It can’t be done — you hear it all the time. Or, even worse, it can’t be done by you. This is how much faith most of the world has in us. I have a good number of people I consider friends, many acquaintances and loving family members. However, when I try to think about how many people I have in my life that motivate me, that really believe in me and do their best to keep me focused, I can’t come up with a single one. Most people either don’t care or don’t want to bother with you and your activities.
Most people don’t believe that you can accomplish what you want to accomplish. In fact, most people do not want to see you accomplish your goals and reach your dreams because the second that you do, it means they have failed. As long as you yourself fail, they have no reason for feeling bad — they simply tell themselves that they couldn’t do it because it couldn’t be done.
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” - Mark Twain
But if you succeed, then that must mean they failed. As human beings we rank our worth according to how we compare with the rest of mankind — specifically those closest to us, whom we interact with most often. This is the reason why many of us get jealous from the successes of our neighbors and siblings. This system of giving self-value is the reason for the innate competitiveness that we all feel.
Unfortunately, this mixed in with human laziness is the reason why so many people would rather bring those down around them than have to put the effort into propping themselves up to a higher standard. Instead of having to focus on ourselves and our own flaws and weaknesses, we prefer to focus on the flaws of others, pointing them out and making sure to emphasize and exaggerate the person’s inabilities.
All of this negativity stems from the lack of belief that we have in ourselves. Most people do not give themselves the credit that is due, they don’t believe that they can accomplish as much as they truly can accomplish. Most don’t feel that they are worthy of great success or achievement and while looking around and noticing others that are no different than they are, believe that they are not meant for success either. We may not think much of ourselves, nonetheless we think more of ourselves than of those around us.
Our egos make us believe that we are better than others while our fears make us think that we have little potential. Following from this logic, because we do not believe ourselves to be exceptional and we believe ourselves to be a mark above the rest, then the rest cannot be any more destined for greatness than we are ourselves. In summary: we are all lame.
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t — you are right.” - Henry Ford
However, this simpleminded thinking gets disproven on a daily basis. People rise up from ashes to become near-gods. There are those that overcome tragedy, disability, poverty and mental instability — all to become living proof that greatness is achievable by the average man. Yet this is not enough — we remain skeptics.
There must be something about these people that is special, something about them that is different. In a way, that is true. Those that are capable of feats that have been once deemed impossible aren’t much different from you. They most likely aren’t much smarter or much better looking. They aren’t capable of doing anything that you aren’t doing; but there is a difference. The difference between those that accomplish the impossible and you is their strength of will, their desire and their belief in themselves.
“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” - Dale Carnegie
Lack of belief in your own strength is a catalyst for failure. If you don’t believe you can do, then no one else will believe you can do. More importantly, if you don’t believe you can do, then you won’t do. What excuse could you possible have for not doing? Fear is not a good excuse; imagine sitting down with your kids and explaining to them that you didn’t realize your dreams because you were too afraid to even try.
Are you afraid of being embarrassed? So you are focusing on what others think of you, that’s your problem right there. In this world, others will always have an opinion about you and your decisions. The beauty of it is that the opinions of others do not f*cking matter — at all. You are the one living your life, not them. If they think it’s a bad idea, then allow them to sit it out — don’t sit out because they are too afraid.
If you try and you failed, then you have learned — you have learned one way of not doing. You have lived and you have done something. The only other option is to not do. What does that give you? It doesn’t give you the knowledge that you will need to succeed. It doesn’t teach you anything at all. It doesn’t even give you a story to tell.
Deciding not to do is deciding not to live. The impossible is only impossible until someone does it. Do you know what was impossible? Cars were impossible. Planes were impossible. As was skydiving from space, visiting the deepest part of the ocean, a computer that fits in the palm of your hand, a box that displays pictures and sounds, the light bulb.
If it’s not made physically impossible by the laws of physics then it isn’t impossible — even with the laws of physics, there is room for skepticism. You can do ANYTHING. So why settle for less?
“The men who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try to do nothing and succeed. ” - Lloyd Jones