“A person cannot cling to anything unless she believes in it; belief always precedes action, therefore a person’s deeds and life are the fruits of her belief.” – Above Life’s Turmoil
While there has been some controversy surrounding Marion Jones, there’s no questioning that she’s one of the fastest women of all time. And Marion has spent her life BELIEVING she would one day become an Olympic Champion. At eight years old she wrote on a chalkboard in her bedroom: “I will be an Olympic champion.” When she was in the sixth grade she wrote the following note (you can see it at http://algonquin.com/marionjones/): “My plans for the future are to be in the 1992 Olympics.” Even though she missed her goal by eight years (she won at the 2000 Olympics), her life has become “the fruits of her belief.”
What can we learn from the belief of an eight-year-old girl?
Since belief always precedes action, simply changing your beliefs can change your actions to those that will result in living our wildest dreams — like being an Olympic Champion.
It’s not as complicated as you might think. In fact, taking these five steps can make anyone a “Gold Medalist” in their chosen endeavor.
1. Prepare to win. Nothing will strengthen your belief system more than knowing you’re prepared. Her training was the key to Marion’s belief that she could achieve her goal. Also in her sixth grade note she wrote, “I’ve been training a lot, and the boys at my school are good practice.”
2. Take control of your thoughts. It’s your choice what you think about. Think success and that’s what you get. Think failure and that’s what you attract. To help in controlling your thoughts, make it a habit to affirm yourself. I had a box of business cards with an old address that I was going to discard. Instead, I flipped them over to the blank side and wrote affirmations on them. I had two identical sets, one for my car and one for my office. Throughout the day I would read my “flash cards” aloud. (If you’re in your car, only read while you’re stopped for a traffic light. 🙂
3. Re-evaluate your situation. One of my mentors, Bob Proctor, teaches that “our belief system is based on our evaluation of something. Frequently when we re-evaluate a situation our belief about that situation will change.” And when you re-evaluate, spend more time looking at the positive side of your circumstances. In Why Some Positive Thinkers Get Positive Results, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale quotes “one of the wisest utterances I have ever heard in my lifetime:” “Never build a case against yourself.”
4. Don’t worry about “how-to-do-it.” One of my early mistakes was trying to figure out how I was going to do something before I’d believe I could do it. Start by believing you can do something and the “how-to” will follow. David Schwartz, author of the classic The Magic of Thinking Big, wrote, “Belief, strong belief, triggers the mind to figuring ways and means and how-to. Those who believe they can move mountains, do. Those who believe they can’t, cannot. Belief triggers the power to do.”
Interestingly, Dr. Schwartz wrote in 1959, “Currently, there is some talk of building a tunnel under the English Channel to connect England with the Continent. Whether this tunnel is ever built depends on whether responsible people believe it can be built.” Even though they had no idea of “how-to-do-it” at the time, enough “responsible people” maintained a belief in this project and we have the famous Chunnel today.
5. Finally, you must act. The New Testament writer said, “Faith without works is dead.” Until you act you’re not committed and belief is not cemented. As world-class mountain climber W.H. Murray wrote, “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.”
I’ll leave you with some counsel from Dr. Maxwell Maltz, the author of another classic, Psycho-Cybernetics: “Within you right now is the power to do things you never dreamed possible. This power becomes available to you just as soon as you can change your beliefs.”
And that’s worth thinking about.