The late Napoleon Hill once said: “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe the mind can achieve regardless of how many times you may have failed in the past.” It’s one of the most famous inspirational quotes on the power of positive thinking. Below is the video where he spoke those exact words and it includes many of his insights on the power of positive thinking.
Napoleon Hill is arguably best remembered for his famous book “Think and Grow Rich.” It was first published in 1937 during the Great Depression and it’s reported that by the time of his death in 1970 more than 20 million copies had been sold. For more historical information on the book refer to Wikipedia > Think and Grow Rich. As can be heard on the above video, Napoleon Hill learned many things from famous billionaire Andrew Carnegie who shared a lot of his wisdom with Hill.
The reason I decided to write a post about this famous inspirational quote is that many people mistakenly believe that you just need to “think and grow rich” as per the title of his book. What they forget about, or are not aware of, is that Hill said: “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe the mind can achieve.”
It’s not only about thinking, it’s about believing. And, this is where so many people get it wrong. If you don’t believe you can achieve something your negative thoughts will make sure you don’t achieve it. In fact, if you’re like the average person chances are you won’t even try something new if you think you won’t be successful.
In recent years the “Law of Attraction” has become a catch phrase in many households and new self help gurus have been popping up all over the place like wild mushrooms, telling people how they can get what they want if they can just visualize it and feel it. They often tell people not to worry about the size of the thing they want since size does not matter to the Universe… And, this is where they get it wrong. Size may not matter to the Universe but it matters to me and you!
I can spend the whole year trying to attract a new Ferrari but unless I believe that it’s possible I am not going to succeed. I may say positive affirmations to the effect that I already own the car. I may cut out pictures of the car and stick them on my wall. I may visualize how I am driving the car on the way to visit my girlfriend. I may experience feelings of joy and happiness when thinking about the car. I may tell myself that the car is already mine and I am just waiting for the Universe to deliver it. But, do I really believe it?
You see, it’s often easy to believe something with your conscious mind. You want to believe it. But, unless you believe it with your unconscious mind as well, you are not really believing it. The problem is that in most cases we have no idea when our conscious mind and unconscious mind is not in tune with each other. The best way of knowing that they are not in tune is when we don’t get what we want.
Your conscious mind may want to think that you already own a Ferrari and that you are just waiting for the Universe to manifest the car, while your unconscious mind believes that you will never own a Ferrari and that you should rather focus on getting a good used Toyota Yaris. So, size matters to your unconscious mind!
The main thing that stands in your way of getting what your conscious mind wants is your limiting beliefs. And, unless you can address your limiting beliefs your unconscious mind will veto what your conscious mind would like to believe.
One good way of getting in touch with your limiting beliefs is to take a blank piece of paper and draw a line down the center of the page. On the left side of the page write down as many reasons as you can think why that Ferrari you want is already yours, and on the right side of the page write down as many reasons as possible why you won’t be driving that Ferrari any time soon. The reasons on the right side of the page are your limiting beliefs and unless you are able to address them you are going to find it very hard to manifest a new Ferrari.
Please note that limiting beliefs are, more often than not, not valid reasons why you can’t get what you want. We all have our own set of limiting beliefs and in most cases these limiting beliefs were transferred to us by our parents, our teachers and we have been carrying them with us for years without even knowing it.
Here is one of my own limiting beliefs that I got as a child from my father: “It is not for us.” He often use to say this when I remarked about the things other people have than we don’t have. Is it an absolute truth? No! But, only when I realized that I can also have a nice car and a huge house, and that I don’t have to settle for less because of who I am did I manage to dissolve this limiting belief that I carried with me from my early childhood.
As Napoleon Hill said, what your mind can conceive and believe it can achieve. Take note of your limiting beliefs and see them for what they are. Once you can overcome your limiting beliefs your conscious mind and your unconscious mind can be in tune and you can achieve that which you can conceive and believe.