How Belief Will Open Doors
We have heard it said many, many times – just believe. We know it’s true, but often it seems like going out with a raincoat and rubber boots on a sunny, cloudless day because we believe it will rain. We peer out into thin air and see no possible indication that what we want to pursue or think we can do makes any logical sense at all. What’s worse, often those around us may not even share our beliefs; they may even think we are crazy. sometimes they tell us to come down off the cloud we are on.
Then we may replay all the old movies of the times we failed or when people discouraged us, criticized us or basically told us that we should just stick to what we are able to do and not dream about doing anything else. Belief is not easy. In fact, belief may be one of the hardest, if not the hardest thing, we will ever do in our life. Belief means fighting an uphill battle against an invisible adversary named apathy.
In spite of everything, belief is a wonderful thing. Belief is behind all the inventions we use today. Belief is behind all the accomplishments mankind has accomplished over the years. Without belief, nothing would be created or done. It takes belief to get out of bed and trust that the floor will hold us up. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can be achieved without first having the belief it is possible.
It All Begins In Our Mind
Everything begins in our imagination. It starts with an idea. Just a little seed of an idea can grow and blossom in our mind like a delicate flower. Belief is that little seed. It is potential that when given nourishment, sunlight, and rain, it will grow into something beautiful. It is also fragile like the flower; strong adverse winds and rain can uproot the fragile flower. In the same way, belief is susceptible to negative or discouraging talk, even what we think or tell ourselves.
The mind (the imagination) is a fertile garden, both for negative thoughts and positive thoughts, and we have to guard what goes in there and comes out with vigilance. We need to be the gatekeeper of our mind. Our thoughts (our belief system) are really the only thing we have absolute control over, but we need to maintain that control and guard against anything that would cause us to doubt or think negatively in any way.
How To Harness Belief
Yes, we can actually harness belief, rein it in and shape it. We can feed it, shape it, grow it and increase it. Here are a few quotes on belief:
Man is what he believes – Anton chekhov
You will only rise to the level of your belief – Catrice M. Jackson
One person with a belief is equal to ninety-nine who have only interests – John Stuart Mill
Belief is wonderful, but it comes at a price. It takes time, it takes perseverance, it takes humility and much more. Here are 5 principles to help you with “growing your belief”
Inform your mind
Don’t set limits
Find your Elephant Buzz
Reinforce your mind
Talk to Yourself
Be willing to go
Inform Your Mind
“For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20-21).
So, it is possible to believe and “move mountains”, We have to believe in our mind and believe in our heart it can and will be done. And we have to inform our mind that it will be done. Let your mind know that all other bridges are going to be burned and that “moving mountains” is the agenda. If we allow for any other alternatives, a plan B or a cop-out plan, then “moving the mountain” is not going to happen.
So now that “moving a mountain” is the plan, you need to get your ant and your elephant aligned. “My ant and my elephant?” you ask “What do you mean by that”? In his book called The Ant and the Elephant: Leadership For the Self, author Vince Pscente, recounts a fable involving an ant (our conscious mind) and an elephant (our subconscious mind) where both need to work together to get to the desired destination.
So, informing your mind, in the context of the ant and the elephant means that your “ant” needs to let your “elephant” know what the plan is. Once your “elephant” is made aware of the plan, he can muster his 40 billion or so neurons into order and work with the Ant. In other words, the elephant needs to believe this is going to happen. Feelings have no role to play here.
Don’t Set Limits
Moving a mountain is a colossal task, but you are up to it. It is your goal. If you just concentrate on small stones while not believing that the mountain can be moved, you are limiting your belief (your faith). Remember, it is not about what you can do, humanly speaking, but what your belief or your faith can do. Faith knows no limits. In the quote above, it says “if you have faith the size of a mustard seed.. “, so your faith will move the mountain. The quote continues.. “and nothing will be impossible for you”. So, faith has no limits.
Don’t hang on to your press clippings, good or bad. Past achievements are not a guarantee of future achievements and past failures do not, by any means, suggest that you will not have success. Press clippings can lead to apathy and unbelief.
