Ignoring this essential element might be the reason why you keep failing.
If I asked you,
“How different will be your life in five years from now?”
You’d most likely answer,
“I’ll have more money and time, better health, a thriving business, or a great job.”
There’s almost no chance you’d say,
“Over a few years, I’ll be broke, sick, with no friends and family around, stuck at the job I hate.”
Because we all dream big.
We tend to imagine our future as rainbow and unicorns, where things will be as we wish them to be. Regardless of our current actions and beliefs.
So even if you’re sinking in debt now, having no idea how you’ll pay it off, you presume you might become financially independent in the future.
This bias impacts all of us and explains why we often end up with broken dreams, empty accounts, and unhappy lives. And eventually, why we never achieve success.
The psychology behind our mistaken beliefs
Despite what rationality proposes, we think positive events are just around the corner, waiting for us to be collected. Contrastingly, we underestimate the occurrence of negative events, believing bad things only happen to others.
This might be the reason you believe you’ll one day become successful, but it also explains why you haven’t reached success so far.
You keep postponing work towards your goals, believing you’re not ready yet, the circumstances are not right at the moment, or there’s a lack of time, and optimism bias helps you feel not guilty about this.
Sadly, it also prevents you from realizing one crucial thing:
Success comes from the things you did today.
Why every single day matters
Optimism bias gives you hope that one day when you’ll be ready to take your first step toward your goals, success will appear magically in the blink of an eye.
It’s far from the truth, though.
Achieving your goals and becoming successful boils down to one thing: consistent work for a long period of time, regardless of the emotions accompanying you on this journey.
Author Darren Hardy calls this the compound effect, “a principle of reaping huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices” you accomplish daily.
The worst thing about this principle is that following it doesn’t feel like working toward success.
Writing or exercising daily for 15 minutes seems like nothing.
20 minutes a day spent on your side business might not make you feel like you’re building something.
Learning a new language for 7 minutes on the train each morning seems ineffective.
Because we want to see big results appear fast and effortlessly, taking such tiny actions can seem unimportant and useless.
And optimism bias keeps assuring us that there’s nothing wrong with this vision.
Holding a false idea that things are about to get better is, unfortunately, a natural part of our psychology. It makes us believe we are in control of our lives and serves as a protection against negative thinking patterns that could emerge.
On the other hand, its persuasive power holds you from taking tiny steps every day — the essential part of any growth and success.
Realizing that our thoughts and beliefs might not always reflect reality accurately is the starting point to overcoming this bias and getting real.
As John Maxwell said,
“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”