“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.” — Henry Ford
You are the story you tell yourself. And, sooner or later, you’re going to have to decide what kind of story you want to tell.
It’s interesting, nobody reading this would ever pay to see a movie where the super-hero makes excuses throughout the entire narrative about how he or she can’t go out and kick the bad guy’s ass.
Nobody would ever pay to see this movie because it wouldn’t be entertaining. It wouldn’t be inspirational. It would just be… underwhelming.
Yet, in our own lives, we are constantly telling ourselves stories about how we won’t prevail ––
I can’t start that online business because I don’t know anything about online businesses…
I can’t lose 20 lbs because I don’t have the time to go to the gym…
I can’t do [fill in the blank] because of [fill in the blank]…
And, what ends up happening is that we fall into this toxic cyclical process where the moment something becomes too difficult (or appears to be too difficult) we don’t quit but rather, we don’t even try.
I think that’s one of the biggest problems I see today. It’s not that people are quitting or losing. They simply aren’t trying.
They (we) aren’t trying because of the story or stories we are telling ourselves.
Something that I believe sums up what I am trying to say most effectively is the following poem by Walter D. Wintle ––
“If you think you are beaten, you are
If you think you dare not, you don’t,
If you like to win, but you think you can’t
It is almost certain you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost
For out of the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you are outclassed, you are
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man WHO THINKS HE CAN!”
― Walter D. Wintle
In Wintle’s poem he writes something that wouldn’t be a bad idea for all of us to write down and look at once a day –– success begins with a fellow’s will it’s all in the state of mind.
This isn’t about cheesy self-help talk, it’s just about the fact that you are more likely to succeed if you tell yourself a story of success rather than a story of failure.
In fact, next time an opportunity comes your way, like perhaps a business venture of sorts. Instead of saying… I can’t start that business because of [fill in the blank]… try saying… I can start that business because of [fill in the blank].
It’s a change of but a few words. But, what I have found, is that these few words make all the difference in the world.
You choose when it’s time to say “The End.”
By Cole Schafer.
Cole is the copy chief at Honey Copy, where he helps startups make more money through emails and landing pages that read like poetry and sell like Ogilvy. When he isn’t slinging copy, he is right here on Medium sharing ideas about life, business and marketing. Or riding alpacas.