Belief in oneself is one of the most useful bricks in building any successful venture. Lydia M. Child
‘Do you know why I don’t set goals anymore?’ He asked me like he was about to give me the keys to a goldmine, his eyes flushed with some tint of arrogance.
‘No I don’t,’ I replied in my usual very curious manner, accepting the keys to the goldmine wholeheartedly.
‘Goals are hard to hit and each time I fail to hit a goal I’m filled with so much disappointment that I lose the strength to pursue other goals,’ he said, the arrogance in his look toned down with some sprinkling of sadness in his eyes. ‘I don’t believe in goals, not even if I deceive myself to set them’.
In that last line was the answer, he had stopped believing. He reminded me of the elephant whom as a calf had a chain locked around its hind leg and fastened to a metal stake by its trainer. The calf tried as much as it could to set itself free but could not and ended up hurting itself in the process, and so over time it settled in to the belief that it was impossible to move past a point once the chain was around its legs.
Once the trainer was sure that the lesson was learnt, he didn’t have to fix the chain to the metal stake anymore but rather fixed it to a peg in the ground that either you or I could pull out but do you know what? The calf even after it becomes an elephant cannot pull the chain to the peg off the ground because it won’t even try as it has come to believe that it can’t free itself from its limitation, having a very good memory of all its previously failed attempts. You know what they say about an elephant’s memory – elephants forget nothing.
This example shows the power of belief albeit in a negative sense but the truth is that, it works both ways like the famous quote of Henry Ford “whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right”.
I know we have all either heard or practiced the S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) goal-setting technique or maybe we’re from the A.B.C (Achievable, Believable, Concrete) goal-setting rule camp. Whichever of the camps we’re in, the most important piece of these rules is the belief part. If we don’t believe in ourselves enough or we don’t believe these goals are achievable, then we have faulted on what I’ll call one of the foundational pillars of these rules.
Many of us set goals we don’t believe we can hit and then act surprised that we don’t hit them – we set goals like we’re competing with someone else while forgetting that we’re only competing with our past.
It is important in goal-setting that while we’re so concerned about setting very ‘hard’ challenging goals that we spice it up with goals we feel are easy goals (goals we’re ultra-confident we will hit) because in hitting these so called easy goals we build momentum for the big ones – it’s called quick wins.
If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning – Mahatma Gandhi.
The belief cycle infers that the amount of belief you have to accomplish a task or a goal, determines the amount of potential you can tap into which determines the amount of action you can take, which in turn determines the kind of results you will get. The results you get goes a long way in building your self-belief and the whole process starts all over again.
The Belief Cycle works like a dynamo that is capable of generating power of itself after ‘it has been started’. This is the essence of quick-wins, they start you up like a dynamo and after you’ve been started up, trust me – it’s a roll.
How much importance do you think the Power of Belief plays in achieving your set goals? You can drop your thoughts in the comments section below.
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