Words of Wisdom

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Developing our Belief System.

Take Immediate Action

Your actions reflect your beliefs, and it is what you do that demonstrates what you believe. By taking even the smallest steps, you are communicating to yourself and to the world that you believe in yourself and your dream. By taking consistent action, you will generate the feeling until eventually you are confident, down to the bottom of your soul. Every action you take raises your self-esteem and confidence. You’re no longer sitting around waiting and hoping for something magical to happen. You’re the creator of that “magic”. With your growing self-esteem, you realize your dream is possible. If you want to be succeed, show to the world that you believe in yourself. Act confident, act with conviction. -Write down one action you can take immediately that will put your dream into motion. Do it now Acknowledge Your Untapped Potential. It is commonly agreed that the average person uses only a fraction of his/her potential mental capacity.

  • Make a realistic assessment of your current abilities. Now imagine that your abilities have increase by 10%. What would you be doing if you immediately possessed 10% more abilities, skills, and talents.

“Everything is possible for him who believes.” Mark 9:23

Watch Your Internal Language.
Whatever you think about constantly, you will achieve. If you’re continually focusing on how difficult your goal is, you will never achieve it. You can overcome negative thoughts by focusing on the possibilities. Example. Think of challenging goal and then say to yourself, How on earth did I think I could ever accomplish my goal? It’s too big, too difficult. It’s impossible! What was I thinking? When those thoughts come to mind, immediately replace them with the following type of mental conversation: I know my goal is achievable because others have accomplished it before me. I am absolutely committed to make it happen and I am willing to do whatever is necessary to achieve my true heart’s desire.
  • List some of the negative self-talk in which you routinely engage. Think how you could modify that dialog to have a positive effect on your thinking and on the results. Example. Instead of asking yourself, why me? Or why I can’t? Ask yourself, what can I do to make things better, to turn my life around, to improve the situation, to achieve what I long for? These questions instantly change your focus and empower you.

Neutralize Fear and Risk.

Fear is a natural reaction to change. It’s probably the number one reason people hesitate to start anything new and opt instead for the way things are – safe, comfortable, and familiar. Fear is a natural and physiological response designed to alert us to the fact that we need to prepare to cope or we need to escape. However, the difference between successful and unsuccessful people is their response to fear. Successful people acknowledge fear and manage it by confronting the cause and determining how they can prepare for the challenge ahead. They decide on certain actions that will enable them to feel as competent and confident as possible. To overcome fear, we must plunge/force ourselves into the very thing we fear most. Only then, by taking risks, can we build our confidence. Don’t let fear create the same regrets for you. Acknowledge fear. Prepare for it. Then act.

  • Identify one fear that is stopping you from achieving your goals. Neutralize it by deciding what you can do to prepare yourself for the challenge. Then make the commitment to do so. If the outcome isn’t what you planned, congratulate yourself for your courage and consider what you’ve learned from the experience. Modify your plan and take action again.

Visualize Success.

To visualize all that could be is not just to think about it but to actively see it. This process of imagination, when directed, is known as visualization. Visualizing what you want before it happens is one of the most powerful strategies of achievers, thousands of whom use visualization to rekindle their passion, clarify their goals, and strengthen their faith. When you have developed a goal, visualize it with as much detail and imagery as you can, exactly as you want and expect it to happen.
  • Identify a specific goal that support your purpose and passion. Imagine yourself achieving that goal in every detail. Think about where you are at that moment, what you are wearing, who is with you, what the temperature is, and what kind of feelings you’re experiencing. Create the most compelling and exciting vision you can imagine. Then write down what you have visualized. Read your description every single day. As you do, your belief and confidence will grow.

“Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start seeing yourself as a success.”

Dr. Joyse Brothers

Practice Affirmations.
Napoleon Hill, author of the best-selling Think and Grow Rich, suggests that repeating positive affirmations/confirmations to your subconscious mind is an excellent method for developing faith. After continually repeating an affirmation to oneself, eventually you come to believe it.
  • Make a list or write a statement of exactly what you want to accomplish. Go to a quiet spot where you can close your eyes and repeat aloud your written statement. As you repeat your statement, envision yourself having accomplished your goal. Repeat your statement morning and night and you will find yourself getting closer and closer to your goal. Place a written copy of your goal where you can see it morning and night.

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7

Find Others to Believe with You.

Unfortunately, it may be difficult to eliminate all the negative people from your life. Your mother or father, a business associate, a best friend, church brothers/sisters, or even your spouse might be a negative influence. And since many of these people have known you for years, they probably think of you in terms of your past experiences and not in terms of who you are today or a person you can become.

Sometimes it’s easier to find support from a complete stranger. A stranger doesn’t carry preconceived/predefined ideas about what you can or cannot do. The message at this point is that everyone needs someone to believe in him or her, and those who are closest to you may not be the best people to fill that role. The key is to find someone who does.

  • Take an inventory of the people in your life. Identify one or two individuals who are supportive and can provide encouragement. In the initial stages of implementing your dream, share it only with supportive people. As your dream takes shape and you become stronger in your belief, you’ll be able to handle the multitude of naysayer who will inevitably/unavoidably cross your path.

