Why does it take us so long to change our life even when the desire to do so is very powerful? Is it because that this change is objectively hard or are we sabotaging our own success?
Looking back on my life and the things that I’ve accomplished and the personal transformation that I have initiated and saw through, I can say it’s the latter: you are often the source of your own failure. In fact, you are often the source of your lack of trying.
Why do we postpone undertaking a real attempt to improve our life, whether its to lose weight, get fit, enhance our education, or any other desire? It’s because of one word: FEAR.
Fear of failure, fear of belittling ourselves, fear of the debilitating blow that comes with not succeeding, fear of having to announce to ourselves and to those around us that we are unsuccessful. It is this permeating fear that paralyzes us, that causes the lets-leave-it-till-tomorrow syndrome to take control over our thoughts. It is fear that you must overcome.
The basis of this fear is lack of belief in our own capabilities, in our resilience, determination, and attributes. It is the bed from which the dark thought “I could never do that” blossoms and chokes our desires and aspirations. The belief that you could never do something is poisonous. It allows no room for enhancement and renewal. It needs to be eradicated for you to change.
Where does the “I could never do that” notion come from?
First, it comes from the illogical assumption that if you’ve never done it before there’s no reason that you’ll be able to do so now. This is a plainly absurd assumption because everything that you’ve done in your life, every accomplishment was once performed, by you, for the first time. There was a time when you couldn’t read and now you can, you couldn’t do math and now you are able to. You dispel this notion every single day of your life.
Second, it comes from past failures. If you’ve tried to accomplish a goal once, or more, and failed, you may start to believe that you could never succeed. If you allow yourself to think clearly you will conclude that this is also an erroneous notion.
You had once faltered as you began to walk. You stumbled and fell only to rise and try again. As a toddler you did not subscribe to the belief that you could never walk. As an adult you may have failed your first driving test (as I did) only to pass it on the following try. You may now be an excellent driver even with this failure in your past. You may have dated many people before you met the love of your life. Often, success comes with multiple attempts. It is rare for someone to be successful on their first try. So, the fact that you had failed before says nothing about your abilities today or in the future.
Third, it will take too long and you have no patience. Maybe this is indeed the case, but you may find that you have more patience than you believe. Have you gone to school? Did you take courses at a college? Did you ever study an instrument? A lot of things that you did, if you look at your history honestly, took a lot of time to accomplish and you did them all. You can do the same with weight loss, fitness, or any other goal that you set.
Fourth, other people can’t do it so why could I. Some people can’t play the piano and others can. Some people can’t run as fast as others. There are those who can read faster than I do but I still love to read books. What other people can or cannot do, even if these are people who are close to you, has no bearing on your chances.
Why not look at it from the opposite perspective: haven’t a lot of other people succeeded in what you want to do? They weren’t all special. Some of them were similar to you, perhaps. If they could do it so can you.
“I could never do that” may be true . . . if you believe it. That’s right. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy that will undoubtedly come true if you stick to it. You bring it upon yourself and enforce this belief. However, it is similarly in your power to stomp this belief until it no longer pollutes your mind and demoralizes you. Once you do that you will feel immensely powerful. It is an amazing feeling. You will be able to achieve so much then.
If you ever say to yourself “I could never do that” stop for a moment and ask yourself why you believe that. You may discover that there is no good reason and that you no longer feel that way. When you’re free from this belief you will finally be free to shine.