I came across this article on self-belief in Word for Today and it made me think about my journey from where I started to where I am now.
Henry Curtis said: ‘Make your plans as fantastic as you like, because twenty-five years from now they will seem mediocre. Make your plans ten times as great as you first planned, and twenty-five years from now you will wonder why you did not make them fifty times as great.’
There is only one way to keep growing: make your goal a step beyond what makes you comfortable. That will force you to keep growing! And it will also set you up to believe for greater things.
Most people want their lives to keep improving, yet they value peace and stability at the same time. They forget that you can’t improve and stay the same. Growth means change, and that means challenging the status quo.
Thinking ‘possible’ means you can’t settle for what you have now. There will always be people around you who want you to give up your dream and embrace the status quo.
Love them, but don’t be led by them. As you begin to believe for greater things and others try to throw cold water on you, remember that right now, as you read this page, other people around the world are thinking about curing cancer, developing new energy sources, and feeding the hungry. They are beating the odds and challenging the status quo – and you must, too.
People who think ‘possible’ not only create forward-looking, optimistic pictures of the future in their own minds, but also in the minds of others. And the opposite is true.
Sam Ewing said, ‘Nothing is so embarrassing as watching someone do something that you said couldn’t be done.’ Now, believing you can doesn’t guarantee you will. But believing you can’t guarantees you won’t!
What do you do?
So how’s your approach to life? When you face the unknown, the undone, or the untried, do you focus on all the things that can go wrong or all the things that can go right?
Ballistic rocket pioneer Wernher von Braun said, ‘I have learned to use the word “impossible” with the greatest caution.’ You say, ‘Who was he?’ The scientist who made it possible for the first man to walk on the moon!
John Andrew Holmes said: ‘Never tell a young person that something cannot be done. If you want to achieve something, give yourself permission to believe it is possible.
Your Belief System
You can only achieve what you believe you can. Your belief system is like a thermostat on the central heating system, it will only reach the temperature set on the thermostat and no higher.
So, if you believe you can become a manager that is as far as you will ever go in life but if you believe you can become a director or managing director then there is a chance you can achieve that level.
I created a Dream Board
8 years ago, aged 60 I was living with my mum, I was in huge debt and painting and decorating for a living. Then I discovered the power of the Vision Board, and I created a board full of pictures representing my dreams and goals and put it on the wall in my bedroom so I could see it every time I went to bed.
I spent yesterday clearing out all of mum’s personal things ready for the home to be put up for sale. This was one of the toughest things I have ever had to do as there were so many letters, photographs and personal things to go through.
This is when I found the board again with pictures of wedding rings to indicate a third and final marriage, Dubai hotels, a Cruise liner, amazing places to visit etc. Every day I had visualised what it would feel like to achieve these dreams and as if by magic they started to appear in my life.
It wasn’t magic of course, it was the new belief system I was creating which gave me the energy and faith to go for the big dreams I had, and I worked hard.
It was tough
I volunteered to speak free of charge anywhere I would be accepted, and I spoke to countless Rotary Club meetings. I don’t know if you know much about Rotary, but it is a wonderful organisation mainly for retired people who want to give back to society. They do great work across the world.
I remember very vividly one of these meetings where only 6 members turned up and they were well into their 70’s and 80’s. The talk started off well and they seemed to be enjoying the session. So, I got stuck in and gave it all I had.
Around 10 minutes into my presentation I looked up and I saw two of the members with their heads back, mouths open, fast asleep! I was tempted to throw something at them or clap my hands, but I didn’t, and they eventually woke up just before I finished.
I wanted to give up
As you can imagine I was devastated and driving home late at night I did think about giving up – but I didn’t. Yes, it was costing me time and money driving around the country speaking at different events but sometimes you have to do what it takes to make your dream a reality.
Over the next few years, I kept driving around the country practicing my talk, fine tuning it and improving it. I had a deep-seated self-belief which kept me going. I used my Dream Board (Vision Board) to bring my goals and dreams to life and I used my self-belief as fuel to keep going until I made it.
As I look back, I realise that this journey was crucial to develop as a speaker but to also have a story to tell which inspires people.
An international speaker
Now I have the honour to work with outstanding organisations like Rolls Royce and Siemens and people aren’t falling asleep during my talks! I speak across the world in amazing places like Dubai and America and I have the pleasure to be speaking in Milan the week after next on behalf of Live and Learn.
Sometimes the journey to success can be a long one so if you are on that journey don’t give up. Keep going and believe that you can make it if you keep working hard and keep getting back up even when people fall asleep in your inspirational talk!
Thoughts for the week
- You have to believe you can achieve something in order to achieve it.
- If you don’t believe you can then you won’t.
- This week give it another shot, another go, one more try.
- Nothing worthwhile in life comes easy, so embrace difficulty and realise that it’s not what you achieve but what you become in the process which is the real magic.
Well, that’s it for this week, have a wonderful weekend and keep believing.