“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right”--Henry Ford
This quote, which can be found on the Mental Toughness Training page of our website, is something I have come back to time and time again throughout the journey of developing my own business. As I reflect on what it took to get me to where I am today, I realize that my own self-limiting beliefs were what stood in my way. I was completely in love with the idea of owning my own business built on my passions for wellbeing, coaching and sports. Yet I consistently saddled myself with self-doubt when I faced something outside of my area of expertise, fearful that I wasn’t capable of doing it.
What made me finally take the leap of faith? Oddly enough, it was FAILURE that gave me the courage, motivation and belief that I could do it; that it was time to stop with self-limitations and time to treat myself as a person of full value. For several years, I worked for a local tennis club, and when a position in upper management opened up, I was encouraged to apply. Throughout the application process, I was confident that I was the right person for the job, and after feeling like I knocked it out of the park in my interviews, I thought with much certainty that I had earned it. However, after being selected as one of three finalists for the position among a pool of 80 applicants, the club’s decision makers decided to hire from outside of the company. When I was told I did not get the job, it felt like one of the biggest moments of failure I had experienced in my life.
In that moment, I had two choices. I could carry the disappointment and negative thoughts around with me like an anchor; or I could use this opportunity to finally kick down the door that would lead to my dream of being a small business owner. I chose option B and got to work researching, asking questions, learning from mentors and throwing myself into the fire, knowing full well I would learn from many more mistakes on the path to being successful.
This part of my life story was one of my most vulnerable moments, but that is exactly why I wanted to share it. I hope my story can remind you that it is ok to let go of perfection, be your authentic self and learn from all experiences. Taking chances and allowing myself to be vulnerable to failure has helped me gain confidence and appreciation for strengths for which I often never gave myself credit.
Rather than thinking of all the reasons why something can’t be done, why not focus on what you CAN do to make it happen? I am not promising that the road to pursuing your greatest goals will be flat and easy; anything we value in life deserves our best effort and hard work to obtain it. But in order to get there, you must first believe with unwavering confidence that you can do it.
Here are three questions to ask yourself throughout the process of working toward a goal or making a change in life:
What is within my control right now that will help me move forward?
What strengths do I have that will help me throughout this process?
If I don’t know how to do something, how can I learn?
Don’t wait for the best moments of your life to come to you--get to work right now to create them.