If you’re like most people, you may have a habit of thinking you aren’t good at something, despite never having put in the effort to become good.
The byproduct of putting in that effort, would be a level of success you can’t possibly fathom at the moment. Success at something you initially assumed you weren’t any good at.
If you assume you can’t achieve a certain level of success at something, the byproduct of that assumption will be you not putting in the effort necessary to achieve it.
Have you ever heard the saying, “When you assume(ASS-U-ME), you make an ASS out of U, and ME.” Well, right now you’re just making an ass out of “U”, by giving yourself a fake excuse as to why you aren’t accomplishing what it is that you want, and living the life you aspire to live.
There’s plenty of things in my life that after having challenged myself to do what I assumed I couldn’t do, realized after a little bit of hard work I had gained abilities I had initially dismissed in myself.
I never thought I could get in the type of shape I wanted to be in. I spent most of my life with the limiting belief that I had to remain scrawny, and that I “just didn’t have the genetics” to get ripped. That’s a great excuse for someone who wants to be lazy. But that’s all it was, an excuse.
That limiting belief kept me from seeking out the answers that would get me the result I wanted.
Once I stopped being a wuss and just got in the damn gym, I started failing my way to the body I wanted. In the beginning, I struggled with tiny ass weights because I was a tiny ass dude. That’s how you’re going to start if you spend all your time up to that point with a limiting belief that doesn’t even get you to the starting line.
Courtesy of gq.com, Illustration by Ward Sutton
I’d lift my miniature weights and see guys at the gym that I wanted to look like. “Man, I wish I could look like that!”, “Damn, he’s so lucky he’s built like that”, “Wow, that guy’s ripped, I wish I had his genetics.” I slowly got rid of those stupid limiting beliefs and just kept failing my way along, day after day. After a long time of putting in the work, I’d occasionally catch a reflection in the gym mirror and think, “Damn, I want to look like…oh shit, that’s me!”
I had failed my way to the result I wanted.
We all have limiting beliefs.
A lot of people think they don’t have limiting beliefs, but they do.
For example, why haven’t you started a business yet?
“I need money to start a business”
“I need a partner”
“I need a mentor first”
These are all limiting beliefs. You don’t need any of these things, but if you’re looking for an excuse, those will all do just fine. They’re commonly used so you can convince yourself that they “must be true.” Notice the only other people saying these things are sitting on the sidelines, accomplishing nothing.
Most people use the classic: “I wouldn’t know what to do” line.
That’s a limiting belief.
Of course you don’t know what to do right now because you’re not trying. It’s impossible to know what to do from the sidelines.
No one knows what they’re doing when they first start out.
A lot of people assume ‘the successful’ got lucky, or they inherited money, or that they were born smarter, or whatever it may be.
Most of the time, the person just worked hard to learn what they needed to do to be successful.
Almost everyone I know who has a successful business, did NOT know everything about how to make that business successful when they started. Many of them had no idea. If they had a limiting belief that told them someone smarter, or luckier, or richer would start the business instead, they’d still be on the sideline complaining about how it’s just not in the cards for them.
You need to realize, a lot of the reason successful people achieve success, is because they understand that short term failure is irrelevant, and they know that they control the end results. It’s hard, they learn, they fail, they learn more, then they succeed and everyone on the sideline calls them lucky.
They only thing that makes them lucky is that so many people are sitting on the sideline instead of competing against them, making the game all that much easier for them and everyone else who’s taking action.
At one point last year I was listening to a speech from Eric Thomas, a motivational speaker.
In one part of his speech, he said that we need to:
“Be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are, for what we could be”
He said someone might say: “I’m not good in writing”
His response: “Cause you ain’t never written before!”
“But I dare you to fail at writing for a whole year to see if you could get to the end.”
It was funny to hear him say this…
See, I struggled with writing…
When I started writing blog posts on ForeverJobless- I’m not kidding, some posts literally took me 40 hours to write.
I was “not a writer.” But as I’ve learned, it wasn’t really that I wasn’t a writer. It’s that I wasn’t a writer yet. See, as Eric Thomas said, ‘how could I expect to be good at writing, when I hadn’t ever written before?’
So, as I’ve practiced writing more and more over the last year, it’s gotten easier and easier. The more I write, the easier it gets. I wake up each morning now and write. When I started doing it, it was hard. I’d have a blank page for 20 minutes…30 minutes…an hour.
Now there’s some days where I’ll crank out several thousand words. In one day.
A year ago, if I was to write a post, it would take almost a full time effort if I wanted to get one up the next week. I was a very, very slow writer. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a LOT to improve, but it’s been crazy how quickly I saw myself go from “not a writer”, to someone who can write 500-1,000 words/day without a problem.
I put in the effort, to make it become effortless
If I write just 500 words/day for 1 year, do you know how much that is? That’s 182,500 words. That’s several books worth of content.
I have a lot of ideas I want to share, and for a long time I just gave myself the excuse that I wasn’t a writer.
It was a limiting belief that was keeping me on the sideline. You don’t improve on the sideline.
If you find yourself sitting on the sideline right now with your own limiting belief, be real with yourself and understand that limiting belief is limiting your possibilities in life until you remove it, and make progress towards what it is that you want. As long as you hold that limiting belief as your excuse, you’re just delaying the progress you’d make towards your goal.
The progress you’d make would open you up to opportunities you can’t see from the outside.
As I hope you’ve learned from reading the ForeverJobless blog or listening to the ForeverJobless podcast, you’re never going to be or have what you want, until you put in the daily work necessary to get the results you desire. Writing every day for months on end… now I have an ability to write that I didn’t have last year that will allow me to share ideas that I want to share.
Most of the ideas I want to share are still unpublished. If I start publishing them and all the sudden go from writing a handful of posts per year, to pumping out a massive amount of content, creating a lot of fast growth, it will cause a lot of people to say “luck” or “overnight success”, or find some other reason why that happened, other than the boring answer…
A lot practice.
You and I both know “overnight success” isn’t really how it goes down.
The more work you put in on a daily basis towards something you’d like to achieve, the more confident you can be that whatever goal you set, you can predict and expect success because the daily work you put in all but guarantees it. All you have to do is set the goal you want, then form the habit to insure the work gets done that takes you to that goal.
There’s a quote I love from The One Thing
“If you are what you repeatedly do, then achievement isn’t an action you take but a habit you forge into your life. You don’t have to seek out success. Harness the power of selected discipline to build the right habit, and extraordinary results will find you.”
See, when the results come, it’s not by accident. I’m following the same patterns whether it’s podcasting, fitness, writing, or anything else I want to achieve. When I fail, it’s because I failed to do something I know I should have done. Most likely, I failed to do something on a daily basis that guarantees progress. When I succeed, it’s not because I have some special talent. I’m just as talented, or untalented as you are. When I succeed it’s because I do the handful of things necessary that equate to success. That’s it.
So, for me, what Eric Thomas said was true:
I wasn’t good at writing because:
“you ain’t never written before”
And I took the challenge when he said:
“but I dare you to fail at writing for a whole year to see if you could get to the end”
So, you can replace “writing” for whatever it is you want to get better at. If you do whatever “it” is for you on a daily basis, you can’t not improve. You’re just not there at the moment because you haven’t done it before.
So, here’s my challenge to you:
I dare YOU to fail at your goal for one whole year, to see if YOU can get to the end.
If you do…
You don’t have to worry about failure.
You can predict your own success.