There is power in affirmations, thought and self-belief; they either create space for action, potential success, and abundant living or hold you back in inaction, fruitlessness, and loss. But how do you choose progress and success?
Your ‘I can’t’ belief-system will hamper your progress for as long as you allow it. One of my Meetup Group participant’s story provides us with a perfect example to illustrate the power of negative beliefs, thoughts and words: One ordinary day as she and her partner watched a road-race on TV, Steph* piped up and said, ‘I want to do that. I’d love to run like that.’ At this point, she is motivated (the first key principle of influence according to Patterson, Grenny & Maxfield in their book Influence: The Power to Change Anything), yet her partner’s response to her enthusiasm killed her hope: ‘you’d never be able to do that!’ And she believed him; she believed that she wasn’t capable (capability is the second key principle to influence others and self).
Accepting ‘I can’t’ is unacceptable.
‘I can’t’ is partially linked to a fear of failure. In a previous post on overcoming perfectionism I talked about what to do to move forward out of fear, but here I want to focus more on one thing you can think and say to positively influence yourself to create success in your life.
Steph ran a half-marathon six months after breaking up with her boyfriend, which she says she never would have done if they were still together.
How and why?
After the break-up, she developed a new self that allowed her to achieve the previously unachievable feat of racing in and completing a half-marathon. The big influencer? Her changed belief-system thought and spoke differently – ‘I can’t’ became ‘I can.’
So, what can you learn from Steph’s story?
When ‘I can’t’ becomes ‘I can,’ Impossible is Nothing.
THINK: what is your insurmountable obstacle? What do you or did you really get excited about doing only to have your motivation shut down by another’s (or your own) words, scoffs or actions? (And ironically, it’s usually a loved one’s words that limit us – because they are speaking out of love, or their perception of how to action their love for you – to limit you so you don’t risk and fail and get hurt; this is a principal protection mechanism, one that we all use at one point or another.) Before you judge the mean, unbelieving boyfriend, think about it: have you ever been the person who has shot down the dreams or goals of a colleague, friend or family member? Maybe somebody has said they’d like to run a marathon next year, go back to school to get further qualifications, or learn a new hobby. How did you respond? Was it with negativity motivated by your need to protect them? Take your time to reflect back on this and then consider how you may have responded differently in a way that uplifts. Rather than being the person always planting seeds of hopelessness as weeds choking down others’ dreams, be that friend or kind stranger who sows hope, faith, and optimism!
*I changed the participant’s name to hide her identity
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#ImpossibleDream #ICan Challenge: write down one big thing you are going to achieve in the next 6-12 months that you previously thought impossible.
Share it in the comments box below or write it down in your journal. I’ll write about goal-setting and creating action plans soon too for those who want to know what next steps you should take towards your ‘impossible dream’. Remember: Impossible is Nothing!
Abigail Irozuru is a woman of God, athlete, motivational speaker & blogger, and so much more. Get in touch via email: firstname.lastname@example.org, and connect with me on Twitter @airozuru and Instagram!