Henry Ford is guilty of many things and one of those things is some great quotes.
Ford’s idea that self belief is central to everything we do is crucial. Without belief we can achieve a goal, we are destined to stay in a state of perpetual stagnation. We are held back in our comfort zone for all eternity, destined to attempt nothing and fail at nothing. Safe but devastatingly boring.
When I said this thought provoking quote to a class, one perceptive young man piped up “Does that mean I’m going to climb Everest?!” My response was, “Do you want to climb Everest?” He waited a second and said “Yeah!” He looked around laughing and smiling at the class and a few sniggers ensued. I asked him another question. “When do you want to climb it?” He looked puzzled and started to frown. “Tomorrow? Next week? Next month?” He looked more awkward and then disengaged.
We can do an awful lot of things if we have a strong desire to do so or if we know exactly why we want to do it. If we don’t, then we will never believe we will achieve it.
Okay, so what if what is on offer does not feel like exactly what we want?
In any of these life changing “Everest challenges” there is a key desire, a key inspiration. These “Everest” Style challenges in my experience of tutoring and coaching are more about proving something to ourselves and/or to others.
Some people find a great deal of satisfaction from planning a goal as tangible as a walk along the Great Wall of china or running the London marathon. Sometimes when we achieve the incredible goals we set ourselves, they are very clear for ourselves and others. That is pretty important. I know people who have set themselves such goals and this has then developed and nurtured a true belief in themselves. I know a girl who had never run a marathon and then set the goal and achieved it at the age of 42. She’s gone from strength to strength and now owns her own business as an advertising consultant.
The goals we set ourselves don’t always have to be in the direction we want to progress our lives towards. Richard Branson often plans crazy, seemingly unconnected publicity stunts, often putting his life at risk. Is this just an advertising signal to the world or is there more to it? I think he is sending a signal to himself and indeed the universe that he is ready and needs to have that self-belief reinforced and reinvigorated.
They just need to be meaningful to is and the people around us (if that is important to you)
Sometimes we need to look at what inspires us and make a goal around that. I’d love to be a singer in the world famous acapella group, the Swingle Singers. It is unlikely to happen so I set a target of starting my own barbershop quartet and planning to sing a concert. I’ve achieved it and it’s time to set another goal. My goal was small but it has increased my belief in what I can achieve. I know know I can achieve more now. My inspiration is to sing as a member of a group in front of an audience. My goals tend to be in that area, i.e organise and sing with my Barbershop. The barbershop goal was measurable by me and my friends and felt right. One day I might sing in the Swingle Singers. Maybe I don’t want it enough? So Mr Ford, I’m sitting on your fence.
What would dare yourself to dream?
For lots more depth about inspiration and confidence, take a look at the confident performer website. You can download a top ten tips guide for free!