How do you know if what you’re doing is working?
The hard part about slow, gradual, small change is that it’s (practically) invisible.
You’re pretty sure it’s working, you feel like it’s working, you want (so badly) for it to be working, you’re hoping that it’s working, but you’re just not so sure that anything is really happening.
Can you see weight fall off of your body when you’re losing weight?
Unless you amputate a finger (or something larger–neither of which is highly recommended), you’re probably not going to see weight magically fly out of your body. How does it get off you then? Sometimes you wake up and you’re a pound lighter. Where did it go? Did it evaporate? Did it seep out through the pores of your skin?
It’s like watching grass grow. You are absolutely positive that it’s happening, but you can’t see it happening before your eyes.*
But what about when you’re in the middle of it? You’re lying down on the grass and you have your magnifying glass out. You want to see it grow. You look at your body in the mirror and you want to see it look better. The blank page is still blank no matter how long you look at it.
Here comes the answer, but you may not like it. In fact, you already know the answer (no, really, you do), but I’m just going to boil it down to one word. Are you ready? If this were a podcast, I would pause and ask you to close your eyes, but these are words on a page, so you’ll have to focus your eyes only on the words you’re reading now.
You need to believe it’s working. It doesn’t matter if your friend believes you can do it (or for that matter, if he doesn’t believe you can). It comes down to one simple thought and one single person: you need to believe it yourself. There’s good news and bad news. Let’s get the bad news out of the way first.
The Bad News
You can’t fake belief–but you already know this. You can’t “believer harder” like you can run faster. It’s all or nothing. Sorry about this. Let’s get to the good news, you’ll feel better.
The Good News
You can change your belief. It’s not set in stone, it’s not in your genes, it’s up to you and you can alter them. Here’s the best part of the good news: you can consciously improve your belief over time.
Oops, did you catch that little disclaimer? Over time. Don’t be discouraged, that’s actually still good news. Because here’s more good news: if you truly want it, you can get there. There are forces conspiring against you** that say that you can’t lose the weight, you can’t write the book, that you can’t make more money. But they’re wimps and they’re lazy. They’re just planning on you being wimpier and lazier. This is where the deep power within you needs to come out and show its face. This is where the true you is allowed to come out and show those wimps the door. Because you’ve arrived, you’re here to stay and you’re not taking prisoners.
Easy peasy, right?
Actually, it is. It’s just the smallest shift in mindset. Every single day you do something, you take an action that leads to your larger goal. Every single day, you take a chink out of that armor that is against you. You will win, you will get there. Stop watching the grass grow, don’t even look at it. Just keep going, come back in a week and you’ll see: it’s grown.
If you don’t measure, you can’t see growth.
Over time, you do see change. You are losing weight, the grass is getting taller, you wrote chapters of your book, you earned more money. But you need to measure. Weigh yourself, take a weekly photo of the grass, list the chapters or your book somewhere, keep track of your earnings.
Are you ready? You quietly know you are. You don’t need to say it out loud, but you do need to say it to yourself. You can say it now. I’m listening.
- Possible: watch grass grow
- Impossible: see grass grow
- Repossible: believe the grass is growing
* Unless you use time-lapse photography.
** These are usually a gang of cowards in your head who will lose steam when you show up fierce.