Brilliant quotes are everywhere nowadays.
Winston Churchill says, "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference".
Earl Nightingale says, "Our attitude towards others determines their attitude towards us."
Michael Jordan says, "My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength."
Very well said, but do attitudes really affect behaviors?
An interesting study in 1934 was conducted by LaPiere to investigate the relationship between attitudes and behavior.
Long story short, LaPiere was travelling with a Chinese couple to see how intense the prejudice against Chinese was since there were no laws against racial discrimination. So they visited 67 hotels and 184 restaurants for observation and 6 months later, they sent a letter asking if they would accept Chinese guests.
The result was that in these 250+ premises, only one of them politely refused their visit. But out of the 128 replies to the letter, 91% said they would not accept Chinese guests.
So LaPiere concluded that attitudes do NOT always predict behavior. The cognitive components of attitudes (aka. one's belief or knowledge about something) do NOT always match the actual behavior.
Let me ask you this, have you ever tried to commit to certain goals (e.g. running a mile a day, cutting out sugar in your diet, reading 30 minutes a day, or writing a blog post a day), you fail a couple of times, and you start to make excuses as to why you can't do so?
Of course you have!
You do feel bad or guilty of not committing don't you?
It does feel better when you give "explanations" doesn't it?
This kind of discomfort is also known as cognitive dissonance in psychological terms. It happens when there's conflict or tension between what you did and what you believed in.
Since the behavior/action is not reversible, in order to relieve this internal inconsistency, your brain will change your attitude that matches your behavior.
This is when you come up with millions of excuses why you failed to deliver so that you feel better.
How can you use this power of cognitive dissonance to your advantage?
Well, next time you need to tackle something totally outside your comfort zone, or perform certain tasks that you don't believe you can handle, you can really feel the fear and do it anyway.
When you behave as if the kind of ideal person you want to be, your brain will slowly shift your mindset/belief/attitude so that you actually BECOME that strong, capable, leading person.
The mere act of doing it repeatedly, even when you don't feel like to, will help you become the person you've always aspired to be.
So next time when you "think about" how to be successful, ask yourself "What will [Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Donald Trump, Warren Buffet etc.] do in this situation?".
Once you have a glimpse of how your genius friend will do, go take the same action and just do it!