“A word of encouragement from a teacher to a child can change a life. A word of encouragement from a spouse can save a marriage. A word of encouragement from a leader can inspire a person to reach their potential.” – John C. Maxwell.
In the blog over the past two weeks, I have discussed what stops us taking a leap of faith. I have also covered the important role that bravery plays in helping us face fear in the face, step outside our comfort zone and take a leap of faith.
When I was reflecting on these topics it occurred to me that in order to commit to something new we also need to be careful about the voices and opinions that we allow to influence us.
As an example, when clients seek my support to help them to define and achieve their goals, I advise them to only tell people who will be supportive and encouraging about their plans. It’s imperative to choose wisely who you confide in about your hopes, dreams and aspirations.
Some people will put you off trying something new because they will project their fear onto you. It could be that they have suffered disappointment in their own life and sub consciously they don’t want you to succeed in something where they didn’t.
It could also be that secretly someone would love to be doing what you are planning to do. However, they may know that they don’t have the courage or resources to do it themselves. In such circumstances (often sub-consciously) they may seek to undermine your confidence and sabotage your plans. Doing this means that they won’t have to confront the feelings of regret, frustration, envy and inadequacy they may feel if you took a leap and succeeded.
In the course of writing this blog, I came across this quotation from Yehuda Berg, which I believe illustrates the power that words can yield. He said:
“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.”
It is natural when we are seeking to break new ground, step out into the unknown to have a few doubts and a bit of apprehension. You therefore don’t want to be exposed to dissenting voices or other people’s negativity about your goals and dreams.
When you start to pursue a goal, it’s helpful to develop strategies to quieten your own negative thoughts and the voice of your inner critic. I was astonished when I first discovered some research that suggests that the average person talks to him/herself about 60,000 times a day! Furthermore it’s said that most of this self-talk is negative!
There is a great story about a frog race which I featured in my first book “Be First Class.” It’s worth bearing in mind when you’re contemplating taking a leap of faith or you want to achieve a goal and make a dream a reality. I have shared this below:
The frog race.
There was once a bunch of tiny frogs, who arranged a running competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower. A big crowd gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants. The race began.
No one in the crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower. They shouted, “Oh, way too difficult, they will NEVER make it to the top” and “Not a chance. The tower is too high.”
The tiny frogs began collapsing, one by one except for those who, in a fresh tempo, were climbing higher and higher.
The crowd continued to yell, “It’s too difficult! No one will make it!”
More tiny frogs got tired and gave up. But one continued higher and higher. This one wouldn’t give up! And he reached the top.
Everyone wanted to know how this one frog managed such a great feat. What was his secret?
This little frog was deaf!
The wisdom of this story is to ignore the pessimism of others. It can take your dreams from you. Stay positive, follow your heart and pursue your goals with confidence and passion.
When you have decided on a goal that you want to pursue, it is useful to clearly picture a positive outcome in as much detail as possible. Positive focused thoughts sprinkled with some encouragement, conviction, determination and passion are an unstoppable force.
This powerful mix will help you to take a leap of faith and more than likely help you to accomplish what you set your mind to achieve.
This week, why not take a few moments to reflect and think about your support network. Are there negative and pessimistic opinions (including your own) that are less than helpful? Are there voices that you need to stop listening to and ignore?
Conversely, do you need to express gratitude for the support and encouragement that some people provide to you?
To arrange a free no obligation consultation, please contact Stephen Pauley via the contact form or by e mail: Stephen@befirstclass.co.uk