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Anthony Iannarino is an international speaker, bestselling author, sales leader, and entrepreneur. He posts daily sales tips and insights to The Sales Blog.

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You Become What You Think About

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It was a few weeks after my brain surgeries, and I was sitting in my neurologist’s office filling out paperwork. Before the surgeries I was living in Los Angeles, where I was mandated by the state to pay for disability insurance. This was something I would not have done voluntarily at 22 years old, my age when I arrived in California.

The application I was filling out had two boxes. The first box allowed me to collect short term disability payments. If I selected that box, I would make some portion of my regular salary while I was recovering from my surgeries. The second box would allow me to collect permanent disability, where I would collect some portion of my salary forever.

I asked my neurologist, “Am I disabled? I mean, do I have some permanent disability?” He said, “You are if you think you are.” I said, “I don’t think I am disabled.” And that was the end of the discussion, and I collected short term disability for 90 days.

You are what you believe you are. Or, as the great Earl Nightingale put it, “We become what we think about.” There is no way to underestimate the importance of this idea. It is the foundation of all of the results you produce in life.

Your beliefs precede your actions, and your actions precede your results. If you believe there is something you must do to succeed, your actions will fall in line with that belief. Certain results inevitably follow.

But a lot of people don’t believe that they “must” do something to succeed. Instead, they believe they “should” do something, and so they lower their standard, never taking the necessary actions, never producing the great results they are capable of, and never reaching their full potential.

  • What is it that you believe? What is it that you spend your time thinking about? Those beliefs, those thoughts, have produced the results you are experiencing now.
  • What beliefs do you need to transform from “shoulds” to “musts?” What do you need to spend your time thinking about for you to reach your full potential?

There is nothing more powerful than your beliefs.

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