Arthur Ashe, as great a human being as he was a tennis champion, once said: "One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation."
How much confidence would a pro athlete have in his ability to win a game if he sat around drinking beer and watching TV instead of attending practice?
Athletes know the value of preparation. That's why they practice, lift weights, and run miles each day. Look at professional athletes and see how they prepare to compete.
Pseudo Math Formula
Let's break down what Arthur Ashe said. To be successful, you must have self-confidence. To be self-confident, you must prepare. If it were a mathematical formula, one might write:
Time + Preparation = Self-confidence
Time + Self-confidence = Success
Therefore, Self-Confidence = Success.
Therefore, preparation = success.
Your Goal Needs Preparation
Look at your goal. Now, ask yourself, what have I done to prepare? If you want to plant a garden, have you set aside space in your yard? Have you prepared the soil? Have you selected the right seeds for your growing zone? Bought the seeds, gardening equipment, and soil additives you might need? Have you planted the seeds?
If your goal is to write a book and publish it, have you prepared by learning your craft? Have you mastered grammar? The narrative elements necessary to tell a story? Have you learned how to write a synopsis? Have you studied the body of work from past and contemporary writers?
Have you practiced your craft on a consistent basis to develop a good work ethic? Have you completed at least one manuscript? Have you written enough to know how long it takes you to write a manuscript?
Have you studied the business end of your chosen career? Have you decided you'll go the traditional publishing route or indie publish it yourself?
If indie publishing, have you figured out what you'll do about formatting, proofreading, editing, cover art, and uploading to the digital platforms?
If traditional publishing, do you understand contracts so when you're offered one you'll have a working knowledge of what the clauses mean? Have you obtained agent representation? Have you joined professional organizations to educate yourself about your chosen career and also to take advantage of benefits they offer?
Educating yourself about what is required to successfully achieve your chosen goal is part of preparation. Identify the other steps needed to prepare for your goal achievement and work through each one.
A foundation built on skills, learned and repetitively practiced, builds your self-confidence and increases your ability to achieve. Preparation indeed equals success. Prepare and in the end, you'll have the self-confidence to believe in the inevitability of success. Your success.