For as long as I can remember my father was always imparting axioms and witty sayings on me such as, “your life is what you make of it”, and “you can’t control what other people may do to you but you can control how you respond”, and “you’re the only one who can choose what your day is going to be like every morning when you wake up.” Obviously those were all paraphrased and there were certainly dozens more.
He continued my education with tapes and stories from Zig Ziglar, and Dave Yoho, and Tony Robbins and eventually Brad Sugars. Somehow he would come in contact with stories of people overcoming impossible odds to better themselves. Quite literally this started in early elementary school for me.
There’s a reason books like Think and Grow Rich (#1466 on Amazon.com) by Napoleon Hill, The Richest Man in Babylon (currently ranked #5094 on Amazon.com) by George S. Clason, and How to Win Friends & Influence People (currently #151 on Amazon.com) by Dale Carnegie are timeless classics.
There’s a reason why movies like The Secret (Extended Edition) (#92 in DVD’s on Amazon.com) are so popular; creating an almost cult following. (Granted I did laugh out loud when the older gentleman said we don’t know how electricity works.)
There’s a reason why Brad Sugar’s spent more than 1/4 of his training on how to Buy, Build, and Sell businesses at his Entrepreneur’s Masters Class simply on having the right mindset.
And the reason is simple: The difference between those who are successful and those who aren’t is first and foremost their mindset. As one guy from The Secret pointed out, “Thoughts become things.”
“If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re probably right”, is in fact, a cliche’ and yet it’s still true.
As I talk to friends and family about success, making money, building businesses and living an adventurous life, I make sure they know the most important part in their success is their mindset. If you truly believe you have the ability to do something you will do it.
This mindset has created 2 personality traits in me that everyone who knows me are abundantly aware of:
- Confidence – some might even mistake it for arrogance
- Fearlessness – or in other words, they believe I’m completely averse to risk
It’s important to understand that I was not born with either trait. In fact, as a child I was very cautious and always calculating before attempting anything new. If I wasn’t certain I could do it without getting hurt (physically, emotionally, or intellectually), I wasn’t going to do it. Though I always did well in school I rarely raised my hand and even if I was the best athlete on my sports team I would always feel as if I wasn’t good enough. Actually, high school athletics are what taught me that my biggest weakness wasn’t lack of talent or skill, but simply lack of confidence in my abilities. My point is these traits can be learned.
Every successful person has incorporated these 2 traits into their lives.
Confidence – At some point it occurred to me that absolutely no one will believe in me if I don’t. More importantly, if I believe in myself, others will as well. That’s what confidence is. Having the guts to take on something you’ve never done before, but know you can learn. Taking that risk of getting ridiculed, embarrassed or harassed by leading instead of sitting back and waiting for the safe move. If you’re going to be successful in business, in your family, as a teacher, or doctor, or builder, you have to lead someone somewhere and no one follows a person without confidence. As a coach of 5 year olds, I can assure you that even children won’t follow someone who isn’t confident in what they’re doing.
Fearlessness – This is simply a byproduct of confidence. School trains you to do what you’re told. Sports teach you the same thing (I can still remember getting yelled at for putting the basketball behind my back in a high school game). Your parents teach you to listen to authority. Throughout our lives, we are taught first how to obey and then, if we’re lucky, how to think and use our imaginations. Not being afraid to leave home, or move across the country, or buy your first rental property, or invest in the stock market, or buy a business (when you’ve never run one before), or write a book, or race a motorcycle, or stand up in front of an older group individuals and have the audacity to claim you can teach them something new is not done out of a lack of fear. It’s done because of confidence in one’s ability to succeed. Though I’ve told many people (inaccurately) that I don’t fear anything, what’s most important is that I don’t fear failure. No successful person does.
The very first step to being successful at anything you choose, is having confidence that you can succeed and getting over the fear of what might happen if you don’t.
Confidence and fearlessness are not natural traits for most people. Unfortunately, our youth teaches us to trust in authority more than ourselves and to fear the repercussions of what will happen if we don’t coalesce with the rest of the group. However, don’t use that as an excuse not to be confident and fearless. Use it as motivation to prove those people wrong.
My father knew that no matter what I decided to be in life (astronaut, paleontologist, NBA player, engineer and businessman were all on my list), my mindset and attitude were going to define whether I was truly great at my profession. What my father did not know, was that the foundation he was building for my mind would be echoed by my oncologist when I came home from college before the beginning of my sophomore year. Seven years ago Dr. Earle told me that the most important thing in determining my success in overcoming cancer was my attitude.
To your success in becoming confident and fearless, Bryan