Take yourself back to your high school physics class. No, not because of Laura Simpson, the cute girl who sat next to you. Pay attention. Because of inertia and momentum.
In physics, inertia means: a property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force.
In laymen’s terms: a tendency to do nothing or remain unchanged.
I don’t totally remember my physics class, but I seem to recall that Newton’s first law of motion states that, “A lazy person eating Cheetos on the couch will remain on the couch unless he or she runs out of Cheetos.” There must be some external force (like a cattle prod, or lack of Cheetos) to get said person off the couch. What’s cool is what happens next…momentum.
In physics, momentum is: the quantity of motion of a moving body, measured as a product of its mass and velocity.
In layman’s terms: the impetus gained by a moving object.
What’s cool is that Newton’s first law of motion also applies here. “A successful person will continue to crush it, unless they start eating Cheetos.” Newton was a smart man. He knew that if you get your ass in gear, it’s likely to stay there.
Now, I’m a confident person. In fact, “self-assurance” is one of my top strengths. But it wasn’t always that way. When I moved from the boonies and started public high school after six years of homeschooling, I had pretty much zero confidence. However, one fateful summer day after my sophomore year of high school, I made what I thought to be a funny quip, and a friend called me out as fishing for a compliment. I was. I was insecure and looking for validation. In that moment I decided to stop doing that. And my life changed forever.
It was a subtle shift. That led to another subtle shift. And then another. I basically started living the book “The Slight Edge.” Small shifts in my thinking and how I talked to myself turned into shifts in how I dressed. I got rid of my old man haircut (thank the Lord), and began the momentum of being a confident person.
After more than a decade of these subtle shifts, I am supremely confident in my abilities, talents, and skills. Sure, I have my moments, but 10 years of reinforcement has done wonders.
Start small. What’s so cool about this is that very small changes add up over time. For example, simply changing your language to say, “I’m committed to” instead of “I’ll try to” will eventually have a profound impact on your life. Similarly, anytime you’re about to say you “have to” do something, swap it to “get to.” Let me know how that feels.
So start small. Build momentum. You can of course build momentum in a negative direction, so make your changes positive. Trust that over time the seemingly small tweaks and improvements will drastically alter the course of your life.