Image Credit: Adam Bull/AustralianBallet
Everyone has a new habit list for you. There’s always a new habit.
Three years ago it was meditation.
Two years ago it was cold showers.
This year it’s saunas and cryotherapy.
All of these habits are fine and probably good for you, but no list of healthy habits will truly make the difference you’re looking for.
It was 8:30 am and I was due to give a speech at 12 pm. I only ate a banana up until 12 pm in case I felt sick and puked from nerves. I set my phone onto flight mode so I wouldn’t be distracted or have any more stress from notifications. I thought to myself:
“Who the f**k am I to go on stage and talk about how you can improve your life?”
I nearly didn’t get on the stage.
What would people think of me? Does anyone know how average I really am?
But I did get on that stage. My heart was pounding although I didn’t feel sick. I felt powerful.
Weeks prior, I started a new habit.
The habit of believing in yourself.
Sounds corny as hell. It’s the truth though.
I’d been reading a lot before this speech I gave and I’d learned that most people we admire don’t really know what they’re doing or have it all figured out. The one habit that was common to everyone I admired was that they felt the fear, and did it anyway.
The habit they all followed was believing in themselves no matter what. It’s the understanding that no matter how much practice or how much research or how many people you meet, you’re never guaranteed of anything. The only guarantee you have is that you are enough and that the experience good or bad will teach you something.
Before getting on stage, this one habit of believing in yourself looks like this:
- Tell yourself you got this
- Put your shoulders back and stand up straight
- Disconnect from the outcome
- Label all feelings as necessary
- Embrace the fear and still move forward
That’s the real-life image of this habit called believing in yourself. I want you to see this list in your mind.
It was one habit that started it all.
Not a list of habits. The momentum came from just one.
The endless lists of habits you find on places like Quora missed a fundamental lesson: everything good in your life starts from one small habit.
“Layering habits is simple once you’ve got the first habit down pat”
From my experience, the first habit gives you all the growth, but it’s the hardest. There’s no external force or person that can tell you during a fearful situation to believe in yourself.
The hardest and most important habit of all is entirely cultivated by you, in your own mind, through internal dialogue that none of us can hear.
If you could only spend two minutes inside one of your heroes heads when they are facing their own fear or difficult situation, you’d see what I’m talking about.
The momentum that comes from this one habit is far outside anything else I’ve experienced. It’s the secret habit I pull out on a daily basis when I face the negativity and rejection that the world gives us without warning.
That’s what this one habit is all about. It’s choosing yourself first before considering any other thoughts.
It’s the realization in your own mind that you can do anything even if you have no idea how to.
You have to believe in yourself before anyone else will.
By choosing yourself, and believing in yourself, all the other habits become useful building blocks you can add to this foundation.