When you were a young child, you took it for granted that you would do anything you put your mind to. Young children do not give up. No matter how many times they fall down, even if they hurt themselves and cry for their mothers’ comfort, they keep getting back up and trying to walk. They will struggle for ages, using all their strength and will, to climb up on a chair. They have absolute conviction that they will succeed in their chosen task, and though they may get frustrated, they eventually do succeed.
Something happens as we get older. People around us start telling us we don’t have certain abilities, that we “can’t” do things. We start to question ourselves. The next thing you know, we are standing at the sidelines watching other people do the things we want to be doing. We feel sad. We feel like failures. We feel like other people were meant to achieve goals and become successful and we were not.
I was like that. I started noticing I was different from other kids as soon as I started school. They could do things I couldn’t. I was much bigger than they were, and I was slow. I dreaded active games in kindergarten, and the older I got the more I dreaded having to take part in any physical activity, especially in front of others. By the time I was a junior in high school I weighed 360 pounds and could barely walk up a flight of four stairs.
If anyone should think they had no reason to believe they’d be a success, especially in areas of physical activity and health, it should have been me. Almost my entire family was overweight, with the health troubles that went along with obesity, such as diabetes and heart disease. Many of those who weren’t overweight had problems with drugs or alcohol. No one in my family had gone beyond high school.
Why am I telling you this? Because despite everything, I did succeed. I lost 160 pounds of pure fat even though I had to save money from my part-time minimum-wage job to buy my own healthy food. I got a degree. I started an extremely successful weight-loss coaching business, where I coach top politicians and Hollywood celebrities. I wrote a top-selling book on weight loss, Think and Grow Thin.
Do I have some magical ability? No. I’m just the same as you. But what helped me succeed is the absolute belief that I would succeed. Just like a young child trying endlessly to pull himself up on a chair, I knew that if I kept trying, if I stayed focused and stayed on course, I would achieve my goals, without any doubt.
And this is the same for you. What is your goal? Is it to lose weight? If it is, then find yourself an exciting weight-loss goal and believe absolutely that you will reach it. Stay focused on that goal. Don’t worry if you fall down. Get right back up and reach for your goal again. It doesn’t matter if other people say you won’t achieve it, because you know you will.
You were put on this earth to achieve great things. You’ve known it since you were young. Just because you’ve been sidetracked doesn’t mean you can’t achieve great things now. You can, and you will!
1. Set your goal. Forget “realistic.” People who achieve big dreams never think in terms like that. They think “ultimate.” What is your ultimate goal? Now is the time to make it happen!
2. Believe! If anyone can achieve his or her goal, then you can. Take that knowledge into your heart and soul. Breathe it. Believe in yourself with every cell, sleeping or waking, driving or working – whatever you do, you will do as the new successful person.
3. Focus. Keep your eye on the final destination, and keep heading there. Don’t let yourself wander down other paths or you’ll end up somewhere you don’t want to be.
4. Commit. Whatever your goal, you will encounter challenging times. You’ll have times when you’re trying to lose weight but your friends are all eating and drinking your favorite junk foods and alcohol. You will have to make a choice. It is these times more than any other that determine your future success. Just remember that in the long run the feeling of accomplishment you feel from having reached your goals will far outweigh any pleasure you get from a few moments of gluttony.
Sometimes people don’t allow themselves to achieve because they fear what they have to give up. Don’t think for a second about that. Think of what you gain. If your goal is weight loss then you will gain the body you’ve always wanted, the ability to wear your favorite clothes (and look good in them!), the energy to take part in all sorts of activities you’ve been denying yourself, and a long, healthy, vibrant life. What could be better than all that?