Why having a strong belief system changes your life for the better…

The Stanford University Psychologist, Carol Dweck, has devoted her life to the exploration of why some people are successful, their mindsets and why others are not so successful. She has done numerous amounts of research on motivation and how we can control aspects of our own behaviour, which can contribute to our overall aptitude to succeed.

In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, she conveys the significance of our beliefs, the influential impact that both our conscious and unconscious thoughts have on us. Dweck states that the view you adopt for yourself will profoundly affect the way you lead your life.

A belief, defined by the Oxford dictionary, is an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof. Dweck proclaims that these beliefs can ultimately determine whether you will get what you want to achieve in life and whether you will go after those things that you deeply value.

The impact of our beliefs can ultimately determine whether we will become the person we truly want to be. Dweck emphasised that those people who believed that their abilities were set in stone were in a constant pursuit to prove them.

They feared anything that would make others question their intelligence. Instead of taking on new challenges and trying to develop new abilities they remained focused on proving they had a healthy dose of intelligence, abilities, morals, and personality already given to them.

In contrast those people who believed that their abilities are just a mere starting point in life were constantly taking on new challenges.

They believed that with time and effort they could develop new skills and abilities. They believed that what they had now was not all they could have in life. Dweck states that it is this belief system that enables these people to thrive in some of the most challenging times of their lives. Below are examples of the power of belief:

“The impact of our beliefs can ultimately determine whether we will become the person we truly want to be.”

Frank WoolworthFrank Woolworth

At the age of four, Frank Woolworth, told his parents that one day he too would be a salesman just like the ones that used to call to his home in New York. He and his brother would frequently play shop where Frank would arrange the merchandise display to sell to the customer. Having finished school at sixteen, Frank applied to many stores but sadly got no positive reply.

After attending a business school in New York for two terms, Frank started a job in a store called Augsbury & Moore’s Drygoods in Watertown, as a stock boy. But following being told he was incompetent as a sales person he was given different jobs such as washing windows.

Despite these setbacks, Frank went on to open a store in New York in 1878. However it failed within weeks. Woolworth then opened his second store in 1879 and in 1911; the Woolworth Company was incorporated with 586 stores.

Elvis PresleyElvis Presley

The great American singer and actor, Elvis Presley, was once considered talentless. Jimmy Denny, the manager of the Grand Ole Opry, fired Elvis Presley. He told Elvis, “You ain’t going nowhere, son. You ought to go back to driving a truck.” Elvis is now considered by many to be the King of rock and roll.

“You ain’t going nowhere, son. You ought to go back to driving a truck.”

Michael JordanMichael Jordan

Micheal Jordan, the man who became known as the greatest basketball player of all time, was not always used to having such success. In fact, Michael did not make the school basketball team. Coaches and trainers had trouble looking beyond his height, as he did not meet the minimum usually required.

This however, clearly didn’t stop the now legend from playing basketball. Instead it pushed him to work even harder. Michael has had countless knock backs over his career and these moments of failure have given him even more reasons to succeed.

“I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed…

“I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

Walt DisneyWalt Disney

Today Disney takes in billions from merchandise, movies and theme parks around the world, but Walt Disney himself endured a rough start. He was fired from his position as a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” After that, Walt Disney started a number of businesses that didn’t last very long and ended with bankruptcy and failure.

However, Walt persevered and eventually found a recipe for success that worked creating the worldwide brand that is known as Disney.

J.K. RowlingJK Rowling

J.K. Rowling, the woman who inspires many by leading the rags to riches stories. The author of the Harry Potter novels was waitressing and on social welfare when she was writing the first instalment of what was to become one of the best selling book series in history.

JK Rowling went from living on state benefits to becoming a multi-millionaire in the space of five years. But the book that made this all possible was rejected by dozens of publishers. The only reason it was eventually published was because the CEO’s eight year old daughter begged him to publish it.

“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already.” JK Rowling.

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