Belief is a powerful thing. You hear it all the time from positive thinking aficionados. They tell you that you must believe in yourself, and then you can do anything. They’ll point to highly successful people like Mark Cuban or Michael Jordan as illustrations.
What they don’t tell you about is the hours of practice Jordan spent on improving his skills and developing a plan so he could achieve great things. Or the times Cuban failed but kept tweaking his ideas until he found the right formula.Believe you can and you are halfway there. - Theodore Roosevelt Click To Tweet
Belief, as Roosevelt said, gets you halfway there. But what gets you the rest of the way there?
Belief Alone Doesn’t Feed The Family
I decided in 2000 to start my first business, primarily because I was tired of spending at least two hours in the car each day and missing my children growing up.
But I didn’t just blithely leave my very good job and hope for the best. I knew that I must develop a plan to achieve it. It took several months of thinking, planning and believing but I was able to successfully launch my first company in 2001. Reread that last sentence and pay attention to these three elements: thinking, planning and believing. I believed, but positive thinking alone doesn’t put food on the table. Positive thinking is highly motivational, but at some point you have to take your ideas beyond thinking and into action.
Limiting beliefs, however, can wreck the best laid plans of fish and men. Let me tell you a true, but sad, fish story. Scientists in New England were studying this big fish living in a large tank. He had everything a fish could want. At feeding time the scientists would drop minnows into the fish’s tank. He would eat them. Life was good.
One day at feeding time, the big fish found that his minnows were encased in glass tubes. He could see the minnows swimming inside the tubes but could not eat them no matter how hard he tried. And he tried everything: slamming the glass tubes against the side of the tank, swatting it with his tail. Nothing worked. But the big fish learned through his repeated efforts that he could not get to the fish. His belief was crushed.
Next, the scientists pulled all the small fish and their tubes out of the tank, removed them from the tubes and dropped them back in right beside the big fish, who by this time was starving. Here comes the sad part. The big fish, surrounded by this bounty, starved to death. He no longer believed he could eat the fish, so he no longer tried.
Don’t be the big fish.
You want to make your belief a reality? Believe strongly that you can but don’t skimp on the thinking and planning.