How to Believe You Can Do Anything - The Definitive Guide to Self Improvement

How to Believe You Can Do Anything

The phrase “You can do it if you just believe” has become so watered down to the point that people just roll their eyes when they hear it.  They’ve tried it and it just doesn’t work for them.

Here are just a few quotes on the subject.

“To succeed, we must first believe that we can.” – Michael Korda

“Your belief determines your action and your action determines your results, but first you have to believe.” -Mark Victor Hansen

“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” – Mary Kay Ash

“You have to believe in yourself” – Sun Tzu

“Believe that you will succeed, and you will.” – Dale Carnegie

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, he can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill

Notice how they are all saying essentially the same thing, that if you believe it, you can do it.

Well, let me just say I wholeheartedly agree, but I think they left out one very important part and that is:

How do you believe?

It’s not enough to just say “Oh, just believe and it will happen.”  I hate with a passion of a thousand suns, advice that’s just given to us without any proper procedures or guidelines to follow on how to implement it.  That’s what drove me to write the How to Find What You Love to Do article.

Furthermore, I think the reason why such people have a hard time believing is because we’ve never done it.

What I mean by that is we never really formed our own beliefs.

Think about it.

Trace back all your beliefs on religion, politics, money, people, society, and the world in general.  You’ll find that the root of the majority of your beliefs came from outside of you, whether it was through your parents, friends, or media.

“Don’t talk to strangers.  They’re bad.”

“Money is the root of all evil.” (it’s actually “the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil”)

“If you don’t do good in school, you’ll fail in life.”

“You have to go to college to get a good job.”

The majority of people have never really gone through the exercise of creating their own beliefs, because we’ve been spoon fed them from day one. 

It’s time to take charge of our own beliefs.

In order to find out how to believe, let us examine the process in which some of the most powerful beliefs in human beings were created.

I’m talking about people’s beliefs in religion and politics.

The beliefs rooted in religion and politics are EXTREMELY powerful.

We fought other kids over them when we were young.
Families became divided over them.
World wars were fought over them.
Millions of lives were taken because of them.
Men and women even went so far as to take their own lives because of them.

Clearly, the power of people’s beliefs in religion and politics and the effect it has on their lives is unquestioned.

If we can analyze the procedure in which these beliefs were formed and apply that procedure to create our own beliefs, we will be able to achieve anything we want.

The next question is:

How did these beliefs form?

Let’s do this.

Step 1:  You must state a specific belief FIRST in order to believe it.

I know it sounds obvious, but there are a lot of people who don’t believe in anything.

You ask them, “Do you believe you can lose 20 pounds of fat?”

“I don’t know….maybe…..we’ll see.”

This is not a belief.

This is a cop out.

STATE a SPECIFIC belief. 

It does not matter if you don’t believe it at first.

Just take that first step and STATE it.

So for the purpose of this article, let us utilize a belief that will not stir any controversy, not cause any ill will toward any reader of any religion or political affiliation.

Let us choose a belief that is positive and that many people have a hard time believing.

In fact, let’s continue with the example of the belief stated previously.

I will lose 20 pounds of fat.

Ok, so the first step was taken. A specific belief was created.

I will lose 20 pounds of fat.

Now to all the readers who have tried to lose weight and failed to do so, I can imagine what you are thinking.

“I can’t lose 20 pounds.  I tried every miracle diet, drug, fad, exercise, machine, etc., but none of it helped me lose weight. I’ll always be overweight”.

If that’s your automatic reaction, that’s fine.  I’m not going to tell you to change your self-talk for now because I know it’s hard to do so.

Don’t get overwhelmed or discouraged.  Take it one step at a time.

Now that you have STATED a SPECIFIC belief, what is the next step?

Step 2:  HAMMER that belief into yourself CONTINUOUSLY.  Beliefs are NOT formed overnight.

People did not come to believe in a political ideal or religion overnight.  It was due to a constant hammering of information over a long period of time.  Most people got it when they were young from their parents, friends, religious leaders, teachers, coaches, etc.  They heard it at the dinner table, when they went to religious service, on TV, books, magazines, friends, acquaintances, etc.
 
However, this time, nobody is there to hammer the beliefs in you.

YOU created your OWN BELIEF and it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to HAMMER it into YOURSELF.

It doesn’t matter if your self talk is negating your belief.

A constant hammering will always drive the nail into the wall of your self talk.

