Read forty-eight books in one year.
Write and publish two articles every day for a month.
When I set these goals, I thought I was crazy. There was no way I could read four books per month or write so many words. Perhaps others could do it, but not me.
I reached those goals. Since then, I’ve learned that you should never underestimate yourself. The way you believe your best friend can achieve incredible things is the way you should believe in yourself.
This year my goal is to read fifty-two books — one book a week. Again, I didn’t think I could do it, and yet, I’m three books ahead of schedule. I’ve gone from reading thirty pages in an hour to fifty.
The thing is, I know exactly why I’ve reached those goals and why I’ll continue to achieve the ones I establish.
I set high expectations. I was going to prove the crazier part of myself right.
You don’t know what you’re capable of until you dare yourself to try
For about three months, I was writing and publishing one article per day. It was difficult in the beginning, but eventually, it became easier.
Still, I looked at people who were publishing twice per day, and I thought about how insane they were. So, I dared myself to write twice a day for one month.
And I did. I learned I was capable of more than I thought.
When you set higher expectations for yourself, you tend to follow through. It’s like setting a dare you don’t want to say no to because you don’t want to look like a coward. You don’t want to prove to that doubtful side of yourself that it’s right.
Once you make the shift from, “I can’t,” to “Maybe I can,” you transform. You have more time on your hands. You’re able to focus. You work harder than ever.
“You have to set goals that are almost out of reach. If you set a goal that is attainable without much work or thought, you are stuck with something below your true talent and potential.” — Steve Garvey
If you want to achieve magnificent things, do what you don’t think you can. Take your goals, make them bigger, and watch yourself fly.
You’re not doing the impossible
Chances are you’re not pursuing something that someone hasn’t already done before. Maybe you want to be on Broadway, but that seems absurd. Perhaps you want to publish a book, but that’s unlikely for you.
This is not true. If someone else has obtained your dream, you can too.
Your circumstances don’t hold any significance. I am:
- A woman
- A lesbian
My family practically has no money. We don’t live in a nice area. I could use everything I am as an excuse not to try.
Who you are, what you look like, or where you come from isn’t a limitation. Especially now, when anyone with a phone and WiFi could build a business. There is no excuse not to try.
My identity is not my obstacle. My identity is my superpower. — America Ferrera
If Jim Carrey could go from homeless and penniless to act in Dumb and Dumber, then you can become an actor. If Obama could become the first black president, who’s to say you can’t become the first Latinx president?
Even if you are setting out to do the unthinkable, you can still do it. Nothing is truly unmanageable. There are heavy machines in the sky that fly and can take us across the country in a matter of hours.
You need to believe you can.
There’s power in believing in yourself
I said earlier that I thought I was crazy for setting the goals I set. But if I hadn’t believed at least a little bit that I could do it, then I would’ve never set the goal. I wouldn’t have tried.
While half of me thought I was mad, the other half kept thinking, “But what if?” Let that part of your brain be stronger than your doubts.
Have high expectations for yourself. Believe you can achieve the impossible, and you will.
If you don’t believe you can achieve something exceptional, then you won’t put in the effort. You’ll do your work half-heartedly, half-laughing at yourself. If you don’t give yourself a real chance, you’ll never know what you could’ve accomplished.
Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy. — Norman Vincent Peale
Norman Vincent Peale
When you do believe in yourself, that changes. You put in the work with real effort and can only half-hear the phone ringing beside you. You get in the zone, and you do.
If I didn’t think I could write an article every day, I wouldn’t have gotten up every morning to write. It’s crucial that a part of you believes you can take action and do something exceptional.
If you don’t, you won’t try. You’ll end up proving your doubts right. It might be a long time before you decide to do something “crazy” again.
A part of you wants to do great things
A lot of people reject the voice in their head that says they’re not living up to their full potential. They extinguish the fire that signifies they want more because they’re afraid of what could go wrong.
A part of you wants nothing more than to dive into the abyss. A part of you is daring you to go through with what you want, and you’re not listening.
You have to listen. You can’t let your fears, doubts, or insecurities win. You need to stop thinking and start doing.
When you exercise, you don’t think about doing another pushup, do you? You just do it. If you contemplated before you moved, you’d realize that your arms felt weak and that they were burning. You’d fall. But if you don’t think, you don’t fall.
Stop overthinking because, if it gets the chance, fear will sneak in through the door. When you take action, the door remains closed.
Set high expectations for yourself. You’ll realize you’re capable of achieving more than you believed.
Dare yourself to work toward something grand. A part of you will be surprised, but another part will say, “I told you so.”
“All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.” — Orison Swett Marden
If you stick to the same goals, you won’t grow. You won’t allow yourself to do something greater — and you can do greater. You just need to give yourself a chance.