Whenever I solicit questions from readers on my blog, one continuously pops up: “How did you learn to believe in yourself?” This is such a popular question and is central to becoming a top performer. After all, if you don’t believe in yourself, none of the tactics, techniques, frameworks and strategies will mean anything. Here are some ways you can start believing in yourself.
1. Take brutally small steps with a long-term perspective
Like you, I’m impatient with myself. I want the end results—the six-pack abs, the accolades, the things to brag about. But I see people paralyzed by the end result.
It’s easy to dream about running three times a week or making $500,000 each year in passive income. Some people will dream about those things but never take action. They will say things such as, “Ugh, I don’t want to freelance. That’s trading time for money.” When I hear this, I feel one of my favorite emotions: pity. Take small steps such as running once a week or earning $1,000 a month on the side while keeping your long-term goals in mind.
2. Over-prepare like you cannot even imagine
Some examples of how I over-prepare :
- When my parents told me I needed scholarships to pay for college, I videotaped myself to discover a crippling error I was making during interviews (not smiling enough), which finally let me crack the code of interviewing.
- I spent over four months writing just one of my website’s sales pages. I also hired an outside consultant for $13,000 to give me feedback. It has since earned millions of dollars.
- I spent more than 15 hours reading my old textbooks and notes to prepare for a webcast I did with B.J. Fogg, one of my mentors.
Exhausted? Good. Nobody said this would be easy.
3. Handle naysayers
A lot of people told me the name of my company, I Will Teach You to Be Rich, was stupid. It hurt, especially when I was starting out and didn’t have a lot of confidence.
The best technique was co-opting their criticism by saying, “You know what, you might be right. I have no idea if this is going to work. But I figure I have to give it a shot, right? If you were me, what would you do?”
The deeper part of this was truly mastering my own personal psychology to know how to push through the tough parts. It’s the psychology that differentiates someone operating at 99 percent of their capacity from someone at 99.9 percent.
4. Be mindful of who you surround yourself with
A few years ago, I noticed a lot of B players who plateaued at a certain level. The reason? The B players were hanging out with other B players who were satisfied with the money they made and the impact they had.
The truth is, the best people in your industry know things you do not. They can open doors you cannot. They’ve mastered not only tactics but also psychological insights that you have not. It would be easy to hang out with the same old people for the rest of your life. Or you could challenge yourself and soak up everything those more experienced than you have to offer.