about possibilities, we discuss strategies, we envision how life will look like when we get there.
And six months later, there we are: daydreaming, scribbling down ideas, still somehow excited about the possibilities, discussing strategies, envisioning how life will look like when we get there.
But we never get there.
Yet, we need these dreams to move us forward. Paulo Coelho puts it beautifully in “The Alchemist”: “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
Then, why do so many of us hold ourselves back?
Paulo Coelho provides an answer to that too:
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
Believe In Yourself
Lousy as it may sound, believing in yourself is the solution to your problems. This is not some esoteric mindset, a belief in the energies of the universe or a scheme that leads you to believe that, whatever you dream, you shall achieve. It is psychology.
In the 1970s, the term “self-efficacy” emerged, as a central construct in the Social Cognitive Theory developed by psychologist Albert Bandura.
“Perceived self-efficacy is defined as people’s beliefs about their capabilities to produce designated levels of performance that exercise influence over events that affect their lives. Self-efficacy beliefs determine how people feel, think, motivate themselves and behave.”
Our belief in ourselves plays a major role in the way we think, act, and how we look at our own place in the world. It also impacts the kind of goals we set for ourselves and the way we go about to achieve them.
Subsequent studies have pointed out that a healthy level of self-efficacy is related to and, in many cases, predictive of positive outcomes and performance.
Putting it simply: the first step to achieving anything in life is to believe in yourself. If you do, you are likely to succeed; if you don’t, you are undermining yourself before you even start. Actions will not matter that much if your mind is not in the right place, to begin with.
“Those who believe they can, and those who believe they can’t are both usually right”
Believing in yourself is not a magic key that will open every door you ever dreamed of. You can not hope for something and believe you will achieve it while sitting on the couch all day.
“Vision without execution is just hallucination.”
— Henry Ford
But believing is the first step to get anywhere. It is the foundation on which you can build everything else. It’s the right attitude, the winning mindset. It’s you helping yourself. And it’s so easy, if only you dare to do it. Do you?