Have you ever met someone and they are really good at something and default to thinking they are lucky, or they have always been that way, or they had some advantage you’ll never have? Of course you have. We hear about successful business people all the time and assume their situation is impossible to replicate, they got lucky, or they are somehow better at life than you.
This is what I thought for years, and I know for a fact this is what many people think. Now we may have listened to these people tell their story about them working hard for years, struggling, and making sacrifices, but that’s not what we see. We just see the success, and our brains default to say “I just found out about this person, they are successful, so they must have always been”. How could you imagine them any other way? When you meet someone so far ahead of you in an area of life, it can even be hard to relate because they haven’t had the struggles of a beginner in years. Each persons perspectives and circumstances can be vastly different, causing us to feel like we just aren’t designed to attain that level of accomplishment. So how can we convince ourselves to take steps towards goals that we deeply feel are unattainable?
Seeing is believing, literally.
A common phrase, certainly not one that is life changing, but with the right perspective and surroundings is quite powerful. For example: I’ve lifted heavy weights for years. If I tell someone to dead-lift 2x 2.5x or 3x their body weight they are going to tell me it’s impossible. Spend some time in the gym with me, watch me do it, be around it, the commonality of seeing heavy weight being lifted removes the mystic and magic of the feat. When you see it happening all the time it not only loses the impossibility, it seems trivial. You could certainly do something trivial right? I thought big lifts were meant for superstar athletes but never someone like me. I watched other people do it enough and didn’t run into a single Olympian along the way. Just regular people, well I’m regular so I decided I could do it to.
When I joined the military it seemed daunting, impossible, and terrifying. Well, I signed up and shipped away, and it was fine, easy in fact. Guess who else was in basic training with me? A bunch of other scared kids that were all succeeding in this seemingly impossible task. How could it possibly be? (Hint: basic training is just easy). How can we beat this mental block and use it to our advantage? What actionable steps can we take take advantage of this?
Surround yourself with those on a path towards success.
A few years ago I met a guy online who does real estate like me. He was fairly ahead of me in his accomplishments. Had a much better career, a few more rental houses than me, knew more about it than me, and had more momentum than me. That said, he wasn’t a billionaire and he wasn’t’ so far ahead of me that it seemed impossible. It was possible, so I had a goal and I was encouraged, and he encouraged me greatly as well. It worked well enough, between the time we met and now my rental portfolio increased, I made improvements in many areas, I was smarter, and my momentum was building. So we recently spoke about a recent success he had and in the 2 years I had gotten better, he had gotten a LOT better, and he was doing it in areas I was apprehensive to tackle. He was writing a blog that went from a small hobbyist venture to a profitable and having a large following. If you met this guy today, you would say he’s killing it. He got lucky, he had unfair advantages, or he’s always been successful, but that’s not the case, and this time my brain didn’t’ trick me, I KNEW it was possible because I watched him do it. Seeing has turned me into a believer.
You must be persistent!
You ever pick up a new hobby and suck at it. Good! Welcome to how absolutely everyone starts out at everything. By the time you see them doing well, they have put in a grind of countless, thankless, result-less hours that you’ll never comprehend. This is why if you want to get somewhere, you have to start from nothing, you have to suck at it, and you’ll be nervous, uncomfortable, and insecure. The only way to rid yourself of those negative feelings is to put in the same thankless work that goes noticed by literally everyone until you wake up one day and someone wrote a blog about how your success inspired them like I’m writing this blog.
Focus on your goals and take action, regardless of how small.
I have known for a while that one major way I can increase my success is by increasing my exposure to the world, and helping others to learn what I’ve learned. I intend to do it by writing blog articles like this. For me this is uncomfortable and it makes me insecure, but for the same reasons listed above I know it’s only because blogging is new to me and I’m bad at it. As I get better, it’ll be more effective. I’ll attract and be able to help more people. I know this because I’ve seen it happen, and now I believe. For those people who have followed me in what success I have seen, they will now know it’s possible as well. We can beat this mental block together.