Just hammer it in.

The nail will always go in the wall if you continuously hammer it in.

This is where 90% of people fail and conclude that the whole “if you believe, you can achieve” idea is utter bull*&%$.

We live in a society where distractions are rampant.  Internet, text messaging, cable TV, email, cell phones, TV on our cell phones, ipods, wireless internet access, etc.

We are a spoiled generation.  We live in an instantaneous society.  We want results NOW.  We have lost the virtue of patience.

We have music, video, news, entertainment, all on demand with a push of a button.  We can get in touch with anyone in the world by dialing 12 digits.  We can look up all sorts of information with a click of a mouse.

It’s so easy to get sucked into the newest things and forget about the importance of continuously focusing on hammering in our new beliefs.

It’s also easy to become discouraged when we don’t see any quick results from hammering in our own beliefs.

We have lost the notion of sticking through with something and not quitting until the goal is achieved, no matter how long it takes.

How can you avoid doing that?

1. Write your belief down everyday.

This is one of the most powerful things you can do in order to hammer a belief in yourself.

I’m reminded of an essay I read online that was written by Scott Adams, the creator of the famous Dilbert cartoon strip.

In it, he mentions how he continuously wrote daily, the belief that he would become rich in the stock market.  He soon invested in Chrysler and Ask, two of the best performing stocks at that time and reaped a very nice profit.

He then wrote down the belief that he would hit the 94th percentile on the GMAT, even though he had scored at the 77th percentile when taking several practice tests.

He took the GMAT and the results came in. He hit the 94th percentile.

He became so convinced of the power of writing down his beliefs that he used it to write down that he would become a famous syndicated cartoonist.  The rest is history.

I know it sounds a lot like affirmations, and it pretty much is.  However, you might have had previous experiences with affirmations and not have had such good results from them.

You will soon see though, that there is much more to believing than just writing down affirmations.

2. Put it everywhere you see.

Another thing you can do is to write your belief down on paper or print it out and paste it everywhere you see; on your refrigerator, mirror, door, computer, TV, wall, bathroom, front door, screen door, everywhere.

This way, you will drill the belief into yourself even when you are not writing it down.

3. Visualize your belief already achieved everyday.

This is another powerful exercise you can do and it’s one of the other things that Scott Adams did alongside the writing of his beliefs.

Your brain does not know the difference between what it sees with your eyes and what you imagine in your mind.

You know what that means?  “Things” don’t really exist. What I mean by “things” are the objects you think are real.  The pen, the computer, the piece of paper.

The reality is that you take in all the information from your environment via your 5 senses and process that in your brain and in there, your experience is created.

Reality lives alone in the brain.

And because reality lives alone in the brain, you can create your own reality.  So create the reality of already having achieved your belief by visualizing it in order to help hammer the belief into your brain.

You must take time each day to hammer your belief in.

If you do it sporadically, your belief will never take root.  Rome was not built in a day.  Masterpieces were not created overnight.

Anything worth of any significant value was not created instantaneously.

Deep down inside, you know it’s true.  There are no shortcuts in life.  Does this mean it will take years for your beliefs to come true?

If you consistently hammer in your beliefs and take the following steps that will be outlined, you will find that your beliefs will come true faster than you realize.

Step 3:  Continually associate with those who share your beliefs.

If you look back at how beliefs in religion and politics were formed, you’ll find that continuous association on a regular basis with those who shared the same religion and political affiliations helped enormously in solidifying their respective beliefs.

People did NOT habitually associate with those who did NOT share their beliefs.

Muslims did not habitually associate with Jews.  Atheists did not habitually associate with Christians.  Hardcore conservatives and liberals did not habitually associate with one another.

Each group managed to attract one another and form their own support group. 

People who believe the same things will naturally gravitate toward one another. Rich with rich, poor with poor, middle class with middle class.  It is indisputable fact.

When the hammering of your belief starts sinking in, you’ll find that you will naturally gravitate toward those who share the same beliefs. 

If you find yourself doing that, it’s a very good sign you’re going in the right direction and it shows that your belief is getting hammered in.

You will find yourself looking to those who share the same beliefs for advice and/or support.

For example, if you constantly hammer in the belief that you are a great public speaker, you will naturally start looking for speech classes, books, and tapes. You will buy the books and listen to the tapes.  You will go online and search for the nearest Toastmasters club in your area and join.  You’ll take a speech class at the local community college and meet lots of other people there who share the same beliefs.

