Hard times had obviously struck paralysed former Australian NRL player Alex McKinnon, when he lay on the ground of the stadium not able to feel his legs.
In the wake of his devastating neck injury he suffered in 2014, those hard times compounded when he learned that this was going to be a long-term scenario. But Alex has an unbreakable resilience, an inner drive that can power him though the hardest of times. And I can see where he gets it: his fiercely ambitious and quietly humble old man.
Alex has been working fervently to make the best of his personal situation. He works at maintaining his positive mindset, and works his body as hard as he can. This is not just to keep busy. This man has a goal. He is working toward walking again, and he’ll get there if hard work can do it.
The thing that really struck me like a bolt of lightning was when Alex’s dad, Scott, was talking about how hard Alex was working at the gym and how diligent he was with his rehabilitation. He quoted “The secret to success is to be ready when your opportunity comes”.
Wow. That’s it, isn’t it?!
In coaching circles, we talk about certitude. An absolute certainty or conviction that something is the case. Imagine if you acted with the certainty that you would achieve your goals. Whether it is to surpass your professional targets or achieve an education certificate or to walk again. The thing is that if you have certitude of achieving a particular thing, then you act accordingly. Simply put, you DO the things that will make it so.
“The secret to success is to be ready when your opportunity comes” – Benjamin Disraeli
It is no coincidence that the people that sit on their butts dreaming, remain dreamers. The people that take action are the people who enact their dreams. Your life and your potential is fully and absolutely in your hands. This moment NOW is an opportunity to move forward with the certainty of a powerful future.
The big question is how do you acquire the certitude of success? Taking action when one is confident of a successful outcome is not a great difficulty. However, persevering through our own fears and doubts is significantly more challenging. In fact, I would make the bold statement that more often than not, that is why people fail. They stop trying because they lack the certitude of success and allow their fears and doubts to engulf them.
There are 3 things you can do to acquire the certitude of your success for any given goal:
1. Find inspiration in evidence
Many of us have these preconceived notions that people who have become massively successful in business and life are somehow different to us. That they are more intelligent, more talented, more privileged, or just ‘luckier’. This usually isn’t the case.
Go and feed your brain with biographies of successful people and books written by entrepreneurs. You soon start seeing a pattern forming, that these are just normal, regular, average people who simply followed a process to arrive at their success. A process that is entirely replicable. This confirms in your brain that success is possible.
2. Have a foolproof plan
Many people these days would say they set goals, but these ‘goals’ largely consist of sitting down once a year, writing down a wish list, then feeling guilt and disappointment three months later when the realisation hits that they’ve entirely fallen off the wagon. Don’t do that. Instead, put some real work into your plan.
Identify the major steps of your goal and break it right down to the daily, weekly, monthly actions that will have you arrive at your goal. Your plan should include strategies for how you keep yourself accountable and how to overcome challenges. This gives you total confidence that the plan will work (if you should just put it into practice).
3. Foster belief through visualization and affirmation
Most people are comfortable with the concept of problem versus solution focused. If you focus on the problem, all you find are problems, whereas if you focus on the solution, your brain is wired to take on a problem solving function. What interests me is how much people devalue the power of visualization and affirmation. These mental processes make your brain seek solutions. Through visualization you are using your mind to create a detailed tangible vision of what you want to achieve. This makes your goal real in your mind. Through affirmations you are taking control of what you say to yourself so that your thoughts result in emotions and behaviors that empower you to win. This effectively means that you use your brain in a way which brings about what you would like to have happen. It gives you the belief that YOU can make it work.
The certitude that one’s success is imminent is not a sign of egotism or cockiness. It is the self-belief and confidence of oneself and in the strategy employed that is a vital ingredient in the recipe for success. Alex McKinnon has a sense of certitude in gaining control over his body again because he has seen personal stories of this happening, he is doing the work to ready himself for the opportunity, and he can see it, feel it, and taste it in his mind.
There is truth behind the saying that “If you can believe it, the mind can achieve it”. Belief is the power behind action, and action is what leads to results. So before you embark on your next goal, create the certitude of success in your mind. When you see the outcome you want as a tangible truth that is within your power to create, it will be so.