You Become What You Believe
Life is funny in many ways.
I recently read an article about professional golfer Padraig Harrington.
There were a few very interesting snippets in that article about life and how we tend to become what we believe. Padraig discussed it in terms of professional golfers.
Here is what he said:
“We all know how many guys have won one major and never been the same afterwards. It’s because they’ve achieved their goal in life. … You get something in your head, you’d be amazed how wherever you think you belong, you tend to end up. Whether it’s being a journeyman pro or winning a couple of times on TOUR, making a Ryder Cup, winning a major – you kind of set your stall out and you end up there.”
Here was another snippet:
“I was always impressed by Phil Mickelson. When he was struggling to win majors, when anybody asked him at a press conference – this is early 2000s; I’ve been listening to this – he says, ‘I’m going to win majors.’ I copied him on that. In my head, if somebody asked, ‘Are you the best guy not to have won a major?’, I’d say, ‘Yeah, I’m going to win majors.’ I made sure it was never one. Obviously, three was in my head somewhere.”
I highlighted the parts that most interested me.
We’ve all heard the phrase: Dream Big. It’s preached to us throughout lives especially when we’re young. Rarely do people tell you to dream small.
The reason people tell others to dream big is because we seem to figure out with time that we become what we believe. Well, we believe that others can become what they believe.
Do you have a friend that is really talented at something, but they never seem to fulfill their potential?
You kind of get angry with friends like that. You believe that they could do great things, but they don’t believe it themselves.
It’s harder to look at our own lives and dream big. I don’t know the reason. But the ones that do seem to have big dreams are the ones that are ultimately able to achieve them.
Sense Of Belonging
It’s a fine line between feeling like you belong without being cocky. I think you can have incredible self-belief while remaining humble. You can appreciate the greatness of others around you while still thinking that you belong in their company.
But it’s not easy to do. It’s a total mind game and most of the time we struggle to believe in ourselves. And that can turn in to a self-fulfilling prophecy. We believe we belong on a lower level and that’s where we tend to end up in life.
When in reality if we would have only believed that we belonged on a higher level we probably would have achieved that level of success and company.
I really like that Padraig Harrington recognized the importance of expanding his dream. He didn’t want to win just won major. He wanted to win multiple.
And it’s kind of crazy, but early in his career, Tiger Woods’ dad said that Tiger would win 14 majors. Tiger still has time to win more, but for the last 8 years he’s been stuck on the number…14.
A Goal Without A Plan Is Just A Dream
There’s another level to this concept of You Become What You Believe.
The next idea is that a goal without a plan is just a dream. That means that you can dream of anything. Many of us sit back and think that it would be nice to have this or to accomplish that. The dreaming part is fun. The other two aspects are where the separation occurs.
First, you need the belief, which we just saw the importance of with Padraig Harrington. He really believed that he could and would win majors.
Second, you need the plan and work. Once you know what you want to become you can work backward to create a plan. You can see what others have done to achieve what you want to and do what they did while adding onto it with your own ideas.
The big takeaway here is that you really do become what you believe. It takes recognizing that you might be standing in your own way when it comes to what you really want to achieve. Self-belief is very powerful. It’s meant a lot to Padraig Harrington and he recognized it and took advantage of the belief in himself.
Of course, it also takes a plan. It’s one thing to have a dream, but it’s another to have a plan and then put in the work to achieve your dream. Put those all together, though, and you really can become what you believe you can become.