Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How Do You Believe You Can When You Think You Can't? (Read Time: 3 min.)

My husband and I have the luxury of working at home together. Yesterday, I was visiting him in his office and noticed he had an album of pictures of us when we first started dating. I flipped through those pictures of a smiling, happy, thinner me and I wondered, "Where did that person go?" It's only been three years since those pictures were taken and, yet, I feel a million miles away from what that person looked like... and then it dawned on, "What do I believe about this issue I'm having with my weight?"

Metaphysically, I get that extra weight is about safety, fear and protection. But, on a very real level, the weight is about something even bigger than that: it's about belief. We live in a world that says if you eat a piece of cake, you'll get fat. If you don't look like a twig, you aren't thin enough. The messages we've been bombarded with have, oftentimes, become the lies we've bought into as truth. Looking at those pictures reminded me of an all important truth from Wallace D., Wattles, "Thoughts which contain no faith create no forms."

But how do you believe you can do something when you truly think you can't?

Most of us resist believing in ourselves, not because we think we can't do something but because we don't know how others will react once we do. We're afraid to lose what's safe for what's unchartered. Whenever you find yourself more invested in your belief in limitation than you are in your belief in unlimited potential, take some time to explore:

1- Who am I afraid to be?

2- Why am I afraid to be all that I am?

3- What would I lose if I made every one of these dreams come true?

4- Am I really willing to not be who I am so other people can feel better about not being who they are?

5- What am I really here to do and how does not achieving this goal serve that?

6- If I knew I couldn't fail, what would I go after?

At the end of the day, you know what's keeping you stuck. You know what that belief barrier is. What you don't know is how to get beyond it. Law of Attraction aside, here are some practical things you can do to go from "I don't believe I can" to "I can do anything I set my mind to."

Here are three things you can do (and that I'm currently doing):

1) Create the recipe for your success. What is it going to take to get the goal or to achieve the dream you're looking for? Rather than focusing on how impossible it is, find examples of times in your life when you have achieved the goal and retrace your steps. Look to others who are where you plan to be and find out what they did to get there. Write those steps (keep the steps to 5 or less steps) down in a simple, easy-to-follow manner and commit to taking those steps. I find it easiest to put my steps on a 3x5 notecard so I can carry it around with me.

2) Make achieving the goal or dream the only option. This is a tough one for most people to do because once you make your goal the only option, failure is no longer a possibility. So many of us fear failure that we almost feel as if we're lying to ourselves when we take failure out of the equation. But the real issue isn't about whether or not you'll fail along the way (you will). The issue is what you're going to do with temporary defeat when it arrives (and it will). When you make your goal the only option, every action you take that opposes that goal becomes an opportunity for growth. When you have a goal to get fit and you have a really bad eating day, it isn't time to beat yourself up. It's time to come back to the drawing board and ask, "How can I show up differently tomorrow? What do I need to put in place to give me the support I need to stay true to my dream?" That's where you start to hone in and focus on what it is you really want. As long as you are on the fence about your goal, you are out of touch with the dream. You've got to be 100% sold on the fact that you can do this as a means of strengthening your resolve to keep doing it when obstacles come into play.

3) Make decisions from a place of achievement, not longing. Before you make daily choices that are connected to your goal, ask yourself, "If this goal were achieved, what decision would I make in this situation?" The person you need to be to get to your goal is the person you plan to be once the goal is achieved. It's so important to do what Wallace D. Wattles says, "You can picture in your mind how all things would be done by a person full of health and power, and you cna make yourself the central figure in the picture, doing things in just that way." When you envision yourself as the person you want to be and start living and acting from that source of strength, your decisions are different. More than that, you give yourself permission to be as powerful as you truly are and that's the key to self-actualization.

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