This is another aid in helping you hammer your belief in.  When you habitually associate with those who share the same belief, you hammer your belief in even more.

Step 4:  Confirm Your Belief in Your Environment

If you’ve been continuously hammering your belief in yourself and surrounding yourself with people who share the same belief, you will start to find confirmation of your belief in your environment.

For example, people who believe in Christianity will go to church on a regular basis (habitually associating with those of the same beliefs) and they will begin to see atheists living a hard life and conclude that living life as a Christian is the best way to live.

On the other hand, atheists will see the wars waged in the name of Christianity and conclude that it must not be the true religion.  Atheists will point at the suffering of the world and conclude that God does not exist, thus confirming their beliefs in their environment.

Reality will start to shape according to your belief.

When you find reality starting to shape according to your belief, it is another sign that your belief is sinking in even deeper.

Whenever you see confirmation of your belief in your environment, RECORD IT. 

Write it down.  Start a belief confirmation journal.

That way, it will serve as a reinforcing mechanism for your belief.

You’ll find that one of the best ways to confirm your belief through the environment is to look to the people who have already done it.

The greatest evidence that something can be done is if another person has done it.

You will begin to see/meet people who have lost weight successfully.  You will see them on TV, read about them, maybe even meet them in the gym.

Collect inspirational stories of people who have done it.  Refer to them often and confirm your belief to reinforce it whenever you feel it fade.

By confirming your belief in your environment, you drill your belief deep down in yourself even further.

Step 5:  Take Action to Reinforce the Belief

All right.  So you’ve STATED a SPECIFIC belief, hammered it in yourself continuously, frequently associated with those who share the same belief, and reinforced it by confirming it in your environment.

You are now ready to take action.

The great thing about this is that you’ve already laid the foundation of belief.

Therefore, taking action will not be hard.  It will be natural.

Your ability to easily take action is directly related to the degree to which your belief is hammered in you.

Since you’ve already set up a very strong foundation of belief, you will find it easy to take action.

The reason why most people fail in the attainment of their high set goals is because they try to take action FIRST, without taking the time to really set the foundation of FIRST believing that they can.

You know exactly what I’m talking about.

People who want to lose a ton of weight get psyched the first few days, go the gym, run, bike, box, go home, throw out all their junk food and eat healthy for the next few days.

You visit them a week later, they’re sitting on their butt eating buttered popcorn with a big tub of Dreyer’s Cookies and Cream and a large coke with hot dogs and chili cheese fries watching all six Star Wars movies in a row.

If I were to ask you, do you believe you can make $1 today?  The answer would be “Yes, of course”.  And if I were to say “Show me.”, you would take immediate action by selling your DVDs, books or clothes and easily make that $1 today.  You took action because you already had the belief inside of you that you can make $1 today.

If I were to ask you, do you believe you can make $1,000,000 today?  The answer would be NO.  You have NOT FIRST set the foundation of believing you can, therefore you would not be motivated to take any action.  (If the person reading this is Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Tiger Woods, etc., your answer would be “Yes”, because you’ve already set the foundation of believing you can because you have the resources to do so.)

What I’m trying to say is that if you’ve done a good job of drilling the belief into yourself, you will find it easy to take action toward it.

Japanese air fighters during World War II, had drilled down the belief that sacrificing their own lives for their country was the biggest honor, and as a result, were easily able to sacrifice their own lives.

Taking your own life is an extremely hard thing to do.  Most people who attempt it won’t go through with it.

But these Japanese kamikaze were easily able to take that action.  Why?

Because their beliefs were effectively drilled down deep within them.

If you’ve done a good job of drilling the belief into yourself, you will find it easy to take action toward it.

Step 6:  Acknowledge Your Own Progress to Further Reinforce Your Belief

Let’s go back to the belief we were using in this essay.

I will lose 20 pounds of fat.

All right.  So you’ve STATED a SPECIFIC belief and hammered it in yourself continuously.

You frequently associated with those who share the same belief by joining Weightwatchers, LA Fitness, etc.

You’ve reinforced your belief by confirming it in your environment by reading stories of people who have done it, meeting them in person, etc.

You’ve also naturally taken action to fulfill it by habitually exercising and eating right.

When you lose that first pound, rejoice!  You know you’re on your way now.

If you can lose that one pound, you can lose another, and another, and another, and another until the rest of the 19 pounds are shed.

This is where your belief starts to grow EXPONENTIALLY.

You must feed your belief by acknowledging your own progress and reinforce it so it grows exponentially.

For you math people out there, think of the graph y=e^x.  You know it slowly increases along the x axis until it starts to sharply increase exponentially.

Acknowledging your own progress is the catalyst for the exponential increase.

Because this is such an important catalyst, record it.  Write it down.  Don’t trust it to memory.

Write it down so you can refer to it often to reinforce your belief.

Step 7:  Loop steps 2-6.

Believing is analogous to starting a roaring fire.  If you’ve ever tried to start a fire, you know it’s not as easy as taking a lighter and putting the flame on a big log.

You have to first gather all the moss, twigs, grass, leaves, and build a small mound where the fire can reside, consume the fodder, and grow strength.

You have to work at it, coax it, feed it, breath on it, until it starts to grow.

When it grows, you have to keep on feeding it with more and more pieces of small wood until you start bringing in the big chunks of wood.

The result is a blazing fire you can use to do anything.  You can use it to light other people’s fires.  You can use it to burn down walls.  You can use it to warm people and give them light.

Even though I’m speaking metaphorically, you know what I’m talking about.

So feed the fire of your belief and loop steps 2-6 to do it.

Conclusion

I believe if you analyze any one of your current beliefs, you will find that it went through exactly the 7 steps listed here.

Try it and see for yourself.

Let’s use an example of a common disempowering belief that a lot of people have.

Bad things always happen to me.  I can never catch a break.

Ok, let’s take it through the 7 steps.

1. They’ve sure STATED a SPECIFC belief.

2. They’ve hammered it in all right.  They tell it to themselves on a daily basis and they tell their friends and family too, which hammers it in even more.

3. They hang out with other people who believe the same thing.  Misery loves company.  Birds of a feather flock together.

4. They point to all the bad things in their life to further reinforce their belief.  They point at the flat tire they got that day on their way to work or the promotion they didn’t get and conclude that bad things always happen to them.

5. They naturally take action to reinforce their own belief.  This is commonly known as self sabotage.

6. They acknowledge all the bad things that are happening to them and use it to further reinforce their own behavior.  This is also known as “always looking on the negative side of things.”

7. They repeat steps 2-7, get stuck in a vicious cycle without ever realizing it, and live a life that just plain sucks.

How can they get rid of this disempowering belief?

By creating a NEW one and taking it through the 7 steps.

Step 1:  You must state a specific belief FIRST in order to believe it.

Step 2:  HAMMER that belief into yourself CONTINUOUSLY.  Beliefs are NOT formed overnight.

Step 3:  Continually associate with those who share your beliefs.

Step 4:  Confirm your belief in your environment

Step 5:  Take action to reinforce the belief

Step 6:  Acknowledge your own progress to further reinforce your belief

Step 7:  Loop steps 2-6.

However, you must realize though that this will not happen overnight.

It takes time, discipline, and perseverance, which is why most people won’t do it.

Now you know the EXACT process of how to believe and in turn, achieve.

I know what must be going on in the mind of some readers right now and that is:

“If you believe, can you really do anything?”

My answer to you is a resounding YES.

100% Certified, Grade A, Y-E-S.

And you know what? So are the answers of Napoleon Hill, Sun Tzu, Michael Korda, Dale Carnegie, and everyone else who has said it time and time again.

You can do anything if you really believe it.

Is it really that hard to swallow?

If Edison did not really believe he could invent the light bulb, we would have nothing to do but sleep when the sun set.

If Graham didn’t really believe he could invent the telephone, we wouldn’t have our precious cell phones today.

If Lance Armstrong didn’t really believe that he could fight testicular cancer and win, we would not have the inspiration he provides today.

If Gandhi didn’t really believe he could bring peace without fighting, who knows what the world would be like today?

I could go on and on, but you get the point.

You can do ANYTHING if you BELIEVE it.

It sounds farfetched, but I urge you not be so close minded.

We once thought the world was flat and that the earth was the center of the universe.

I will leave you with the following thought:

If you accept the fact that it doesn’t matter what you believe, because you know if you believe it, you will achieve it, why not hold one of the most powerful beliefs of all, which is:

I can do anything if I believe.

Now you know how.

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