Belief in oneself in spite of one’s ignorance, lack of ability, and inexperience is a recipe for failure. Belief is not what you lean on when you are unprepared, ignorant, and untested. You don’t just throw yourself headlong into the arena because you want the prize and expect belief to pick up the slack. Belief is for when you have prepared, have been tested, have studied, and you’re faced with a new but similar challenge. It’s to remind you that you’ve overcome obstacles like this, you’ve already proven you can do it, you’re already a champion, and now it’s time to claim your prize.
Belief is for when you have prepared, have been tested, have studied, and you’re faced with a new but similar challenge. It’s to remind you that you’ve overcome obstacles like this, you’ve already proven you can do it, you’re already a champion, and now it’s time to claim your prize.
When most people believe in themselves, they’re using faith to protect their ego from the pain of creating an actionable plan. They’re shielding themselves from the suffering that comes from developing ability and glossing over all the costs necessary to adequately prepare. They focus on being rather than becoming. Life isn’t the movies, where the hero is destined to win before the opening credits. Life does not follow a script, life forces us to fight it out to see who gets to have and who goes without, and the battle goes to the one who can win it.
The universe puts everyone in their place. If you are not already where you want to be, then you have to fight to move because to exist in another environment, you must have the attributes required to survive there.
I meet a lot of people who want to be actors, comics, filmmakers but when you compare their abilities with the abilities of those in the positions they want, even if they could wave a magic wand and be granted unlimited opportunity and unlimited resources they wouldn’t survive long there because they don’t have the abilities necessary to survive in that environment. Bad actors don’t become good actors when you cast them in lead roles. Bad stories don’t become good stories when you throw a million dollars at them. It’s hard to succeed; that’s why those who are unskilled, untested will never be put in positions that matter. The cream rises because it’s cream. Until you transform yourself into something worthy of more, you’re going to stay exactly where you are, exactly where you belong.
If you want what another person has, you must know what they know, be able to do what they do. You must become someone else first before you can have what someone else has.
But where do you start? How do you get to someplace you’ve never been to? How do you learn what you don’t know? You find a mentor, find someone who has been where you want to go, who possesses what you wish for yourself. Mentors, good ones, know what it takes to survive in the place you want to be and will help you transform yourself so that you have a fighting chance. Mentors turn ignorance into insight, weakness into strength, and incompetence into ability.
Don’t just believe in yourself. Confidence is essential, but make sure you’re not just lying to yourself. Make sure that your confidence is justified. Not everybody can do what they want to do, and don’t worry if you can’t. Realizing you can’t do something frees you to find something else you can do. Don’t let your love of a thing that isn’t right for you keep you from seeing the thing that is. Get a mentor who will test you to see if you can make the journey, give you a map, and prepare you for it, and when you’ve proven yourself, believe in yourself.