Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Success Principles ~ Principle 4

Jack Canfield's fourth success principle is: Believe it's possible. He explains it is a function of our brain that we get what we expect, and what we expect is largely based on our past experiences. If we have often met with rejection, our brain will recognize that pattern and anticipate its repetition. If we have met with success, we expect that trend to continue. And so, it is to our advantage for our brains to anticipate our success in attaining our goals and dreams.

I have no doubt that beliefs impact results. Imagine I walk into an audition thinking "I'm not going to get the part. I never get the part." What kind of an impression would I convey? What kind of energy will I have as I begin? And a lot of us invest in believing that we're not going to succeed because we think it serves us. How often have you made or heard this comment or some variation of it, "I don't get my hopes up. It's easier for me if I don't believe it can happen. Then I'm never disappointed."

Let me be very blunt here. That's just not true. You are disappointed. You really did want that part, that job, that raise, that date. And what if that very strategy helps create your disappointment? What if believing it can happen is an important ingredient to your success? Let's not even consider the current popular argument about the laws of attraction. Instead, let's consider the very basic factor of self-confidence. How does believing it's possible affect your confidence? When you believe that you can get the job, what's different about how you show up? Not only that, when you believe it's possible, how many more opportunities do you step up to? And how much does that alone increase your opportunities for success?

Let's say you agree that believing something is possible will increase your chance of success. The next question is, how do you start believing? Do you just wake up one morning and think, "Yes, if I put my mind to it I can solve the problem of climate change!" How do we begin to believe?

This reminds me of a story that I heard as a girl that has always stuck with me. There was a king with two sons. He sent one out to find all the weeds in the kingdom and he sent the other out to find all the flowers. The first son came back railing against the ugliness of the land, demanding the caretakers be fired and holding no desire to inherit such a worthless patch of land. The second son came back full of the land's praises, inspired and moved by all the beauty and wonder he'd seen and with hopes of one day having the responsiblity to care for such a wondrous place.

What we pay attention to has so much to do with what we see and what is reinforced in our lives. So to start believing, keep your eyes open for signs of hope and of your success. For example, if you want to have an impact on climate change, notice where you already have impact, notice where you create change, notice what choices you make that contribute to the healing of the planet.

Next, when something happens that's in line with your desires and goals, take a moment to acknowledge it. Do this whether you feel responsible for the occurence or not. For example, if you open the paper and there's a job opportunity you've been dreaming about, take a minute to say thank you to the universe for putting that in your path. Or if you summoned the courage to ask for that raise, acknowedge that in your journal with "Today I had the courage to ask for a raise."

And lastly, give yourself opportunities for success. Creating sucesses for yourself will demonstrate to you the truth of that what you want is possible. If your goal is to ask someone out on a date, start with a week of asking for what you want in situations where you are likely to be successful. When you order your bagel, ask for it to be lightly toasted. When you want some time to yourself, ask that no one disturb you for an hour. Give yourself the opportunity to learn that when you ask for what you want, the answer can be yes.

Jamie's Recommendations for Increasing Belief:
  • Look for proof that it's possible.
  • Acknowledge fortuitious moments and successes.
  • Give yourself opportunities for success.


Tammy said...

Jamie - this is an amazing post, and perfectly timed for me.

I've been worrying over the weekend about the possibility of a big move. I keep thinking of all the negative things rather than the positives.

I think I will return to this post to keep me thinking clearly and looking for the positives!

It is possible that a big move will be a very good adventure!

Sacred Suzie said...

Amazing post indeed. I love the flow of the writing, the example, the specific summary at the end. Very helpful for a reader like me who sometimes gets lost. The ideas are wonderful too and I definitely believe in expressing gratitude. That is a secret to success to directing to the universe that these are the opportunities you are looking for. Thank you for that, the perfect way to start a Monday morning.

Leah said...

what a fantastic post, jamie!! and so well timed for me as well. just what i needed to hear today. xoxox thank you!

Anonymous said...

Another "well timed post" here. Thank you!

suzie q said...

Wonderful post, Jamie :) Just what I needed to read! Thank You x

Star said...

I'm really enjoying this series, Jamie. Building a "portfolio" of successes is something I need to pay more attention to--maybe as a daily or weekly journal reflection along with the gratitudes I already do.

melba said...

I Really like these posts...

You have a wonderful way with your phrasing...offering suggestions that are clear and easy to understand.

Thank You.