The foundation on top of which every step forward, every achievement, and every lesson learned exists can be characterized in one word: belief.
- The belief in your ability to figure things out — to get unstuck — when things do not go according to plan.
- The belief in your ability to learn and apply new knowledge.
- The belief in your ability to produce remarkable work.
Stanford Professor and author of the book Mindset, Dr. Carol Dweck, has produced a robust body of research on this very idea that points to a simple — poetic even — conclusion: to grow, one must first believe they are capable of growing.
This makes plenty of sense when you play it out:
To believe in your capabilities is to motivate action; to take action is to enable possibility — the possibility of venturing into uncharted territory, the possibility of learning new things, the possibility of achieving progress in the areas of life you care about.
To not believe in your capabilities is to discourage action, and a lack of action all but closes the door on possibility and guarantees a cessation of learning and growth.
The case for always believing in yourself and taking action (especially in the face of your most ambitious goals) is simple: even if you do not make as much progress as you expect, you will have made infinitely more progress compared to the progress you would’ve made if you chose not to believe in yourself — which is to say none at all.
Believing in yourself is always going to be a winning proposition that potentiates growth & enables you to gain exposure to more of what life has to offer.