Actually, you can do it.
One of the biggest learnings I’ve had was both of the following are true for the same exact task:
- I can do that
- I can’t do that
I’ve lost 80 pounds in the past because I believed I could do it and before that I hadn’t lost 80 pounds despite desiring to do so, I didn’t believe. I never had confidence in myself until I believed I could…then I magically had confidence.
You can do almost anything if you believe it but most people I know have a fundamental flaw in their thought process.
It’s the belief that your own actions will lead to results and you are in control that makes you able to accomplish almost anything. I often hear “oh I can’t do that, I have to go/do blahblahblah.” It might be in your best interest to show up for work tomorrow morning, but no one is forcing you to go. The “I have to go see my family“ is another favorite, right behind “I have to go see my friends” or “I have to go see my friend’s new dog’s best friend’s cat.”
You are choosing to do these things and most likely you should go do them but the mindset is dangerous. The more “I have to” instead of “I choose to” creates the feeling that you aren’t in control. The lack of control begs the question “why do I try” and so forth.
You make decisions and actions that impact your life…now go make decisions and actions that positively impact your life.
The most valuable change I’ve had in my life was mindset. I used to be the “I have to” guy, but I learned that it’s simply not true. I was and am in control of almost everything in my own life. It’s my responsibility to make my own life better if it’s not what I want to be.
From the change of “I have to” to “I choose to”, the next valuable lesson was shifting another part of my thought process. Instead of focusing on why things won’t work or aren’t possible, I started asking myself why can I do something. This mindset doesn’t work for everything as I’ll never play in the NBA, but barring things needing specific rare physical skills, I do believe I can learn how to do anything.
I’ve never ran more than a few miles in a row in my life, but I’m certain I can run a marathon. I’ve understanding of physics primarily comes from a high school class, but I’m certain I can be a rocket scientist. I’m certain I can learn how to do almost anything, because I keep learning how to do more things.
Don’t get me wrong, I won’t win the Boston Marathon or design the rocket that goes to Mars, but I could run the Boston Marathon and I could go back to school to learn and work at SpaceX.
What I’ve found during the process of learning new skills and abilities, I was happier. I felt more successful because I was moving my life forward, instead of paralyzing self-doubt. One of the greatest singer/songwriters of our time, Miley Cyrus, once said “It’s the climb”. Getting a little better every day seems to create happiness and drive in myself and compounds over time as I accomplish more and more.