Find Your “Elephant Buzz”
In the book The Ant and the Elephant, the narrator talks about the “elephant buzz” – that “.je ne sais quoi,” that passion, that spark that fired up the elephant. The main difficulty the ant had in trying to get the elephant going in the direction he wanted him to go was that the elephant had no idea why he should go there. The elephant was not fired up and so he just wandered around where he was.
That “Buzz” is what our subconscious mind needs to get going. It is our reason why. It is our hot button, our passion. It is that key that will cause us to jump out of bed ready to begin and keep us from even wanting to sleep. If you can find that which will fire you up and put you into “the zone”, your belief (whatever it is that you want to do) will begin to skyrocket and you will come alive.
Find what lights you on fire. It may be a cause that you want to be a part of. it may be something you have always wanted to do. It doesn’t,t necessarily have to be big at first, but it can go big if it is really your passion. Belief (or faith) makes us come alive and gives us the energy to pursue that which we were truly born to pursue.
Reinforce Your Mind
In the book The Ant and the Elephant, the ant had a fairly tough time trying to get the elephant to cooperate. The ant knew where they were supposed to be going. but the elephant, being an elephant, was not concerned with details. communication was difficult, to say the least, and for a while, they were not working in sync.
Our mind needs to be fed good information. It needs to reminded of what it can do. Read books that will help you to sustain belief, that will encourage you and help you to change negative thought patterns. Good information from books, audios can help you to “pattern-interrupt” these negative thought patterns. Your mind needs to know why and how to change direction, just as the elephant needed to understand why it needed to go along a different path to get to the destination.
New, encouraging and inspiring associations can help shape our ideas. If we want to go somewhere, we should probably get around people who are going there too. Associations impact us for good or for bad. Consider:
If you hang around bank robbers, you might not be the guy with the ski mask and the gun, but you are for sure driving the getaway car – Author and speaker Claude Hamilton
Talk to Yourself
If you don’t talk to yourself, who is going to? Someone will, for sure. If you are listening to yourself and all the “negative news” in your head, you just may end up believing yourself. So maybe it is time for a few hearts – to- heart chats with yourself to tell yourself that from now on the negative talk is going into the trash. It is going to be thrown out.
From now on, no garbage talk is allowed on the premises. No more talk about how you can’t do it, you shouldn’t do it, it’s impossible, you’re not able or whatever other lies you have been believing. A new director of the imagination is moving in with a new way of doing things. All the noisy voices ( the media, the naysayers, the busyness and excuses) will try to grab our attention, but now it is time to ignore the noise in your head start telling yourself what is possible.
Be Willing to Go
Belief requires action and often it means going beyond what we are normally comfortable doing. Often there may be no indication, no sign that what we are believing in has any substance or will ever pan out. We need to take the action steps anyway in the direction we have chosen to go. Belief without action remains only a wish. Action + belief is both necessary to turn an idea, a wish into a reality. If you believe it is possible for you to be an Olympic athlete, you need to put in the time and the effort to get there.
The example of Colonel Sanders is a beautiful example of belief put into action. Colonel (Harland David) Sanders found himself penniless at the age of 65 on retiring from being a restaurant owner. He received his first social security check for $105.00. He decided to launch out and sell his fried chicken recipe and went literally door to door trying to get some interest for his recipe. It is said that he was turned down 1009 times before finally getting a “yes”. Even at the age when many people are settling into retirement, Colonel Sanders was willing to go after a dream.
We all have dreams. We were born with dreams in our hearts. Children are some of the biggest dreamers there are. Life has a way of squashing and burying our dreams, but they don’t have to remain buried or squashed. They are still there underneath the pile of baggage we have carried through life. they are there underneath all the negativity, discouragement, and apathy that we have picked up along the way. They are still there, a buried treasure waiting to be unearthed and dusted off.
Give It Your Best Shot
We may tell ourselves all the usual things – I’m too old, I have too many responsibilities now, I don’t have the time or energy for dreams, dreams are a waste of time or I have too many problems right now to be chasing dreams. Well, let me just say that life will pass by anyway, no matter what we do. We are not going to have more time or fewer responsibilities later. And, at the end of our life, won’t we want to say that we “gave ourselves a shot at our dreams?” Won’t we want to say “I was here for a reason and I gave it my best?”
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Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca