The Unsexy Mindset You Must Develop If You Want To Achieve Difficult Goals

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Whenever you share an unreal dream with the world, there’ll always be that one person ready to crap on your plan armed with a statistic.

It’s called the “Only one in…” statistic.

  • “Only one in 12 people who apply get in.”
  • “Only one in 20 online writers makes a real living from their words.”
  • “Only one in 50 startups make big money or get acquired by a big company.”

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Who are these people?

They call themselves “Realists” and think it’s their job to stop the “Dreamers” from flying too high and falling on their faces.

It’s their way of discouraging you. And it works big time.

But they don’t say it because they’re a realist.

They say it because they cannot even begin to fathom that they cannot achieve what you're trying to go after. And they don’t want to believe that you can achieve it, because subconsciously, they’d have to accept that you can do what they can’t.

They are crabs who can’t get out of the drum, and hence, they’ll pull others down as well.

Your mental response to their “statistic” determines a lot about your success

There are three possible ways you could respond to the “Only one in…” statistic:

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  • Number one: “Oh shoot! Is it that hard? I better start looking for something else.” This is when you already believe that you’re the part of the statistic that isn’t the one.
  • Number two: “Oh. I knew it was going to be hard. And I was willing to work for it. But is the success rate really that low? What should I do?” This is when your self-belief is on the fence. You haven’t yet made the leap to the other side — the side of rock-solid self-belief.
  • Number three: “Oh, I know. And I’m the one.” This is the one mindset that we’re talking about.

If you’re number one or two, you don't stand a chance of achieving your unreal goal.

Only when you’re the kind of person who’d respond with number three, you MAY end up achieving your goal.

I use the word “May” because even in the third kind of person, there are two variations.

  • 3A: You say “I’m the one.” But your actions don’t match your portrayal of self-belief. In this case, you don’t have self-belief. You’re just stupidly arrogant. You talk a big game but are full of it
  • 3B: You say “I’m the one” and your actions match or even exceed your ambitions.

It’s the person who believes that they’re the one, and then, matches their ambition with just as much perseverance and hustle who conquer their unreal dream. They’re true achievers.

How to become a true achiever 

Step number one is to gather awareness. Which of these three kinds of people are you?

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If you’re number one or two, change your identity to number three. An easy way to do so is to reframe the statistic. When people say something like, “Only one in twelve applicants get in” they don’t tell you that only three applicants of those are serious applicants.

Most people just chase big goals to be able to say that they’re chasing big goals. It doesn’t mean they’re actually chasing it. Hence, the statement should actually read, “Only one in three serious applicants get in.” This reframe will make it easier for you to believe that you could be the one. 

If you’re number three, ask yourself “Am I just being arrogant, or do my consistency and intensity match my words?” In either case, figure out how to develop a work ethic that matches your ambition. I’m not saying you have to hustle all day long. But if your actions don't match your ambition, you’re just doing it wrong.

How to tell if you've developed the right mindset

Is there a sign that shows you’ve developed this mindset of true achievers? You bet there is.

Here’s what will happen once you’re there.

When you share your dream, and someone shares a statistic or tells you how only the most disciplined people achieve it, you grin on the inside. This is because while the person tells you the statistic in hopes to discourage you by saying “Only one in…”, you get lowkey happy because you know that you’re exactly “The One” they’re talking about.

You get happy because even though their intention might have been the exact opposite, they end up telling you that YOU are the one who’s going to achieve that unreal goal.

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Akshad Singi, M.D. has been published in Better Humans, Mind Cafe, and more. 

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.