At one point or another, we’ve all heard the saying, “if you believe it, you can achieve it.” And a lot of us probably reacted the same: thought about it, felt some sort of inspiration, and went on with the day, unconvinced that a belief in your mind would actually lead to real achievement.
But believe it or not, that is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
Because to become truly great at something—to become elite in any facet of life, from the simple everyday to the pursuit of a major goal—you have to believe you can do it (or that you’ve already done it!), even if you aren’t quite there yet. Have you ever heard of someone climbing to the peak of a mountain thinking every step of the way that they’ll never get there? Heck no! They’re cheering themself on, knowing that they can reach the top. And even if they don’t know it as fact, they sure believe it.
In life, there is nothing that will hold you back other than yourself; and, training your brain to believe you can achieve greatness is what will separate you from the average.
I know what you’re thinking. Easier said than done. Why? Because many of us have developed habits shaped by cultural pressures to consistently produce average results. As if, actually accomplishing those extraordinary, above average goals is not an option for the majority. Or, even worse, we hold ourselves back because we don’t want to alienate ourselves, thinking that acknowledging our greatness is conceited.
Again, this way of thinking has been imposed on us by society. A lot of us have been trained from an early age to think being “better” is wrong. Our parents treat all siblings equally, our teachers make sure that Johnny gets his turn, and our coaches tell us everybody gets a medal. Don’t get me wrong. I do believe there is a time and place for all of that. It creates good, kind, and caring people. But a little healthy competition is necessary for pushing us forward as humans.
Your brain has been wired for average. To become elite—to become your best self—you must rewire your brain for the extraordinary.
There it is. The point I’ve been trying to make. Now, how to get there?
Get in your head. Become aware of everything you’re telling yourself, at ALL times, so you can manifest your success, rather than sabotaging it. Here are a few ideas for how to get there.
- Wake up each morning with a clean slate. Today is the first day of the rest of your life! How will you strive each day to become the best version of yourself? Envision what “best version” means to you.
- Develop a routine to calibrate your attention on a regular basis. It can be as simple as setting a silent alarm for a few times each day. When your alarm goes off, take a few deep breaths, become present, and then do a quick inventory of your thoughts. Doing so will appropriately reset your attention.
- Meditate and visualize achieving your goals. I recommend Headspace or Calm apps to help. Mediation can help to create new neural pathways that cut through the daily noise and hone in on what matters.
Envisioning, attention setting, meditation, oh my! Raise your hand if you’ve tried any of the above and failed. If the mere thought of sitting cross-legged, eyes closed, all Ommm-like makes you want to roll your eyes, you’re not alone. This stuff is awkward. It’s not natural to sit still and turn off all thinking. And a lot of us assume it has to be done perfectly or not at all. Not true! Becoming a meditation guru doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. Just like becoming your best self takes time.
The fact is, you need to harness attention and clear your mind to focus on what you can become and to eliminate thoughts of what you’re not. This is more important now than ever before, as our lives are met with constant distraction, often times hopping from one screen to another with no break in between. But, I promise you, once you discover your own version of how to “get in your head” and direct your thoughts, you can and will become the master of your mind and your best life. If you believe it, you can achieve it.