Millions upon millions of words have been written on how to succeed. Here’s my take on a simple lesson that has served me well.
How many times have you heard or been told that all success takes is getting into action and being persistent?
We’ve all heard stories of successful people who had enough persistence to make their dreams a reality, how they would never give up, how they “burned all the bridges” and left themselves no way out but through, and so on.
That’s good and all and there’s truth in those statements, but let’s be honest…they’re pretty hollow. They’re about as nourishing as a photo of oxygen is to a drowning man.
See, the problem is, they touch on an important aspect of achieving success, but they don’t address the REAL core issue holding people back.
The real issue lies behind the simple fact that the vast majority of people have been told to take more action, be persistent, “get hungry,” etc., but many don’t see their dreams through and make them happen.
The Mystery Behind Fear of Failure, Uncertainty, and Procrastination
Many people feel kind of stuck in a rut in life and don’t know how to get out. They don’t know where to start. They’re deathly afraid of failure. They don’t know if they can do it. They don’t know what will work and what won’t. They don’t feel sufficiently motivated and they procrastinate.
These are the mental and emotional factors that are preventing them from getting anywhere, and simply chanting “take action and be persistent!” doesn’t help. It’s like when you tell someone how worried you are about something and their reply is, “I see. Don’t worry about that, okay?” Not very persuasive or soothing.
So, what holds these mental blocks in place and what can we do about it?
Well, let’s do an interesting little exercise. I want you to think of an area where you have an ambition but are experiencing any of the above mental barriers (lack of motivation, uncertainty, lack of creativity, procrastination, laziness, etc.).
Now, what if you had a crystal ball and you were able to discover with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY–and I mean 100% unshakable conviction–that you would achieve your ambitions if you just followed through with specific actions. Looking into the crystal ball, you could SEE yourself basking in the success and reaping the rewards.
Do you think you’d do it? Would you feel enough motivation to push through the “head trash” and make it happen?
I think most everyone would.
See, that’s interesting though. The only difference between that scenario and reality is in the fantasy, you truly believed the actions would give you your dreams. The actions are the actions–they didn’t change. Only your state of mind changed.
A Tale of Two People–Who Will Succeed?
Tell me who will succeed out of the two following people:
Person A has the blueprint of success and knows every action that needs to be taken, but he’s not sure if he has it in him to pull it off and he doesn’t really believe with CONVICTION that it will work. But he knows he has to take action and be persistent, so he goes through the actions without verve or vision.
Person B has the same blueprint and action list, but Person B has somehow completely convinced himself that he has the potential to achieve his dreams and that success is INEVITABLE if he follows the plan. He takes the actions with resolution, certainty, and energy because he KNOWS they’ll work in the end.
Person B, of course, has a much better chance of success. Once again, both people had the same blueprint and action lists; the only difference was their states of mind.
What was the main catalyst that caused the difference?
One person believed in himself and in the inevitability of success, and the other didn’t.
See, there’s an interesting “mechanism” at work when you’re trying to achieve something. It has four “quadrants” that all feed on and affect each other, and they are:
Person A above didn’t believe in his potential and didn’t really think the blueprint and actions would give him success, and therefore took small, robotic actions, got little results, which reinforced his beliefs that it won’t work anyway and he won’t achieve success. This lead to less action, which meant less results, and eventually, the initial impetus ground to a halt and the game is over.
Person B knew he had the potential, truly believed that the blueprint and actions would give him success, took massive, energetic action to get there, got big results, which then reinforced his beliefs. This cycle of course spurred him to take more action, get more results, and the momentum carried him to his dreams.
So let’s get to the point. How can you be Person B in any of your endeavors?
How to Light the Fires and Kick the Tires in Your Life
First, you should have a clearly visualized goal in mind. Really see yourself with the success you want, and make sure you feel it’s possible (don’t paint a picture that you feel isn’t realistically achievable). Write your goals down and be specific.
But that’s not enough to see you through to the end. It can get you started, but you need to see RESULTS to really reinforce your belief in yourself and your actions and feel the drive to go higher.
So your first goal when starting ANYTHING should be IMMEDIATE RESULTS of some kind. (Click here to tweet this!) PROGRESS is what will give you the momentum you need to push it all the way through.
Let’s say you’re starting a business project and your vision is to make a million dollars with it, and you’ve really created the fantasy and know it’s possible.
Your first goal should be very simple: make $100! That’s an immediate result that backs up your beliefs. If you can make $100 with it, then all you have to do is more of that, and you’ll be at $1,000. Do even more, and that’s $10,000. Then $50,000. And eventually a million.
As you do this, you’ll find it easier and easier to make the next jump because you’re figuring the formula out and you’re going to have a fire burning inside that will drive you to take more action and get even more results.
The key is the beginning, though. If you don’t push that pebble over the mountain ledge, it will never get the momentum to become a massive boulder of snow barreling its way through all obstacles.
It takes guts to take a firm stance and say that you believe in yourself and you believe in your plan and actions. It opens the door to possible failure, humiliation, and hardship. But it also opens the door to your dreams of happiness and success.
And what you should really be afraid of is not failure, humiliation, or hardship, but a life of quiet, mediocre desperation where you’re always wishing for more but are unable to reach it.
So have some guts, believe in yourself, take action that will give immediate results, let those results fuel your ambition and ride it all the way to the top.