The difference between wishing and believing
We’ve spoken before about goal setting, and how it can help focus one’s attention and create motivation, but it’s no good setting a goal if you have no belief that you can achieve it! Aside from establishing the practicalities of a goal – the steps needed to achieve it, timeframes etc – there is an underlying need for belief. This is the difference between wishing and believing – anybody can wish to reach their goal, but it’s only those that believe they can do it that actually achieve it.
David J. Schwartz shares an example of this mindset being put into practise in his book ‘The Magic of Thinking Big’. He says that a state highway department in a Midwestern American state were searching for an engineering firm to design eight bridges as part of a highway building program.
It was a huge project, with the bridges costing $5,000,000 to build. The engineering firm chosen to build it would get 4% commission, so $200,000.
The person responsible for recruiting an engineering firm got in contact with 21 companies. Four were large businesses and submitted proposals right away. The other 17 companies all had less than 7 engineers each, and most were dissuaded by the size of the project, saying it was too big for them to even try to take on. But one company, which only had 3 engineers, believed they could take on and succeed with the project, and subsequently got the job.
It just goes to show that, more often than not, the barrier holding us back from something is in fact ourselves. Belief can often be a much more powerful tool than your basic skill set.
So, next time you’re hesitating over doing something, and feel as though you don’t have it in you, ask yourself what’s the worst that could happen? Quite a lot of the time, the worst is that the answer is no, or you don’t get the job, or you don’t reach a target. At least you tried – and built up confidence in the process.
Source: J. Schwartz, David: The Magic of Thinking Big (1995, Pocket Books)