377. Pick one … carefully

377. Pick one … carefully

We are a planet of some 7 billion people.

And we are all different and unique, right?

But are we really all that different?

When it comes right down to it, setting aside obvious differences – gender, height, skin colour, etc., – there really is only one thing that differentiates us one from the other. It is what we individually relieve to be true.

Like many, I have been caught up in that ongoing reality show called the US Presidential Election and have watched with fascination the validation of one of my favourite sayings, “Everything we believe to be true is true, until it isn’t.”

On an almost daily basis big-name, high-profile Americans appear on television to expound on their latest views only to reappear several days later in support of their new opinion which represents a 180° switch from their previous stance.

Watching this unfold is somewhat amusing and yet observing the power of belief, and the impact it has on people I interact with in everyday life is a sobering and, at times troubling experience.

Many years ago I read a book on the power of belief. While I have long forgotten both the title and the author’s name, I do recall one sentence which has been imprinted on my mind since the day I first read it.

In describing the power of belief the author opined “In understanding why some do and some don’t, some can and some can’t, it all comes down to which of two words we have chosen as the foundation upon which to place our fate.

“By selecting one word over the other we choose the pathway of life and will remain on that pathway as long as we retain that one word.

“This statement ‘I know I can’ produces an ending far different from the one that reads ‘I doubt I can.’ Both reflect not only what we believe of our capabilities but also predict how hard we will work to bring truth to those words.”

We become little more than what we believe to be true and the quality of our lives is determined by either the limitations or permissions we place upon ourselves through those beliefs.

A few months ago I was talking with a lady who works in one of the companies I do business with. She and I have never met but have been talking on the phone regularly for several months.

A position had recently become available in her company and the posting indicated both internal and external candidates would be considered.

This was a position she had long coveted and yet had not applied for it the last time it had been posted for she felt she lacked the education and experience to succeed. She had discussed applying for the position with her husband and several colleagues, all of whom had cautioned her against submitting an application fearing she would be setting herself up for disappointment.

We spoke at length about her own beliefs; she strongly believed she was the ideal candidate for this job but those beliefs had become riddled with doubt through the conversations with her husband and colleagues.

At the time we spoke she had decided not to apply for the job.

We discussed the differences in our actions that are driven by an “I believe I can” statement versus an “I doubt I can” and our conversation ended with her promising to rethink her position.

I did not hear from her until earlier this week when she called to share her good news. She applied for the position was not successful. The company chose to bring in a candidate from outside who had considerably more experience.

However, several weeks later a similar position became available in another area of the company and, as she had so impressed the interviewing panel during the selection process, this position was offered to her and she gladly accepted.

She is now on a fascinating growth venture in her new management position and her call was to tell me how close her limiting beliefs came to preventing her from getting her dream job.

Stories abound of people who switched “doubt I can” to “know I can” and how their lives soared thereafter.

The sentence everything you believe to be true is true, until it isn’t is a strong reminder that we choose every belief we have and, by so doing, we also choose the pathway to where we will end up.

“I know I can,” “I doubt I can” are both small and short statements offering profoundly different and long term meanings.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Till we read again.

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