“Negativity works like poison in the bloodstream: if you give into its power, it will weaken your confidence and kill your dream.”

Your goals are simply too important to let that happen!

Draw Strength from a Higher Power.
So many of the unstoppable individuals we read about drew strength from God. By relying on Him, they were able to overcome profound/thoughtful obstacle and self-doubt. I have drawn strength from adopting two beliefs. The 1st is that God loves me. The 2nd is that everything happens for a reason and ultimately that reason will serve me.

  • “God is with me; God is helping me; God is guiding me.” Acknowledge that God is with you and nothing can defeat you. Believe that you receive power from your Creator. By stating an affirmation such as this several times each day and visualizing God’s presence, your faith will deepen.

Dealing with Critic and Rejection.

“I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can’t be done.” Henry Ford

They say that “everybody’s a critic,” and that never seems more true than when you’re pursuing a dream and trying to enlist support. There will always be well-meaning people who want to “protect” you from your “unrealistic fantasies.”

The only opinion about your dream that really counts is yours. The negative comments of others merely reflect their limitations – not yours. There is nothing unrealistic about a dream that aligns with your purpose, ignites your passion, and inspires you to plan and persevere until you attain it. On the contrary, it is unrealistic to expect a person with such drive and commitment not to succeed.
  • The most effective way to counter negativity is to learn all you can about what you want to accomplish. Identify the primary challenges you will face while pursuing your goal. Formulate strategies for overcoming each one. Armed with knowledge and a plan, you will be in a much stronger position and more confident when your critics offer unwanted advice.

Critics Corner
  • “How long will you go on training all day in a gymnasium and living in a dream world?” Arnold Schwarzenegger’s family’s pleas for him to get a “respectable” job, not understanding his desire to become Mr. Universe ·
  • “Liquidate the business right now and recoup whatever cash you can. If you don’t, you’ll end up penniless.” The attorney of cosmetic tycoon Mary Kay Ash, weeks before she opened her first store. ·
  • “It’s a cutthroat/competitive business and you’ve got no chance of success.” Accountant for Estee Lauder, founder of a multibillion dollar cosmetic empire. ·
  • “You have a nice voice, but it’s nothing special.” What a teacher said when rejecting Diana Ross after she auditioned for a part in a high school musical. ·
  • “You will never make the cover of Vogue because you don’t have blond hair or blue eyes.” A remark to Cher by photographer Richard Avedon. When Cher did appear on the cover, Vogue sold more copies than it had ever sold before.

Dealing with Experts.

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”

Shunryu Suzuki, Scholar

Another type of critic, a little different from naysayer – and certainly more threatening – is the “expert”. Webster’s defines an expert as one who is “knowledgeable through training and experience.” An expert can certainly be more intimidating than your Uncle Joe who knows nothing about your field but everything about what you should do in it.

Experts can offer insight and be a great resource. However, consider the following:
  • Expert knowledge is based on past experience; it may not apply to an innovative idea for the future.
  • Expert are seldom known for their creativity and imagination. Pioneers and innovators use their intuitions; experts use data. That data may apply to past models and have no relevance whatsoever to present or future models. Peter Drucker, one of the most respected voices in the business world wrote, “market research does not work. One cannot do market research on something that does not exist.” The dreamer’s domain/field is that of the unproven and the possible, and that domain is alien territory for the expert.
  • Experts have a vested interest in preserving the status quo. Gene Landrum offers this insight in his book, Profiles of Genius. “A major problem with expert opinion is the tendency of the expert to have a strong desire to preserve and validate the present way of things.

Actual expert opinions offered to visionary entrepreneurs.

  • “No one will stand in front of a TV screen and play a game with no physical action, like pinball.” Executive’s comment after viewing an early demonstration of Pong, the first video game by Atari founder Nolan Bushnell.
  • “No one will buy a tape player that doesn’t record.” Opinion of market researchers at Sony when chairman Akio Morita first proposed the Walkman.
  • “It’s a huge risk, and it will never fly.” Aeronautical engineer’s evaluation of Bill Lear’s design for a jet.
  • “Personal computers are a hobbyist fad.” Prediction of IBM, Intel, HP, Atari, and countless other electronics companies.
  • “People will rent videotapes, but they’ll never buy them.” Opinion of media experts who were later proven wrong by Jane Fonda’s exercise tapes.
  • “A global, twenty-four-hour news network will never work.” Network executives response to Ted Turner’s plans for CNN.
  • “There’s no market for it. If there were, major airlines would already be offering it. You won’t be able to find reliable couriers.” Conclusion of advisors to Fred Smith, founder of Federal Express.

The next time an “expert” attacks your dream, take comfort in realizing that people who achieved some of the greatest accomplishments of humankind were also told their goals were not possible. Trust your intuition and your inner heart’s desire, and continue forward. Your confidence will grow every time you take risk and overcome the fear of the unknown.

Being determined has little to do with evaluations of experts, past experience, industry pedigrees, or IQs. Intellect and reason do not propel your dream forward; intuition, imagination, and faith do. The boldness of faith is so powerful that it will leave critics and experts astounded/amazed at your results.

“Believe in yourself and there will come a day when others will have no choice but to believe with you.”

How about you? How do you rate yourself?
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