“If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re probably right!” observed Henry Ford. Decades later fresh research affirms this view: those with a bias for optimism are more successful, healthier, and make better career choices1. Not because of a sense of entitlement, but simply because believers experiment, fail, adapt, and try again. Outer circumstances may change and hurdles may be thrown in the way of achieving a goal, but belief in inevitable success remains unchanged.
Let’s try a practical means of assessing your conviction about aims that are important to you, a New Year’s audit of your commitment to a future that’s at least a little better than last year’s.
Take an aspiration you have - to create better relationships, to become fitter or lead a more creative life. Sit quietly with the desire and score your attitude as;
- In your dreams!!
- Possible - with some luck.
- Convinced it can happen.
Whatever pops up unbidden from your settled mind will usually be the truth: don’t over overthink it. Do this with each of the personal, professional and team goals you have for the year, without judgement, simply writing down your first thought.
The challenge then is to take one small step towards realising the goal. It may be an email, a phone call to arrange a useful meeting, or signing up for an essential course.
Then review. Do you still feel as hopeless, or if you genuinely were convinced of a positive outcome, did the outcome strengthen or distract from this belief?
Try it out!
Conviction only becomes real when tested in action. To be creative means to bring into being something that wasn’t there before - a fresh viewpoint, product, service or way of behaving. Self belief propels your creative side into action, and if you’re still gloomy about the prospect of realising your goals, take another tangent. The magic is to start and keep moving, however small the steps.