At the end of Part 1 of this article series, I said I'll share a number of helpful ideas in Part 2 for unleashing the power of belief in achieving your personal and professional goals, as well as a sticky point to watch out for. In other words, this is all about developing mind power.
1. Examine what you believe
How often do you examine and challenge your beliefs? This may seem like a strange question, but I'd like to highlight the consequences of not examining our beliefs by sharing an illustration from Art Berg's book, "The Impossible Just Takes a Little Longer: Living with Purpose and Passion."
There were two identical twins. For some reason, one of the twins believed that she was ugly. One day, she was walking down the road and a group of boys all started to point and giggle. [What they were doing certainly wasn't helpful, however...] Because she believed that she was ugly, she thought that they were laughing at her and so she ran away crying.
Then there was her identical twin, who believed that she was gorgeous - God's gift to mankind. The facts are immaterial; she believed that she was beautiful. One day, she too was walking down the road. A group of boys started to point and giggle. However, unlike her twin sister, because of what she believed about herself, she thought they were flirting with her. This made her feel great and she confidently strutted by.
Art goes on to say, “What the two girls had was the exact same experience with two different results - and it was all because of their belief systems. In essence, by choosing what to believe, their emotions, attitudes, and behaviours were completely different.”
Here's the clincher - what you believe has a major impact on what you do or don't do.
Your beliefs will drive your actions. So, it's important that you take the time to examine what you believe. Ask yourself, “Is this true?” E.g. Is it true that I can’t get a better job or one that plays to my strengths? Is it true that I can't become a better leader? It is true that I can't build a thriving business? It is true that I can't achieve my development goals at work?
Similarly, you can ask yourself, “Is this ALWAYS true?” E.g. Is it always true that I’m a disorganised person? Is it always true that I never take feedback well? Is it always true that I never listen?
Since your beliefs have a direct impact on what you do or don't do, they could very well be stopping you from growing, developing and achieving more than you thought possible.
If you want to live your best life and truly excel as a leader, then it's critical that you develop mind power. It's critical that you get into the habit of examining and challenging your beliefs to make sure they're working for you and not against you.
2. Discover and build on your strengths
Clearly, as we've established, not all beliefs are helpful. Many of the obstacles and limitations we face are self-imposed, fuelled by the stories we tell ourselves: “I don’t deserve this.” “I can’t do this.” “I don't have what it takes to grow this company.” “I am such an unlucky person.” “I can never change.” “I will never be able to ... [fill in the blank].”
However, let’s be clear, none of this means that absolutely anything is possible. For example, no matter how hard you try, if you are 5' 2", you're unlikely to be the centre forward on a basketball team.
There are laws of nature that can't be defied. For example, a lady can't jump out of a plane in the sky, without a parachute or similar piece of equipment, and expect to fly all on her own. If you jump off a tall building with no parachute you will fall. Hard!!! So, of course there are limitations to what we can do but, unfortunately, based on faulty evidence and erroneous beliefs, we come to conclusions far too soon.
Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, Jack Ma, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Michael Jordan, and so many more like them all excelled in their chosen fields by playing to their strengths.
Discovering and playing to your strengths enables you to push past limiting and erroneous beliefs and develop new and empowering ones.
So, whilst it's true that you can't do everything. You are capable of so much more than you realise. If you allow your strengths to guide you, when linked with empowering beliefs, they make for a very powerful combination.
One Final Thought
Maybe you're thinking that even if you believed you could accomplish or achieve this or that, you don’t know if you actually deserve it. That, my dear friend, is a classic case of self-sabotage and you know it.
Ponder these words of Marianne Williamson, quoted by the late Nelson Mandela during his Inauguration Speech in 1994:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? …Your playing small does not serve the world.”
Ultimately, if your beliefs help you serve the world better, those are beliefs worth holding on to for life!
Put these two ideas into practice and watch as your life goals unleash themselves on the world. I look forward to hearing your story.
Until then, stay hungry, stay open, and stay committed to living your best life, TODAY!