We have been trained to believe in BELIEF. After all, what you believe is super important isn’t it?
- Don’t you need to believe that you can be successful?
- Don’t you need to believe that you deserve the big promotion?
- Don’t you need to believe that you are the better athlete?
- Don’t you need to believe that you have what it takes to be wealthy?
Clearly, it is much better to believe in yourself than not to. Believing in yourself is more optimistic, more relaxed, more focused on the present, and more creative. BUT there is a problem with what you believe even if it is positive. How you arrive at what you believe is very often based on what happens outside of you, things often beyond your control.
- You are winning
- Things are going well
- You are getting good results
- You are getting positive feedback from upper management
- You are generating new business
- Your portfolio is growing
Why? Because “What You Believe” is a slippery slope, it is one end of a pendulum. No matter how long the pendulum is or how slowly it swings, eventually it heads in the other direction.
Look at the San Antonio Spurs in the 2011 NBA Playoffs. For the entire regular season, San Antonio dominated the league, posting a Western Conference-leading 61-21 record. A record that was a full 15 games better than their first round opponent, the Memphis Grizzlies. San Antonio is a franchise that has won 4 NBA championships in the last 12 years. Their belief level had to be extremely high coming in to a playoff series against a team that has never won a single playoff series EVER. And yet, in Game 1, on San Antonio’s home court, Memphis took the victory, and from that point on, San Antonio, a team with every reason to believe, looks for all the world like a defeated team.
Look at two of the greatest champions of the last decade, Tiger Woods and Roger Federer. Both were considered the greatest to ever play their sport, and a large part of their success was attributed to their unshakeable belief in themselves and their game. In their prime, their opponents seemed to share a similar lack of belief when competing against them. But all that has changed. Why? One thing that no one talks about is that what you believe is not really the issue. It’s that you believe that is the issue.
People spend so much time trying to figure out how to believe in themselves, why they don’t, what’s wrong with them. They work on confidence, self-esteem. They visualize, creating vision boards, write affirmations. All of these because they believe that what you believe matters.
I’m not talking about apathy here. That you believe means that you with certain thoughts as meaningful, real, and true. Even if those are the thoughts that portray you as a winner, the fact that you buy into them means you will also buy into different thoughts when what you observe indicates that hey are now meaningful, real, and true. As long as you the world as outside-in, what I observe is what is, then you are limited.
If you can see that no single thought is relevant or meaningful until you decide that it is, you are on the brink of freedom. If you did not believe in your thoughts of excellence or failure, but instead just showed up and worked or competed to the best of your ability with full focus and commitment to the task at hand, you would experience a dramatic difference not only in your results but how you experience life.
What is holding you back from the life that you want, what keeps you from performing at your best is not what you believe, it is the fact that you believe - that you believe your thoughts are significant. That you must pay attention to them. That you should think about them. The fact that you believe is what takes you out of your peak performance state. It’s what takes you away from the creating the life that you want. If you didn’t view thoughts as something to believe in (or not) but as things that show up in our consciousness somewhat randomly, then you could ignore them and put your attention on creating success instead.