You Are the Architect of Your Life. Here Are 4 Ways to Design the Life You've Always Wanted. We can change our entire lives by believing in ourselves and our ideas. Here's how to do it.

By Amy M Chambers

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Have you ever heard someone say: "I'll believe it when I see it?" Not only is this phraseology common lingo, but it's also common thinking. Many of us think that knowledge comes before belief. We often yearn for data, evidence and irrefutable proof of something before we believe in its existence.

However, our history is littered with examples of those who didn't do this. Countless famous innovators believed in the power of their ideas, even when there was no proof to support them. Many inventors were told they were crazy, unwise or foolish. They were told that their beliefs were wrong and their ideas would never work. Thank goodness they didn't listen. Without Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Colonel Sanders, and their persistence and dedication to their ideas, we wouldn't have the telephone, the light bulb, motor vehicles or KFC.

Successful people operate differently when it comes to belief. They know that belief comes before knowledge, not the other way around. They run the typical "I'll believe it when I see it" cliché in reverse. That changes everything.

As humans, we have an incredible power that no other animal has: imagination. We have the power to imagine the life we want, and that's a gift we should all use. We have agency. We can design and create whole new realities. We can change nearly anything about ourselves and our lives. It's an incredible ability. Yet, too many of us don't use this tremendous gift.

You are the architect of your life. Here are four ways you can act like it.

Related: How to Get Your Conscious Mind in the Driver's Seat and Create Control in Your Life

1. Match your words with your actions

With nearly everything in our lives, there are two creations. This concept came from Stephen Covey. There's the mental creation — when an idea exists in our minds — and there's the physical creation, where an idea is manifested in the real world. When our mental creations align with our physical creations, that's when we experience true happiness and fulfillment.

But sadly, many are too absorbed by reactively complaining about what they're seeing in their physical world that they take nearly no time to proactively explore how different it could look. When there's congruence between what we say is important and what we do to bring it about, that's when we find true inner peace and joy.

2. Schedule dedicated time to sit down and strategize

Many of us don't do this. We don't pull away from the daily grind of work and home to frequently and consistently schedule time to strategize about how to improve our current state. That's why things rarely change for many of us. We live in a reactive state, simply responding to emails and requests from our bosses, clients and families. We're a slave to the daily hustle and bustle of cleaning, cooking and just surviving that we don't explore the possibilities.

If you want to create a great life for yourself, you must make time each week to pull yourself out of each day's menial tasks to think about the bigger picture, what kind of life you want to craft in the future and how you'll do it.

Related: The One Common Denominator Between Successful People

3. Truly believe in yourself and your ideas

Henry Ford said it best: "Whether you think you can, or think you can't, either way, you're right." If you believe you can do something and set out to do it (even if you have no reason to believe that you'll be successful), you're more likely to emerge victorious. Our brains don't like to make liars out of us, and our body will often do what our mind tells it to do. So, if you believe in a dream you have, you're far more likely to figure out exactly what actions you need to take to make that dream a reality. Our power of belief is very strong.

4. Take actions that align with your beliefs

If you believe that you're qualified for a promotion or a new role, you're likely to take the exact steps you need to make it happen. You'll seek out the right mentors to guide you. You'll work extra hard on projects that have visibility. You'll improve your resume. You'll show up earlier. You'll take a class or enroll in extra training. All these actions will put you in a better position to get the role. Because you believed in your ability to get the job, you'll take steps that make it happen. Getting the job becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. When we believe we can do something, we tend to take more actions that make it so.

Let's consider the reverse scenario, which is far more common. If you think you can't do something or don't believe it will happen, you're likely to either do nothing or act in ways that make it less likely. If you'd like to find a new partner, but don't really believe that you will, you're more likely to sit at home on the couch, instead of going out to places where potential suitors might be. You might cancel your online dating app, instead of registering for additional ones. When you do meet possible mates, you're more likely to communicate from a place of insecurity than confidence. All these actions put you in a worse position to find a mate. Failing to find someone becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. When we believe we can't do something, we tend to take more actions that make it so.

Related: 'Most of Us Look for Ways to Feel Offended': How to Break Out of Toxic Patterns and Start Living

Belief matters. If you want to change your circumstances or change your life, you must start by imagining what it will look like, sound like, be like and feel like when it does. Then, even if you can't see any signs of it yet, you must believe in it. If you do all this, you can absolutely bring your beliefs and dreams to real life — even when you hadn't seen them yet.

Amy M Chambers

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Executive Coach, Life Coach, and #1 International Bestselling Author

Amy Chambers spent 21 years in financial services and has 15 years of experience in leadership, leading over 500 people to success. She's the author of the #1 international bestselling book, The 7 V.I.R.T.U.E.S. of Exceptional Leaders. She completed her undergrad at Notre Dame and her MBA at USC.

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