Want to Make It? Then Believe You Will…Without a Doubt.

“Why not me?” That’s the nagging question we often ask ourselves after we fail to:

David Ferrer

  • Get that promotion
  • Receive recognition or reward for our contributions
  • Land the job we wanted

Whether we’re an individual contributor, supervisor, manager, or executive, there will always be some career goal that keeps eluding us. So what’s the answer?

Know how to compete.

“Making it” is about competing. You want to progress in your career, and so do most of the people working with you. That means those coworkers are also attempting to stand out and showcase their value.

Unlike in sports, we don’t find ourselves pitted against each other in a specific contest each day, but we are continuously being compared to one  another by our supervisors and managers.

They assess our:

  • knowledge, skills, and experience
  • desire, motivation, and reliability
  • work ethic and integrity
  • ability to collaborate, engage others, and lead
  • mental toughness and focus in the face of adversity

We  compete, every day, by demonstrating our ability to get desired results. The more significant our contributions, the more value the company will assign to us.

Sadly, this isn’t always enough to “make it” in our terms.

Believe you will.

You aren’t the only one putting together your portfolio of value attributes. Others are doing it too.

Remember: You are all performing as best you can, differentiating yourselves, building relationships, and getting ready for that next big step.

You increase your chances of making that step when you really believe you will.

We all tell ourselves that we want to, are ready to, are prepared to, have worked to, and are entitled to that step. But that’s not the same as believing we will…with no doubt, no second-guessing, no probably. We must believe we WILL.

David Ferrer is a Spanish professional tennis player, currently World No. 5 in the ATP Rankings. He turned professional in 2000 and is known as a clay-court specialist, although he has also had success on hard courts.

He routinely faces current tennis greats Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer who have amassed numerous championship titles. They routinely beat Ferrer and are almost always between him and a championship title.

The fact is that Ferrer has all the skills and desire to win:

Ferrer is noted for being one of the more dogged, agile and fit players on the tour… Ferrer has won many matches through consistent baseline play along with great fitness, footspeed and determination. Although he does not possess powerful  groundstrokes like many of his contemporaries, his ability to keep the ball deep in play has allowed him to be successful on all surfaces, especially on clay and hard courts… Roger Federer regards Ferrer as the best returner in the men’s game.

So what’s the obstacle for Ferrer?

While I was watching the 2012 Internazionali BNL d’Italia tournament where Ferrer faced Nadal in the semi-final, one of the TV commentators offered his opinion that, as good as Ferrer was, it appeared he simply didn’t believe he could beat his higher ranked rivals.

Who can say for sure if that’s true for Ferrer, but what about in your case?

Do you believe?

So we come to another question…one only you can answer. It takes something deep inside to get us to really believe we can achieve our personal career goals. That believing is a mental discipline that we form through:

  • Constructive feedback consistently internalized from people we trust and respect
  • Absorbing the confidence shown by others–our fans, our supporters, our friends/family
  • Committing to prove something to ourselves
  • Wanting to share success with those who are invested in us and/or for a  cause
  • Realizing that our time will come, so we must remain ready

There is no predicting when we will move from where we are to really believing in ourselves and our ability to secure our brass ring. We need to teach ourselves to deny self-doubt any place in our thinking and replace it with the belief that, through our continued hard work and diligence, we will make it. You gotta believe, okay?

Photo from beelde.com via Flickr

10 thoughts on “Want to Make It? Then Believe You Will…Without a Doubt.

    • Hi! Irene…Always makes me feel great when a message hits the mark. Timing is everything, I guess. Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know. Have a great day.~Dawn

  1. Hi Dawn,
    So many rich points throughout this meaty post. To begin, I think that we all must remember (and be reminded from time to time), that ‘making it’ IS about competing. I think (for me, at least) if we can frame this competitive behavior in the context of good-natured, friendly competitiveness, then it helps to de-stress a bit. But the bottom line, as you articulated to mellifluously, is that we are ‘continuously being compared to one another by our supervisor and managers.’

