If you’re looking for the secret to success, it may come down to your own personal set of beliefs.
A belief is something you know to be true without any tangible proof that it is, in fact, actually true. And according to the results of a recent study, your personal beliefs play a big role in determining your circumstances in life.
Thomas Corley spent five years analyzing the habits of both rich people and poor people, and according to this ‘Rich Habits Study,’ there are a few things that many wealthy people have in common.
‘Those who are wealthy have different beliefs than those who are poor or stuck in the middle class,’ Corley says.
So what exactly does this mean? Let’s take a closer look.
Read more: 7 habits of financially successful people
How your beliefs determine your future
Based on the results of his study, Corley argues that whether people end up rich or poor is in large part determined by their own individual beliefs, habits and behaviors.
During the five years of research, Corley looked at the various beliefs people adopt throughout their life — from parents, family, mentors, culture, environment etc. What he discovered was that these core beliefs play a major role in determining whether someone is successful in life.
For example, if you believe that you are responsible for your own success and your own future, you will have a better chance of reaching your goals and achieving success. On the other hand, if you don’t believe that you are responsible for your own success, your circumstances likely won’t change.
Beliefs that lead to success
According to Corley’s study, wealthy people adopt certain beliefs and behaviors that ‘promote success’:
- I must read to learn.
- I am responsible for the circumstances of my life.
- Money and wealth are good.
- There is an abundance of money and wealth to go around.
- Anyone has the ability to become wealthy. I can become wealthy.
- I can solve any problem.
- I can overcome any obstacle.
- I create my own luck.
- Opportunities are everywhere.
- Opportunity does not knock. I have to go out and find it and take action.
- I must earn respect.
- Failure is just another way to learn.
- Failure is the stepping stone to success.
- Risk is good when it is calculated risk.
- There is good debt and bad debt.
- No one succeeds on their own. I can only succeed if I surround myself with other success-minded people.
- I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.
- Time is the most valuable resource. I must make efficient use of my time. Wasting it is a crime.
- Birds of a feather flock together. I will avoid toxic people and surround myself with success-minded people.
- Dreams and goals are the rungs on the ladder of success.
- If I help others succeed, I will succeed.
- If I improve the lives of others, I will improve my life.
- Always exceed the expectations of others.
- I am in control of my thoughts and emotions.
- Never quit on a dream.
- Success takes time.
- I must save more than I earn and invest my savings in my dreams and goals.
- I am amazing and unstoppable.
Read more: 11 habits keeping you from reaching financial success
How you can change your own future
There will always be things in life that we can’t control, including where we came from and how we grew up. In order to be successful, you have to take responsibility for the things you can control.
‘Most who were raised in poverty inherited limiting beliefs that hold them back in life,’ Corley says. ‘Those who are able to rise from poverty and become wealthy found mentors who possessed success beliefs or employed certain strategies that enabled them to remove their limiting beliefs and implant success beliefs, effectively re-programming their entire belief system.’
Corley says what critics don’t like about his study is the conclusion that a person’s level of success is primarily determined by their own individual behavior.
‘They don’t like this because it means that your financial circumstances in life are determined by your habitual behavior, thinking and emotions and not caused by outside forces,’ Corley states on his website.
Read more: This is the #1 best way to save more money
What this means is that a person’s background isn’t what prevents them from changing their circumstances, it’s the lack of initiative and tendency to blame those outside forces. If you didn’t grow up in a success-minded environment, it doesn’t mean you won’t be successful, it just means you have to re-wire your own personal belief system and outlook on life.
This isn’t something that happens overnight, but if you dedicate yourself to implementing positive change, it will happen.
How to get on the path to success
While Corley’s data may be new, the concept is not. This idea — that personal accountability drives individual success — is one that many experts have supported for a long time.
The popular personal finance book The Millionaire Next Door points out that most wealthy individuals in the United States are self-made, meaning they achieved success and earned their money themselves. This doesn’t mean they didn’t have help along the way — what it means is that these individuals implemented certain successful habits and behaviors into their own personal lives that allowed them to achieve their goals.
It’s up to you as an individual to eliminate inherited beliefs and behaviors that may hold you back. It’s up to you to implement beliefs and habits that encourage success, and surround yourself with supportive people who also encourage success. Because if you don’t take responsibility for yourself and your own future, no one else is going to do it for you.
If it’s time to reevaluate your beliefs, you first have to figure out what’s working in your favor and what’s not. For a week, write down any belief, habit or behavior that comes to mind. Then take some time to go through that list and determine any that could be limiting your potential success — and replace them with success-minded alternatives.
If you need some help figuring out how to implement the right habits, here are a few suggestions from Corley:
- Associate with success-minded people who will encourage and support you along the way.
- Listen to inspirational podcasts.
- Read inspirational books and articles.
- Make a list of habits you want to implement, along with a timeline to keep yourself accountable.
Read more: 7 ways to find the motivation you need to reach your goals