In the long run, people usually do achieve their goals if they persist, stay flexible, and don’t give up. The biggest challenge for most people is persisting long enough to win the mental game. – Steve Pavlina
Have you ever felt like giving up on your goals? I certainly have, and on more than one occasion!
If you feel like you can’t hang on any longer, it might be time to tweak your belief system. Fortunately, there are some very encouraging beliefs that can help you carry on even when things get difficult.
I’ve written this article together with my friend Joe Barnes. Joe is the founder of www.screwthesystemnow.com as well as a hypnotherapist, a speaker and a coach. He is also the author of Escape The System: The Ultimate Guide to a life of Freedom and Greatness. When it comes to the power of beliefs he knows what he is talking about! He had is fair share of challenges himself, but were able to overcome them using the 2 beliefs he shares in this article. (numbers 5 and 6)
In this article, Joe and I will introduce you to 6 empowering beliefs that have made it much easier for us to stay on track with our goals and persevere during challenging times.
My hope is that, by the end of this article, you’ll be able to use these empowering beliefs to your advantage and increase the amount of faith you have in yourself. It’s crucial to believe in your ability to achieve your most exciting goals. At the end of the day, your belief system will determine what you’re able to accomplish.
1. “If they can do it, so can I.”
Have you ever seen someone who has something you want or is doing something you want to do and thought “I could do that”, “I could do it better”, or “If they can do it, so can I”?
Here’s the cool thing: Those thoughts are probably correct. The fact that you’ve had them tells me you are indeed capable of accomplishing as much as the person you were looking up to. It’s important to remember that, in general, our brains are all pretty similar. As a result, most of us have the ability to master any skill we set our sights on. It just takes time and patience.
Unfortunately, most of us lose patience when working towards our long-term goals. We start looking at other people and wondering why they’re so far ahead of us, but fail to see how much work the person put in to get to where they are. Then we start to judge ourselves against them, feel bad about ourselves, and, in many cases, begin to self-sabotage. We should instead trust ourselves and realize that we can and will achieve our goals, but that’s easier said than done. For more on this subject, check out “The Recipe for Success”).
When things get rough, I try to remind myself that the personal development bloggers who’ve “made it” (meaning that they’re now making a living from their passion), aren’t all smarter and luckier than everyone else. They’ve just been doing it longer than I have. The only thing that separates them from failed bloggers is that THEY continued to persist while the others simply quit.
So make a point to remind yourself that people like you have done what you want to do. If they can do it, why can’t you? Just hang in there, be patient, and don’t let anyone (including yourself) tell you that you can’t. If they can do it, so can you, and, if you persist long enough, you will.
2. “I’m not like everyone else.”
Do you feel like giving up right now? If so, you’ve got plenty of company. In fact, the majority of people that are chasing goals like yours are giving up as we speak. They’re feeling the same way you are, and calling it quits as a result. Interestingly enough, this is actually great news for you!
When you started working on your goal did you think, “I’m going to give it a shot and give up exactly when 90% of the people who set goals give up?” Of course you didn’t, that wouldn’t make any sense! You set your goal so that you could achieve it, not so you could stop as soon as it got hard.
Let’s assume for a moment that you actually did think this when setting your goals. If you knew you’d quit once things got challenging, why did you bother starting in the first place? Keep in mind that if the things you want accomplish were easy, everybody would be doing them. Things never go 100% according to plan, so things are likely to take far more time and effort that we initially think they will. So why not keep trying? After all, you aren’t like everyone else.
3. “My failures are paving the way to my success.”
It’s sad that so many people think failure is a negative thing, especially considering how unavoidable it is. The difference between people who succeed and people who give up is that the former group fails faster and more often than the latter.
Failure is an inherent part of success. It’s crucial to gain a deeper understanding of the fact that failure is connected to success. In fact, it’s part of the entire process. Once you realize this, you’ll become more persistent and learn to welcome failure.
I’d like to ask you to completely rethink the way you see failure and to give it a more empowering meaning. Failure is just feedback that tells you to adjust your approach or your thinking to get the results you want. It’s just part of the guidance system that leads you to success. As such, expecting to succeed without experiencing massive failures isn’t just unrealistic, it’s downright delusional.
The obstacles you’ll face along the way to success exist to eliminate people who aren’t serious about their goals. The only true failure I can think of is refusing to learn from your “failures”. Your failures are paving the way for your success, so keep failing, learn from your mistakes, and always get back on your feat. Don’t give up!
4. “It’s not just about me.”
If you’re anything like me (or anything like the majority of people, for that matter), you may feel like a fraud sometimes. As a result, your mind seizes moments of depression to bombard you with toxic thoughts like “Who do I think I am? I can’t do that”, and “What’s the point? There are too many people out there who are more talented than me. The world doesn’t need me”. And let’s not forget the classic “I’m not good enough.” Regardless of the thoughts that run through your head, it’s important to remind yourself that the goal or dream you’re trying to achieve isn’t just about you.
If you’re reading this, then you probably want to help other people in some way, be it directly or indirectly. If you give up on your goal or dream, however, people that you could have helped will never have the opportunity to benefit from what you have to offer. Forget about yourself and your fears for a moment and focus on what you can offer the people around you, whether it’s your friends, family, customers, or society in general.
No matter what your goal is, you have the following choices:
1- You can act out of fear (fear of not being good enough, fear of failure, or fear of lack, for example).
2-You can act out of love, which is what happens when your goal becomes bigger than you and goes beyond your ego.
As you pursue your dream, you will act out of both fear and love on different occasions, but you need to act out of love as much as you possibly can. Refocus on love and the contribution you want to make with your goal when things get tough, because, in the end, it’s not just about you.
Now let’s have a look at Joe’s favorite beliefs that helped him create the life he wants.
5. If 1 then 1 million
‘If I can sell 1 copy, then I can sell 100.’ That’s what I told myself when I first published my book back in 2012.
I’ve used this belief throughout my 15-year journey into creating the life I want. First it was with tennis coaching clients, ‘If I can get my first 1 to 1 coaching client, then I can get ten.’ Then it was with hypnotherapy clients, ‘If I can help one person stop smoking then surely I can repeat the formula and help more.’ I even used it with dates and getting a girlfriend!
And it worked every time!
But why did it work?
First, because it broke down an enormous task into chunks and made me focus on the first step. The first step is always achievable no matter what you’re doing. And often, when you’ve been successful at achieving the first step, it’s then just a case of repeating a formula. Do what works again and again and again.
Second, it provides a huge amount of motivation. You now have a clear goal to aim for, and then a clear goal after that.
When selling my book, my first goal was one sale. Once, I’d done that, it became 100. After 100, it became 1000 copies sold and so on until I reach 1,000,000.
Now, 1,000,000 copies seems like a crazy goal and totally unreachable. However, when you break it down into a six-part journey (after 1000 comes 10,000, and then 100,000 and finally the big one), and each stage you pass through gives you the absolute certainty you’ll reach the next, it becomes achievable and very motivating.
6. I have 66% chance of achieving my dream
I always knew that living your dreams was not as hard The System would have us believe. At first, it was just a gut feeling. However, as I thought more deeply about the subject, I realised there was a clear process of elimination.
I reached the conclusion that you have a 66% chance of being successful at living your dreams.
Take 1000 people who are all competing against you to achieve the same dream (for example, to be a successful touring and recording musician). Now, straight off the bat, eliminate 90% of them. These are the procrastinators, the people who talk and talk but will never take any action.
Is it really that many?
Yes. Think about it, how many people do you know that will tell you about a dream or ambition they have? Now, how many people do you know who are consistently working towards it? Do you see the discrepancy? People who consistently work towards their dreams are a different and rare breed. There aren’t that many of them around and, because of this, your competition is a lot smaller than you might have expected.
Of the 100 people that remain, you can eliminate a further 80 within a year. They will make some attempt, but as the pressure to earn an income builds or they experience a few rejections, they’ll conclude that the commonly held wisdom is true – it really is impossible to live your dreams.
So, you’re only left with 20 people out of the original 1000. That’s not a lot of competition and you’ve got this far simply though persistence.
At this stage, it’s likely you’ve experience some level of success at living your dream. You’ve made some money and now you know that supporting yourself doing the thing you love could be possible for you. What’s going to give you the edge?
First, continued persistence. Second, a belief in yourself or your product. Third, an ability to adapt to circumstances. And finally, the knowledge that you don’t have to be the best to live your dreams. There’s always room at the top for two or three outstanding performers (think Cola and Pepsi or Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic).
You’ll have to watch the video below to see how I arrive at the exact 66% figure. However, if there’s one belief you can take away from this point it’s that the competition is not as great as you’ve been led to believe.
What about you? How do make sure that you keep persevering when you face challenging times? Share your tips with me in the comment section below.
More about Joe
Joe Barnes is the author of the critically acclaimed book, Escape The System, and also a speaker and coach. He helps people get clear about their mission in life and gives them confidence needed to make it a reality. You can find out more about his work, and get a FREE eBook, by visiting the website Screw The System. He’s also worked as a hypnotherapist and a tennis coach.
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