You have opportunities to become more capable — on the job, in your relationships, in just about anything and everything you do. Opportunities to learn come up all the time. And becoming more capable makes you feel good about yourself, increases your motivation, and gives you confidence.
And how does a person become more capable? By overcoming obstacles and persisting with goals. There is no other way.
Okay then, how do you become more persistent? Not by willpower. Are you listening to me? The hard way to become more persistent is by sheer willpower. The easy way — and the way that makes you far stronger and feel better too — is by improving the way you explain setbacks to yourself.
If you are trying to find love, for example, the explanations you make of your setbacks will determine how successful your search will be (and how much fun you have doing it).
When a shy young man asks a girl out on a date and she turns him down, will he ask her again (or ask someone else)? Or will he decide he’s a loser, that he’ll never get a date, that nobody loves him, etc. How things eventually turn out for him depends quite a bit on how he explains setbacks like these. He could become a withdrawn adult who aches to have a close relationship but never does. Or he could rise to the challenge, learn what he needs to learn, and persist, and become happily married.
Good explanations of setbacks and bad explanations of setbacks both tend to become self-fulfilling prophesies that accumulate evidence to support them as life rolls along.
So you want to feel better and accumulate evidence that you are capable? Would you like things to go your way more often? Of course you would! All you need to do is think differently.
This article is excerpted from the book, Antivirus For Your Mind.