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Tim Sanders Week rolls on here at CPA Success. 

Yesterday, the best-selling author told us that (a) the secret to overcoming change and complexity is being confident, and (b) the first step in building confidence is changing our thinking patterns.

“Easier said than done,” some might say. “On top of all of this other stuff we're dealing with, you're telling me I have to change as well?”

In a word, says Sanders: Yes. We can't start to deal with external changes until we address the confidence issue.

“Confidence is the secret to embracing change,” he told me. “The more your outlook says, 'All of these changes are really opportunties because our CPA firm is more execution-oriented than the rest of the gang,' the more it changes your mind to be less resistant to all of those things you've got to stop doing, start doing or keep doing.

“So many times,” he added, “the reason we struggle with change — be it regulatory, demographic, talent-based, market-based — is because we fundamentally lack confidence in capitalism or in the way government fixes itself over time. Once we begin to restore confidence, everything gets demonstrably easier.

“This isn't one more thing we have to do in the face of everything else. This is the thing that all of the greatest business people in the history of our culture recognized. Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin — they all first and foremost focused on their thoughts. They focused on being responsible for the language they put out into the world. They focused on personal momentum to become successful. Benjamin Franklin once wrote, 'Success is not a destination. It is a direction, and the direction is forward.'”

In his book Today We Are Rich, Sanders says students can teach us all we need to know about confidence. Studies show that students who believe they will do well in school will do well. Conversely, students who believe they will fail usually do. It's a self-fulfilling prophesy.

“When you believe you'll be successful, you achieve a calmness that improves your ability to slow life's game down and see things more clearly,” Sanders writes. “… Think of it this way: Your mind is either clear or cluttered with negative thoughts. Self-confidence is a purifier of sorts that reduces the clutter in your head and allows you to fall into a state of flow.”

Put another, slightly less elegant way: Free your mind and the rest will follow.

Check out the rest of our interview with Sanders here:

It makes such perfect sense. Why, then, does it seem that most people's attitudes default to the negative?

What steps do you need to take to become more confident?

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