3 min read
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you only eat during a specific window of time each day. I won’t dive into the details here, but suffice to say it has a plethora of health benefits.
I personally have been doing intermittent fasting for the past three years. Typically I eat between 1 P.M. and 9 P.M. each day. Whenever I tell people this I always get a predictable response:
I could never do that. That would be way too hard for me.
The truth is, you actually could do intermittent fasting if you wanted to. Almost anyone could. It only takes a couple weeks until it begins to feel natural.
But most people won’t try it and never will because they tell themselves it’s not something they could do.
I get the same response when I tell people I take ice cold showers each morning, even in the dead of winter.
Oh, I could never do that.
Trust me, you could. In fact, you could learn to love it. But most people won’t because they don’t believe they’re “the type of person” who could take cold showers.
I get a similar reaction when I tell younger people I know that I graduated college with no student loan debt.
I wish I could do that, but I know I’ll have to take on a mountain of debt.
Well, that depends. You could go to an in-state school, pursue scholarships, and work part-time during college to graduate with little to no debt. That is a legitimate option, but also one that most people don’t think they could do.
I get a similar response when up-and-coming bloggers email me asking for tips on how to grow a blog and I virtually always give the same response: Write every single day. You don’t have to publish a post every day but at least write something each day. A typical response to this is:
I would if I could, but I have a 9-5 job. I just don’t have time to blog every day.
Everyone has their own unique situations and I get that, but truthfully most people could find at least some time each day to blog if they wanted to.
Something I’m learning as I grow older is that as humans we are constantly telling ourselves stories about who we are and what we can do.
I could never do intermittent fasting.
I’m not the type of person who could take cold showers.
I could never graduate college debt-free.
I don’t have the time to write every day.
Whether we realize it or not, we’re writing our own narrative and living it out in real time. When we write ourselves off as not being able to do something, we quit before we even try. Conversely, when we convince ourselves that we are capable of reaching some goal, we take the necessary actions to move towards that goal.
The biggest obstacle most of us face is the narrative we tell ourselves.
You can be someone who achieves financial independence. You can be someone who lives debt-free. You can be someone who starts a successful blog. But only if you change your narrative. Each time you say out loud or think in your head I couldn’t do that, you’re reinforcing negative beliefs. Instead, tell yourself you are the type of person who can do the things you want to do.
This isn’t just a cute idea or a stupid mind trick you can use. Talk to virtually any person who has had some type of success in their respective field and they’ll tell you the same thing: success starts with mindset. You have to think you can do something before you’re willing to commit.
When you tell yourself the right narrative, you begin to change your thoughts. And thoughts are powerful.
Thoughts form beliefs. Beliefs cause actions. Actions lead to outcomes. Outcomes change lives.
If you’re not where you want to be, not earning as much as you’d like, not doing enough meaningful work, not living up to your potential, perhaps you need to change the narrative you’re telling yourself.
What narrative are you telling yourself?
Zach is the author behind Four Pillar Freedom, a blog that teaches you how to build wealth and gain freedom in life.
Zach's favorite free financial tool he's been using since 2015 to manage his net worth is Personal Capital. Each month he uses their free Investment Checkup tool and Retirement Planner to track his investments and ensure that he's on the fast track to financial freedom.
Although the bulk of his net worth is invested in index funds, his favorite place to invest in individual stocks is M1 Finance, a site that allows you to build a custom portfolio of stocks for free.
His favorite way to save money each month on his recurring bills is by using Trim, a free financial app that negotiates lower cable, internet, and phone bills with any provider on your behalf.
His favorite place to find new personal finance articles to read is Collecting Wisdom, a site that collects the best personal finance articles floating around the web on a daily basis.
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