There is something powerful about how you view yourself. I don't think anyone would argue that. In most cases what you believe about yourself usually comes true. I think the brain is more powerful than we realize and that self-fulfilling prophesies are underrated.
After reading this study from the NY Times you find that the cultural groups with the highest success rates have three things in common. A superiority complex, some feeling of inadequacy that they will never be good enough, and impulse control. I’ll share my personal experiences with these three things.
I have a superiority complex. I hope it never actually shows in any type of demeaning way, but I’m sure it does at times. However, this helps me in a lot of ways. It helps me not to be intimidated when I’m in the room with people twice my age who eat people like me for breakfast. It helps me hold a regular conversation with them without feeling like I shouldn’t even be in the room. It gives me confidence in general and confidence is hard to find in young people.
I have a superiority complex. I know deep down that I have no idea what the heck I'm doing, but I'll never admit to that outside of this post. I balance this complex by knowing that everything I have has been given to me and I deserve nothing. This is something I try and remind myself every day. I also remind myself how it took me three tries to pass elementary Spanish, so that always helps.
Some Feeling of Inadequacy That They Will Never Be Good Enough
This should make sense after that last part. I’m not a brilliant person. Compared to some of the friends I hang around, I could be on the level of a caveman when it comes to what they know. But honestly, I want that. Because I know that having the feeling of never being good enough will actually help me in the long run.
I’ll never have “made it” so I’ll never stop to take in the view. I’ll keep pressing forward because I’m just not there yet. In fact, I don’t ever want to be there. If the bar could just keep getting raised every time I reached it, that would be ideal.
This has to do with a lot of things. One of which is long-term thinking. I can do an entire post on long-term thinking and how Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are some of the greatest examples of long-term thinkers of this century. And look at what they’ve built.
Basically, it’s just having the ability to step out of the current situation and think, “based on the best information available to me, what are the most probable long-term effects of this decision?”. This is easier said than done especially when these decisions are made in a fraction of a second. This can be a quick response you wish you could take back or it could be a purchase decision. It's delayed gratification.
These three things are more often than not, characteristics of successful people. All three of them can be taken to the extreme and actually hurt you and those around you more than they help. So each of these needs balance, but if you can find that balance, that ideal person you view yourself as may actually become real.