A belief masterclass with Jeffrey Archer

A belief masterclass with Jeffrey Archer

Vanessa Stoykov

I maintain that belief is one of the biggest natural drivers of financial success. As the saying goes, “what you think, you become.”

When thinking about belief as something you can unlearn, I find it good to look to those who have belief in spades, despite the difficulties they have faced along the way.

One of those people is the author Jeffrey Archer. I had the pleasure of interviewing him, and I have to stay it was not so much his success that impressed me (although his penthouse in London was pretty impressive, let me tell you,) but rather it was the way he dealt with failure.

He had this overwhelming belief in what he was doing, and in himself.

He told me proudly that it was the 17th publisher he approached who agreed to publish his very first book, Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, which means he had 16 rejections of his manuscript before he got his first break.

Now, despite what it might look like, Jeffrey was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He was the son of a single mother in England, a place where class and rank mean a lot. His mother, however, wrote for the local paper, and Jeffrey had great admiration for her and how she raised him. He grew up to be an usual character and people are divided on him, as he spent time in jail, and also served as the deputy chairman of the Conservative Party under Margaret Thatcher.

While there is plenty of talent there – he is an incredible storyteller – I do believe that we would not be reading Jeffrey Archer books if it were not for his strong sense of belief in himself and his abilities.

For many of us, this does not come naturally. We were not all raised with parents who encouraged us, or gave us the opportunities to explore our best qualities. This is the biggest opportunity for change that can make a difference to anyone’s financial future. You simply use have to believe that you can achieve it.

You don’t have to make it big like Jeffrey Archer, but you do have to accept your failures and say to yourself ‘I can do better, next time it will be different.’ Whether that is by starting to pay down credit cards, opening a savings account that nobody can touch, or saying no to your kids for something you really can’t afford.

To strengthen you belief in yourself, here’s three ways to practice:

  1. Write down every success you have – not the financial failures, but the wins. They don’t have to be big. You may have saved by bulk-buying groceries. Great! Write it down. Congratulating yourself on a win reinforces belief in your ability to make good financial decisions.
  2. Live by a mantra – what’s your financial mantra? Who do you want to be? Is it ‘I’m a brilliant saver’, or ‘I invest in myself’? Whatever it is, keep telling yourself and others this. By saying it, you are reinforcing it to your subconscious.
  3. Ask others about what their biggest challenges were – rather than seeing the glossy success stories in magazines and social media, get the real story. It will make you feel a lot better to know everyone struggles. It’s how they deal with these struggles that makes all the difference.

Every decision you make that leads you in the right direction will reinforce your believe in yourself. Making those small changes and choices, and following an action plan that helps you make the right ones, will make all the difference.

To view my conversation with Jeffrey Archer on what he’s learned from rejection click here.

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