Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Does Success lead to Believing -OR- Does Believing lead to Success?

I’ve told some people about my change of attitude from thinking dieting is hard to thinking dieting is easy. The reaction has been what you would expect:

“Yeah, right.”
“I wish.”
“I’ll believe that after I lose 20 pounds.”

Forget about dieting for a second and think about life in general. In sports, does a team believe they can win only after winning, or do they believe in their potential first and that belief motivates them to do the work necessary to become a winner?

Does a person start a business expecting to fail or do they start a business with the belief that they can and will succeed?

Does a couple plan a marriage with the expectations of divorce or with the belief in a long and happy future together?

Okay, if anyone was actually reading this they might say, “Hold on there. You’re mixing apples and oranges. Winning in sports, creating a successful business, a long and happy marriage—those all are difficult to achieve. How can you equate those things to the idea that dieting is easy instead of difficult?”

Good point and I’ll respond with two points of my own. First, you have to believe to achieve, and success is unlikely if a person’s mindset is focused on how difficult and unlikely it will be to succeed. That’s the mindset of most people when they talk about dieting (or about keeping the weight off). In the three examples above, the people who are going to be successful are the ones who go into the situation with a strong belief of success.

My second point is that once a person starts believing in the probability of success, a diet actually is easy. Everyone has the skills needed to successfully diet. Almost everyone can do a little bit of exercise which helps speed up the process. Think about it and tell me what is the difficult part of dieting. Too much temptation? Too little willpower? I don't think so.

Let’s say there are free donuts at the office. Do you have the willpower to resist? What if I offered you $5 to not eat a donut? My guess is that you’d take my money every time. What if I offered you a healthier life in exchange for that one or two minutes of pleasure you would get from the donut? If you believe in the probably of success with your diet, then I think you’ll skip the donut. If you believe in the probable failure of your diet, then I think you’ll eat the donut. It’s not a case of too much temptation or too little willpower that sidetracks a diet, it’s lack of believing in success.

Believe in a successful diet and the dieting will be successful and easy.

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