This is the third article of a seven part series.

Step 3: Use the power of teamwork

No one can do it alone

The first person who has to believe in the dream is you! Instead of trying to change your beliefs, change your actions and your beliefs will follow. To do this, monitor your daily self talk. The worst prejudices in the world are often the prejudices we have against ourselves. Talk to yourself positively and don’t be so critical. Imagine if your friends talked to you the way that you talk to yourself. You probably wouldn’t be friends with them for long. Start with affirmations about how great you really are and all the things you have the potential to achieve.

To quote Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right.”

Get a coach and use his hindsight as your foresight

One of the greatest things you can give yourself besides goals is a coach. I don’t care who you are or what you do, everyone can benefit from a coach. My main job function is to make sure my athletes don’t make the same mistakes I made. I do this by picking out their strengths and weaknesses and delivering the information to them much earlier than I gained it. This is something I love to do, and I’ve noticed the same thing about other coaches. The people with the right information are out there. You just have to find them.

The best coach I ever had was my high school track coach, Bill Scarola. Before a big meet, I had a long wait before the javelin throws, and I was hungry. I went to the stand and couldn’t resist buying two hotdogs. My coach saw me and was so angry that he took the food from me. He told me that it would only hurt my performance this close to the event and went on to teach me the proper way to eat pre-competition. There are three things I learned that day—that there were ways to eat and not to eat right before an event (I went on to win), that my support team really cared about me (they wanted me to win), and that my coach liked mustard and ketchup on his hotdogs (he ate both with a smile).

When birds go to sleep with bats, they wake up upside down

There will be people around you who never reached their peak. As a result, they’ll try to stop you from reaching yours. You must surround yourself with people who have done what you want to achieve or want you to make it to the top. The best way to believe in your dream is to surround yourself with others who believe in you. In gold medalist decathlete Bruce Jenner’s biography, he said that every decision he made in his life leading up to the Olympics was based on “whether it could help me win a gold medal.” By asking yourself whether someone will help you or hurt you in achieving your goals, it will become easy to decide who to keep and who to weed out of your life.

Remember that once you’ve assembled your team, the whole team is going to feed off of you. Be enthusiastic because whether you’re going to the top of the mountain or the bottom, they’re going to follow you. Only you set the tone for which direction you’ll go.