I have a theory. We tend to behave based on who we think we are, not based on who we really are.

What you think about yourself matters. If you tell yourself you can't do something, you probably won't be able to do it. I'll give you an example.

"Oh I can't go for a run, I am just not one of those fitness people!"

You tell this to yourself. You differentiate yourself from those fitness people. And thus, you remain the unhealthy slob that you are. You don't change. Why? Because you are just not one of those fitness people.

The song that plays in your head matters. I don't mean the bollywood song that is stuck. I am talking about your mental narrative. Who do you think you are? What sort of personality type do you identify with? Are you disciplined? Are you a hygiene freak? Are you a foodie?
What do you tell you about you?

Now that I have made a case for the importance of your mental narrative. I'll propose to you a problem that I have noticed.

1. Most people have a self-detrimental mental narrative.

Most people do not believe in themselves and their ability to do great things. Fuck achieving great things. Most people don't believe they can stick to a daily schedule or go for a run every morning.

The reason why most people don't do things is because they lack the proper mental narrative that is necessary to go ahead and do those things.

And no, I am not talking about building million dollar businesses. Not everyone can do that. But, nowadays, people think small on the most do-able of things.

2. Most people like to use their self-detrimental mental narrative to justify inaction.

In your head, if you are just not one of those fitness people, it becomes okay(in your head) to be an unhealthy slob.

In your head, if you are not a self-directed individual, it becomes okay(in your head) to binge Netflix all day. Because only those workaholics stick to their schedules.

I don't want you to be like this.

When you actually believe in something, you are more likely to do it.

I would like to quote Paulo Coelho here, to add further weight to my point:

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

I am not sure about the universe. But when you really want something, you take action, and taking action is the first step towards achieving it.

Photo by Greg Rakozy / Unsplash

Enough theory. YC THE MAN believes in action. So here are some practical steps:

Change your mental narrative

The more you say something, the more your mind believes it. You must change how you view certain tasks.

"Making money is tough"
"Losing weight is so hard"
"I can't stay off Instagram!"
"Coding is hard"

Sure, it may be that these things are hard. But the more you repeat it to yourself, the more harder they become, the more distant and unachievable they seem.

If someone else has done it, you can do it too.

What do you tell you about you?

Who do you think you are? No, really.
What is your mental model of yourself? Do you consider yourself a disciplined person? Do you consider yourself healthy? Would you describe yourself as an introvert?

The reason why most fat people remain fat is not because losing weight is hard. They remain the same because they have accepted their fatness as a way of life. It's just the way they are. After all, they are not one of those fitness people.

The reason why most undisciplined people remain undisciplined is because they have accepted their indiscipline as a way of life. They have imbibed it. Thus, they do not change.

You need to change the way you look at yourself to change the way your self acts.

Have this conversation with yourself. Ask yourself- what you think of you, and you will find explanations for many of your behaviors.

Cliché: Believe in yourself

Really. Believe in your ability to do the things you want to do. Conor McGregor is a great example of believing in oneself. The man exactly predicts how he is going to defeat an opponent, then does it.

"I said I’d knock him out in the first round, and I knocked him out in the first round. You can call me Mystic Mac because I predict these things." _Conor McGregor

Myself, for example. I literally, genuinely believe that I can achieve great things. And I am putting in the work to ensure this belief comes true. I haven't achieved shit yet, but I truly believe I will be one of the greatest in the things that I set out to do.

This may be irrational, and the average mind will call it egotistic, but it is disproportionately better than having a lack of self belief.

Never Stop
Photo by Fab Lentz / Unsplash

You need to believe in yourself first for the world to believe in you.

Take action

The converse of what I said is also true. The way you think dictates how you act, the way you act dictates how you think.

Just thinking is not enough. It is the first step. If you keep thinking "I am a healthy person" but don't follow that up with regular workouts and clean eating, all you are doing is lying to yourself.

This is where fans of The Secret (Book) fall. They think telling themselves that they will succeed is the only thing that is necessary for success. Do not fall for this mental trap.

Think right, follow that up with an action. This would reinforce your belief in yourself.

Thinking and doing spiral into each other and make each other stronger. Just one is not enough.

Re-configure your mental narrative about you.

That's it. Go do.

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