posted on Jun, 23 2016 @ 06:38 AM
What is the more powerful motivator: when somebody has faith in your ability to achieve some goal, or when somebody doubts your capabilities to
achieve that same goal? When somebody predicts your success, or when somebody predicts your failure? This might seem like an easy question to answer,
but when you think deeply about the topic, you will find it's close to 50/50. Can such a question be answered satisfactorily considering that the
personality, level of ambition and character flaws of the individual may play some role?
I personally believe external doubt is the more powerful motivator. Why? Because more people have gone onto achieving great things after being
initially doubted by others compared to people who have failed after being praised or assumed to achieve success. I'm not talking about
internal doubt or confidence in achieving our ambitions, but rather the external perspective of a third party. I am also not referencing
support or endorsement — that another person's support will remain despite whether you achieve your goals or not.
More specifically, I am talking about fundamental human psychology. We tend to have a greater desire to prove somebody wrong when they judge or doubt
our capabilities. In a way, I suppose I am acknowledging that third party perspective that is doubtful is helpful to a certain degree. Not the "you
are a loser and won't achieve anything in life!" kind, but rather the "your chances of becoming a successful architect are very slim, focus on
something more realistic" type of statements from others.
Of course, it's much wiser to uphold a realistic mindset than it is to uphold one that is excessively optimistic or excessively pessimistic. "You
can achieve anything" is about as harmful as saying "you can't achieve anything". "You can achieve a great deal if you put a lot of effort into
reaching your goals" is better advice.