Power of Belief

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right,” said Henry Ford

This quote from Henry Ford is one of my all-time favorites.  I would use this all the time with my kids growing up.  I wanted them to know their future was in their control. It might not always go as initially planned but it was 100% in their control.  They needed to start by believing.

One of my favorite soccer coaching stories is about a young lady on the team that struggled with confidence.  She had never scored a goal during our season.  Driving to the game one day, I was reflecting to myself that I hoped she would be the first one at the game as I wanted to talk to her before everyone got there.  Sure enough, she and her dad were the only ones there passing the ball around the field.    I walked over and asked if she was going to score a goal today.  She half laughed and said no.  To this I replied, do you want to score?  She came back with Yes.  I told her I believe you can.  If you want to and I believe you can, are you going to score today?  She simply replied Yes.  So we walked out onto the field and went through very specific positioning on where to run and stand in relation to the ball.   In the final position I said 3 things will happen, one the other player will score, two the other player will take a shot and it will deflect out around this spot, or three you will get a pass.  All you need to do is end in this position and watch the ball if the 2nd two occur, run to the ball as soon as you see it and take a shot.   She did exactly what we discussed, the ball deflected, and she put it into the back of the net.   After which she ran over to the sideline and jumped into her dad’s arms and both of them in tears (and me too).  I later asked her what changed.  She said you told me I could.   Powerful, even now!  Give someone a purpose, belief and the tools to succeed.

That same weekend, a parent, from another team that my son was on, came over asked, can you do for my daughter what you did for Hannah.  I said sure bring her over.   Her daughter came over and we went through the same discussion.  The difference is she said coach Carter never puts me in that position.  I told her to tell coach Carter that she was going to score today and could she have a chance to play that position.   Guess what, coach Carter did, and so did she.

The Power of the Mind

When you believe you can achieve something, your mind becomes a powerful ally. It starts working tirelessly to find solutions, overcome obstacles, and create opportunities.  Belief is the driving force behind every great achievement.  But belief is a double-edged sword. If you believe you can’t achieve something, you’ve already set yourself on a path towards failure.

Positive thinking isn’t about ignoring challenges or pretending they don’t exist. It’s about acknowledging them and having the unwavering belief that you possess the resources, creativity, and determination to overcome them. This mindset shift can turn the impossible into the achievable and the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Our beliefs have the power to shape our reality.  

For example, if you believe that you are capable and deserving of success, you are more likely to take risks, seize opportunities, and persevere in the face of challenges. This belief can shape your reality by leading you to achieve your goals and live a fulfilling life.

On the other hand, if you believe that you are not good enough or that success is out of your reach, you may avoid taking risks, miss out on opportunities, and give up easily when faced with obstacles. This belief can shape your reality by keeping you stuck in a cycle of self-doubt and underachievement.

I also applied this when I was a sales director. I used to have employees come to me and complain their sales target were too high.   I would always ask, high or not, do you believe there is a way to achieve it?  Yes.  Then if we were to spend time breaking it down to identify specific scenarios that would reach your goal would that make it easier to action?  Yes.  To which they went on to achieve their goals with confidence.  Never without setbacks or challenges, but all with the belief they all could be overcome. 

Embrace the Power Within You

So, how can you apply Henry Ford’s wisdom to your own life?

  1. Self-awareness: Start by understanding your beliefs and thought patterns. Are you prone to negative thinking? Do you often doubt your abilities? Identifying these limiting beliefs is the first step to overcoming them.
  2. Be grateful:  Change your perspective, start to be grateful that you are now aware and start to Replace “I can’t” with “I can.”  Are their obstacles in your life where you can change your perspective and see as an opportunity to choose better?
  3. Set meaningful actions: Define your goals clearly and break them down into manageable steps. When you have a clear vision and a belief in your ability to achieve it, you’re more likely to stay motivated and persistent.  Do you find yourself setting goals but not identifying any steps to achieve them?  Do you get frustrated over the lack of success when you have not put in the effort and give up?
  4. Surround yourself with positivity: Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your dreams. Seek out mentors and role models who can inspire and guide you on your journey.  Think about the people you spend most of your time with.  Do they support your goals and visions?  Do they have goals and visions they are pursing?  There is a saying – show me the people you spend time with and I will show you your future.  Can you be the spark of change or think about who you invest your time with?
  5. Embrace failure: Understand that failure is a part of the path to success. Instead of seeing it as a dead-end, view it as a learning opportunity and a steppingstone toward your goals.  Think back to the last time you “failed” could you rephrase it to be an opportunity?

5-Minute Cup Filler Exercise

Here is a 5-minute daily exercise to develop your skills around building an unwavering belief in you capabilities.

Recognize that in every problem, there lies an opportunity. When we become aware of the problem, we can find a solution.  It’s in this acceptance that we unlock our true potential for growth and transformation.

Think back over the last 24 hours.

BECOME AWARE: Are you prone to negative thinking? Do you often doubt your abilities?  Name one limiting belief you had.  How is this impacting you? How could it impact you if you believed?

BE GRATEFUL: Rephrase your observation into the choice you can be grateful for.  What is the “better version of you” you choose instead?

I am grateful for __(insert what you became aware of)___ because it gives me a chance to __(insert what you will do differently)___ .

TAKE ACTION: What is one choice (when you observe it again) you can make to improve the outcome?  Name an additional action you choose to take throughout the day to reinforce.

Choose to commit to repeat daily until it becomes natural!

Jen Weis

The publisher of Morning Cup.