Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Champions believe in themselves.

Post 311 - There's a difference between wishing for something and being ready to receive or acquire it. That difference is all about belief. Until you believe something is possible, it isn’t. This is old wisdom. Marcus Aurelius (121 - 180 AD) wrote, "Our life is what our thoughts make it."

In 1890, when advanced education was often reserved for society's elite, Chicago minister The Reverend Dr. Frank W. Gunsaulus wanted to create a new college to improve educational opportunities for students from all kinds of backgrounds. However, he couldn’t figure out how to get the $1M dollars he needed to make this happen. For nearly two years he struggled to come up with a way to get the money. Then one day he realized that all he'd done was think about it, but he hadn't taken any action. Realizing the error of his ways, he made up his mind to get the money within one week. He had no idea how he would do it, but he committed that within one week, he would have his million dollars. So, Dr. Gunsaulus delivered a sermon that day in church that convinced Phillip D. Armour Sr. to give him the money to create The Armour Institute. Today, the institute has evolved into the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), a private national research university with world-renowned programs in engineering, architecture, the sciences, humanities, psychology, business, law, and design.

Many people are held back by the limiting beliefs they acquire growing up, from their parents, friends, religion and schooling. Some examples of limiting beliefs might be:

* Everyone is selfish.
* People are always trying to rip you off.
* There isn’t enough to go around so you have to grab what you can.
* You can be struck down by circumstances (illness, accident) at any time.
* It’s not my fault that my life is like this.

Fr. Anthony de Mello tells the following fable:

An eagle lays an egg but somehow the egg finds its way into a chicken coup. A chicken incubates the egg with all her others and when it hatches, she rears the eaglet as if it were one of her own chicks. It learns to peck the dust for food, to flap its wings and to strut around the farmyard. One day, an eagle flies by overhead. The little eagle looks up and sees this, and says to himself, ‘I wish I were an eagle - how majestic, how free, how beautiful to be like that and have such a life.’ However, the eagle lived like a chicken and died like a chicken, because that’s what he thought he was.

All of our limiting beliefs do something for us; they give us validation or comfort or a feeling of security. But although deeply engrained, they're still only beliefs and as such, they're susceptible to change.

Now for the good news: here are three steps you can use for changing your beliefs:

1. Identify a limiting belief (things just happen to me, I’m not in control of my life)
2. View the belief in a different way (I am in control and I consciously create my experience)
3. Look around for evidence of this new belief. If you do, you'll surely find it! After a while, this will sink in and you'll start to think the new belief is ‘true.’

Champions believe in themselves. They know there's a sleeping giant all of us waiting to be released. As William James said, "Believe and your belief will create the fact."

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