Believe in the best version of yourself.
That little voice inside your head? What guff has that guy been feeding you now?
When you’re thinking about your dreams and aspirations, you might discuss them with your friends, your family, or your parents. These people might tell you that you can do anything you set your mind to, or they might tell you not to try so you won’t be disappointed. They may have your best interest at heart, or they may have ulterior motives.
But the bottom line is that they don’t know you the way you know you.
Throughout your life, you will get a lot of advice. Some of it will be awful. Some of it will be right on the money. Some will be unsolicited, from passing acquaintances, and some welcome, from people who know you well.
But none of it will be from the most knowledgeable perspective. That perspective is yours and yours alone.
But there’s also a danger—the danger that the little voice inside your head doesn’t know what he (or she) talking about.
Well, that’s a cop-out. Of course he knows, but he may just be telling you what you want to hear. He may be trying to spare the bad feelings you’d experience if you failed. He may be giving you a convenient excuse.
You might hear many voices telling you you can do it. But ultimately, you have to believe it yourself.
An aspiration is not really an aspiration if you don’t believe you can succeed.
I’ve had several experiences in my life where I honestly wasn’t sure whether I would be able to do something I’d committed to or whether I could achieve something I’d set out to do. My little voice gets a bit chatty in the early hours of the morning when I can’t sleep. He might say, “What the hell were you thinking, you can’t do that! You’re going to totally embarrass yourself!”
I don’t just dismiss him; after all, he’s the one who talked me into it in the first place.
So, how do you know if that little voice is giving you good advice? How do you know if you’re getting a good reality check, or if your little voice (you) doesn’t believe in you?
You get independent confirmation. You rationally assess the validity of what your little voice is telling you.
Although it may seem weird to question your own intuition, it’s helpful to keep in mind that the little voice can be influenced by other factors besides facts, including fears, past experiences, your level of confidence, and the perceived consequences of failure.
If we can develop a picture in our head of the very best version of ourselves, we can always strive to be that person, even if we (the voices) don’t believe we can be. We can base our aspirations on that best version, and then, even if we fall short, we still have that picture. We won’t think about the recent failure; we’ll think of what we learned and how we can succeed next time.
We may have to adjust our aspirations periodically. We may decide we don’t actually want something we had wanted previously. We may want something different now. That’s all fine and even good, but we shouldn’t change our aspirations rashly or based on a single event or experience.
Our lives are extraordinarily special, and we should never settle for anything less. We should be everything we can be. We should always strive for the extraordinary and the magical.
Your life is incredibly special, and don’t let anyone (especially you) tell you otherwise.