Jen wrote to me during the week, she wants to stop bingeing, lose weight and change her life. She’s tried and failed more times than she can remember. She desperately wants to try again but is at the point where she’s not even sure she has the ability to change. She’s feeling hopeless and has totally lost belief in herself.
This idea that everything starts with self belief is dangerous in my view. How often have you heard words like - “You can do anything you want to! All you gotta do is believe!” The far too common mantra - “Dream. Believe. Achieve.” - is plastered over the walls of sports clubs all around the world. These are nice catch-phrases but they are largely pointless.
My rock solid belief that I could out run Usain Bolt over 100 metres means absolutely nothing when I can’t even beat my wife in a sprint (leave me alone, she’s actually really fast!). Believing that I could beat Mike Tyson is going to get me knocked into another dimension. Believing I could beat up the security guard at my local pub is going to get me seriously hurt! Plenty of people have died because they believed they could fly.
Self belief is irrelevant. You don’t need to believe that you can lose 100kgs, just that you can eat a potato. If you can eat a potato, or a salad, or some rice and beans or some fruit then you most certainly can lose all the weight you want because the entire process only requires that you repeat those actions. To run a marathon you don’t have to believe you can finish, you only have to believe you can take the next step. Then do it. Over and over.
Self belief comes from ACTION. Self belief comes from DOING. The truth is that I honestly didn’t believe I could do my year long Spud Fit Challenge. I really didn’t think I had it in me to change my life. I did want to try though and I did believe it was possible to eat potatoes for breakfast on day one. So I did.
In order to run a marathon you don’t have to believe you can, you just have to train. After 6 months of hard work, getting training sessions done day after day after day, you’ll be able to run a marathon. Self belief is easy at that point because you’ve done the work and you know exactly what you are capable of.
Stop wasting time on developing self belief with various mind games, that’s a fool’s errand. ACTION is all that matters.
Dream. ACT. Achieve.
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