    I really like the bullet points you shared about ‘what’ they are assessing, too, and that you highlighted items beyond our knowledge, skills and experience to include, ‘desire, motivation and reliability,’ ‘mental toughness and focus …’ and more. ALL of these traits can be woven into our larger career story and transported with us from workplace to workplace, from client commitment to client commitment.

    Finally, the “Believe you will” statement is so vividly illustrated in the tennis player example. And, you followed it with HOW we can form the mental discipline to ‘believe’ through specific action steps. In other words, even those of us who may be struggling with ‘believing’ are provided actionable ‘hope’ – ways to overcome our own disbelief and take the necessary steps to soar in our careers and in our lives!

    Thanks for another thoughtful, fleshed-out story-board post!

    Happy Memorial Day weekend!


    • Hi! Jacqui

      What a fabulous comment. I just love your statement about the importance of framing our “competitive behavior in the context of good-natured, friendly competitiveness…it helps to de-stress a bit. The issue of constant comparison can be daunting. But by approaching competition in the spirit of “good sportsmanship” we bring a strong sense of fair play, mutual respect, and commitment to the game (the work of the team, the goals of the company). Competition is not just about us winning along but how the outcome affects that bigger picture.

      Thanks, Jacqui, for pulling out all the key points of the post and giving them the heft of your insights. The revelation for me while writing the post is that even the most accomplished among us suffer from moments of non-belief. We each have days when we think we can slay any dragon, often followed by long periods of time when we don’t believe we can outwit an ant.

      Making it and believing we can are moving targets. The more prepared we are and the more tested we are, the better able we’ll be to find belief and hold on to it.

      Thanks again for taking the time to frame this beautifully written and helpful comment.

      Happy Memorial Day to you too,

  2. Hey Dawn – What struck me about this post is when you said,”it appeared he simply didn’t believe he could beat his higher ranked rivals”. Well, that little statement hit home. When I look around the ‘net, there are lots of ppl doing things similar to me, and I often feel like I just can’t do as well as someone else…so, for me, it is the setting of a goal & reaching it that will help me…my two books are in proofs and when I get them out, I think that will help me feel pretty good abt my business. thanks!

    • Hi! Kathy

      As soon as I heard that commentator’s line about Ferrer not believing he could beat his rivals, I knew that I had to write a post on the topic. Like you, I have struggled with those believing obstacles. Instead of believing we are as effective in our work as others “out there,” we assumed that everyone else is probably better. When we look on-line and see elaborate websites and popular blogsites, we can get caught up in what appears to be a higher level of value in others. But that can be more about optics than actuality.

      Shakespeare had a great line in one of his plays, I think Macbeth, where he writes that seeming is not reality. We can’t define our value based on how others seem to be. We simply provide our best service, fairly and genuinely, to each person who finds their way to us. Your books will go a long way to showcasing what you offer and affirming in your own mind that you have done the work.

      I’m delighted that the post was helpful to you and came a a good time.

      Happy Memorial Day,

  3. Okay, I really needed this advice. I’ve been trying to set goals lately and have been derailed by thoughts like, “Oh, that’s not something I can do” and “Eh, this isn’t much different from what others are doing.” I just need to believe in myself and in what I’m doing–I realized success will follow if I have true confidence in what I’m trying to achieve.

    • So true, Susan, and I’m glad this post came at the right time for you. If believing in ourselves were so easy, we all would do it all the time. It’s about having the mental strength to focus on the achievements we truly want in spite of the obstacles. It’s so often the case that just by believing we can, we will. When we let doubt creep it, we sabotage ourselves. It’s a matter of sensing that doubt and crushing it before it takes hold in every instance large or small that makes up out path. We need to keep practicing that approach. So hang in there…stay committed…keep reaching and don’t look back! Good luck, ~Dawn

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