Most of us are familiar with this quote from Henry Ford. Recently I researched this more and found out that its root might be from the old Latin motto:
“Possunt quia posse videntur.” They can, because they think they can.
I was reminded of this quote during the last week spending time with my two sons during the school holidays looking at videos of them learning to walk. We all had a laugh and realised how much everyone has changed, learned and developed in a few short years.
Think of a baby who begins to crawl and then thinks it wants to start walking. How many times do they attempt to get up, stumble and fall down, yet just get up and have another go? Countless times.
Do they get there in the end ? YES!
I believe this is an early example of “they can, because they think they can”
They are motivated to stand up and walk like their older brothers. They believe they can they don’t think “what if I fail” or “maybe this isn’t for me”
Similarly as I was explaining in an article for Zarraffa’s Grind magazine’s current issue they Delete the word “try” from their thinking they just think “Do it”.
Yet as adults how often will we attempt something before giving up, once, twice, 6 times?
Think about at home– how many attempts to connect your sons tablet to the home WIFI before calling it a day?
Think about at work– the promotion we really want or the job you really believe you would be good at. How often will we ask before we let the dream fade into the past?
I believe that if we lose the connection with our inner voice the belief that we can gets replaced by the negative conversations of we cannot. The fear of failure creeps in and we get the results we think we will get.
At the end of the day, I believe the person who succeeds in any walk of life is the one who thinks they can. Each of us has a constant inner dialogue. At the surface level it is our moment to moment thinking and self talk. At a deeper level it is finding peace and calm to be able to communicate with your quiet inner voice and know what is true.
Even eventual winners may face moments of self doubt like Jessica Watson or Alyssa Azar below but they do have the inner strength, and indeed hear their inner voice, and they pick themselves up and stride forward. The truth is that most people just think they “can’t”, so the minority who do the inner work to ensure they remain positive and only engage in supportive self talk find their way to the top.
Tips to develop a more positive inner self talk:
- Make a commitment to steal 5 minutes twice a day, best times are around 10.30 in the morning and again at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
- Just take yourself somewhere quiet and private (this may even be the loo), sit up straight and focus on your breathing and just relax.
- Bring your mind to review the morning so far, acknowledging your progress and without beating yourself up just check on the quality of your inner self talk. Resolve to stay positive till lunchtime and beyond. Ideally, repeat this process at 3 o’clock.
Two things will happen.
- Firstly, by taking time out, you will experience the positive side effect of managing your stress.
- Secondly, by focusing on the positive, you enhance your expectations going forward.
I read 5 years ago that Jessica Watson always knew in herself that she would sail solo around the world before she did. She just kept reaffirming this to her inner-self till it became reality.
The same is true of Alyssa Azar the youngest Australian to summit Mount Everest, she always knew she would do it. Even after failing to reach the top previously!
The best only think about what they want, so if you think you can, you will!
Final Tip: Tell yourself you will have a fantastic day, week, month and you will!
Trust me. It Just Works.
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