Most people believe success is a function of hard work. Many popular quotes allude to this.
Success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.
Success is where luck and preparation meet.
The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.
There is a great deal of truth to this line of thinking, however, it overlooks one very important point — before any of that hard work is done, success is created in the mind.
Bottom line: Success is a mind game.
If you win the game there, you are more than halfway to whatever success you desire. The challenge, of course, is that in order to win the game in your head, you must be mindful of the thoughts and beliefs that hold you back – the negative ones that extinguish your success and dreams before they are even born. This mindfulness is often more difficult than any manual labor you will ever engage in to create success. The reason it is difficult is because most of the thoughts and beliefs that hold us back are quiet killers. They are unconscious thoughts and beliefs that lie just below the surface of our life. They are just beyond our reach, yet they constantly whisper to us over and over again, reminding us that “we can’t,” “we have no chance,” or “we are not good enough.” These are the little buggers we need to eliminate.
How, you ask?
To borrow from Jim Collins, who wrote the best-selling book Good to Great you need to get the right thoughts and beliefs on the bus and the wrong thoughts and beliefs off the bus. And that is no easy task. Many of us fail because . . . sadly . . . it is simply human nature to believe something negative about ourselves before we would believe something positive. So how can we access these negative thoughts and beliefs and banish them? It is actually quite simple. Not necessarily easy, but definitely simple.
1. Create Awareness. We must first shine a light on these negative beliefs. Identify and distinguish them. If we cannot identify them and say “Aha! There you are!” then there is nothing we can do about them. They will continue to silently run our lives, controlling us and our actions like robots.
2. Transformation. Once the negative beliefs have been identified, they must either be discarded if they do not serve you, or transformed into a positive belief that does serve you and your goals. For the most part, this can be done with a little thought and some word-smithing.
3. Make it a Mantra. Once you have crafted a positive thought or belief that serves you, take the opportunity to recite it several times a day. The repetition not only reminds you of your intended desire, but it begins to create a new neural pathway in your brain. Essentially, the new thinking will lead to new action.
We see things the way our minds have instructed our eyes to see. - Muhammad Yunus
So many people, especially here in the United States, are indoctrinated into a culture that is in love with taking action and doing things. However, I think if you ask any extraordinarily successful person, whether they be a premier athlete or captain of industry, you will find that their success began in their head. They either visualize their success and/or strategically plan for it. And only after it is crystal clear in their mind, do they take their first step.
Do you know how your thinking and beliefs affect your goals? Are they clouding or advancing your vision and dreams? It is very hard to achieve the greatest level of success if you do not manage the silent dream killers that may be lurking inside your head.
*For more about Rich Largman and his private coaching click here.