Controlling Your Destiny: Why Saying 'I'm Not Good Enough' Is A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

by Paul Hudson

We are the authors of our own destiny and the corrupters of our own dreams. We are the reason we succeed. We are the reason we fail. We ourselves deserve all the praise, all the blame and all the ridicule. It’s easy to blame the outside world — outside forces — for our own inability to succeed. It’s easy for us to justify such reasoning because sh*t happens — sh*t always happens. Perfect timing doesn’t exist.

The ideal moment is just about as realistic as any fairytale. All those forces that you claim to be out of your control are not to blame for your shortcomings. There are only a handful of variables that factor into the likelihood of you turning your dreams into a reality. These variables have a huge influence over where you go in life and the person that you will grow to be.

Your life can be summed up into a mathematical equation factoring in all variables from birth to end. I have come up with a list along with explanations of what some of the most important variables are and only ask you to take notice of one thing: nowhere does it say that you are not good enough!

Where you grew up

The first factor that many people do not consider is where they grew up. This variable is of great importance because although it is more than likely out of our control, it plays an important part in shaping our futures. Where you grow up depends almost entirely on how financially stable your parents are. Obviously, financial standing and means will play a huge role in deciding how well off you yourself will be and how many opportunities will come your way. The town in which you grew up also plays a crucial role — much of the educational system relies on funding from the federal and local government.

The government is aware that those areas that have a higher income per capita are more likely to yield more successful offspring and for this reason are more willing to invest in them. This partnered with the fact that those who are well off have a tendency of living in close proximity to one another almost guarantees that if there is any swaying to be had, those with the most power and money will be benefitting from it — as will anyone else who lives in the same benefiting area.


This variable is my favorite because it itself is very complex. Intelligence can be measured in many different ways, but those that matter the most are the speed in which a person learns, how well they are able to retain such knowledge, how much information they have retained, and how capable they are of using the information. There are those born with an incredibly high IQ — processing speed — that never amount to anything because they believe themselves to be too smart to put in any effort into learning.

There are those that don’t necessarily learn quickly, but learn continuously. And still there are those that have high IQs, enjoy learning, but are unable to make any use of the knowledge they have — they have the tools, but aren’t sure how to make them work. This variable in your life success equation is the most malleable. As long as you stay hungry for knowledge and pick up enough common sense to utilize it properly, then all that is left is keeping at it. Which brings me to my next variable…

Work Ethic

How diligent you are is the key factor. I’m sure you have heard the saying: slow and steady wins the race. Well, it’s true. Success is a marathon, not a sprint and the only way to win it is to trudge along no matter what. Some will trudge faster, others slower. However, what matters most is that you keep working and keep moving forward, for it is the only way to reach your goal. No matter how smart you are, how well off your family is or how well you are able to utilize your knowledge, you will not amount to anything if you don’t do — and do continuously. Results require action.

The greater the result you want, the greater the action required to accomplish it. Work ethic is the most varying variable in the equation. There are those of us who are incredibly intelligent and are given each and every opportunity to become great, only to let it all go to waste because of their laziness. Likewise, there are those that have come from the worst part of town from the worst part of the country, were never too bright, but were always hardworking and managed to formulate a very happy, successful life.


Everyone has it — in different amounts. Believe in it or not, the truth is that no matter what the odds are, there will always be someone who wins the lottery. Luck is in our favor more often than we probably think. One may argue that you are lucky to be alive right now — you never know how many near-death moments you have had but remain entirely unaware of. Tying your shoe could have saved you from being run over a bus without you ever being the wiser. Luck — as far as I know — is not measurable nor is it usable in an equation; for this reason we use probability itself.

Nevertheless, we all get lucky from time to time and how great the rewards are depend on all the other accompanying factors. Those that have made it big — I mean real big — have had a balanced equation with abundant amounts of each of the variables. You can be smart, hardworking and have a father that is a successful lawyer, yet never make anything of yourself because you were too afraid to take a chance. The one downside of luck is that you never know when you will have it and that it always comes with a risk. The bigger the lucky moment, by definition, the more risk you had going in. If you never take a chance then you can never cash out; it’s that simple.

To recap, we have this equation: L(N+I+W). Basically your nurturing or upbringing added to your intelligence, plus your work ethic and multiplied by your luck is your equation for success. Of course this is overly simple for the purposes of this article, but in a nutshell: each variable is important in the equation and if any are missing then the probability of success is minimized.

The best part is that you have a certain level of control over each of the variables (except luck — maybe). For this reason, from a mathematical standpoint, if you believe yourself not to be “good enough,” then you can change that. If you believe yourself to be weaker in one of the areas, you can increase the strength of another to compensate. No one is born with no intelligence, no upbringing, no work ethic or no luck.

Those that wish to suppress are the only ones who claim that a person can possibly be “not good enough.” They are the ones that are afraid of others reaching their full potential because they themselves known how weak they themselves are. If you believe you’re not good enough then you’re just giving up before even getting started. By claiming not to be good enough, you are deciding that you are not good enough.