We’ve all been in those shoes and in that position where you admiringly wonder how someone did what they did or got to where they are. The inevitable follow-up questions include: What did they do so differently that provided them the opportunity? What magic factor did they possess that enabled them with the skill and ability to achieve amazing things? And why can’t that be me?

Excellent question: Why can’t that be YOU?  

While I truly believe that the formula for success is comprised of many components, I read about one particular factor recently that stood out from the others: BELIEF.

 The idea was that the differentiating factor in people who successfully make a habit stick or successfully reach a goal is that they believe. This is the very first step in the pursuit of their goal. They develop deep roots of belief in a faith or religion and/or a deep belief in their ability to do something and be something that they only dream about today.

Rather than asking yourself IF you can do something, you should be asking yourself HOW you can do whatever it is you are dreaming of doing.

You might put this idea in the bucket of “easier said than done”. And I hear you! But take a minute and think about something you have accomplished that you are incredibly proud of (big or small). While there were unquestionably hard days in your journey, you kept pushing forward despite those challenges. Part of what fueled you to keep going was that you believed you could keep going! If you truly didn’t believe you could move forward you would have thrown in the towel and put your time and energy into something else.

For those individuals that we admire, their magic sauce is in their belief.

They don’t have all the answers nor do they have the perfect path planned with each step carefully defined. It’s the exact opposite. They know exactly where they want to go and what they want to accomplish, with perhaps a handful of ideas of how to make it happen but absolutely no guarantees that any of those ideas will work.

The guarantee is in themselves!

 The guarantee is knowing that the one constant in your success equation is YOU. You have to believe that you are strong enough, skilled enough, and determined enough. You have to believe that you not only CAN but that you WILL!

You might not always be able to rely on your original plan. There will be unexpected hurdles to overcome and surprising curve balls that will come your way. The number of these variables are countless.

But with belief, you make yourself a constant.

If you’re someone that struggles to look in the mirror and see someone that can accomplish anything they can dream, know that you’re not a party of one. Even the most confident of people have days where their face reads as doubt more than belief. But there are a few tricks and tips to help you make belief more of a habit than an occasional feeling:

  • Daily/Weekly Affirmation. Write down a statement that embodies exactly what it is you want to feel, do, look like, be, etc. Avoid starting with “I will” and instead write with more authority and say, “I AM”. It should read as a truth not a todo list item.
  • Daily Reminder. Write down your goal and put it somewhere that you will be guaranteed to read it/see it every single day. Put a sticky on your bathroom mirror or leave yourself a note on your refrigerator. Give yourself the daily reminder that you can.
  • Set a Motivational Alarm. If you use your cell phone as your alarm in the morning (and you use an iPhone), add a motivational and encouraging note with your alarm. When you go to turn your alarm off each morning, under the time will be the first thing you read every morning: something positive about yourself! And the perk of hitting snooze is that you’ll get multiple reminders of how awesome you are and/or your day is going to be.
  • Write Yourself a Letter for a Later Date. There is power within your words. When you start looking externally for motivation and encouragement, you completely overlook the power that your own words can have over you. Write yourself a note that says exactly what you need to hear regarding your ability, your strength and the truth that your dreams are possible. Put the note away in a drawer for a rainy day or even give it to a friend to send to you at a later date.
  • Keep a Jar of Wins. It’s easy to forget all that you have done and place all the focus on what you wish you could do. You’re going to combat that! Find a jar or a large container of any kind and each time you experience a win or something that makes you feel accomplished, write it down and store it in the jar. You’re going to watch the jar fill and any time you need a reminder of what you’re capable of, read one or all of your wins!

Even within these examples, there is a theme: they are all driven and accomplished by YOU!

So, if you’re starting to work toward a new goal or you’re just trying to get through the day to day to figure out where you want to go, know that you don’t have to look any further than yourself for the first factor in your success equation.

Start by believing in yourself, make that your constant, and you’ll be able to handle and organize the other variables that will help you accomplish your wildest dreams!