I know I am a good person, but I don’t believe it!

I know I am the best at what I do, but I don’t believe it!

I know that I will find that dream job, but I don’t believe it!

I know my family loves me, but I don’t believe it!

I know I love myself, but I don’t believe it!

I know I am OK, But I don’t believe it!

After reading the statements above, think hard; think down to your soul. We all know many things; things about ourselves, things about others, things about our chosen profession and indeed the world. We all know our skills and abilities; our limits, our likes and dislikes, at least to a certain extent. We all know what “Ideal” would be. Some may indeed reach this ideal yet many do not, for they do not believe they can.

We have all been aggravated in our personal relationships or at work and we have all thought we could do better. We all know that we are better than or deserve more than our current situation provides, but we do not believe it; we do not believe it in our soul, and we do not believe it on our hearts. We hold ourselves back, we sabotage ourselves, or we let others do it to us. We look for reasons why things will not work, after all “I could never do that” or “the change is so uncertain, too much at stake to take the chance”. We know we can do or be more, but we do not believe it. More accurately, we do not believe in ourselves.

Perhaps we have been conditioned by the beliefs of others as to what our ultimate role in life will be. Driven by their beliefs of who we are or what we are capable of. Maybe we are paralyzed by the fear of failure, the fear of rejection, or the fear of the unknown; all are situations where we have let negative beliefs, ours or someone else’s, dominate us. Or perhaps we find ourselves in a somewhat comfortable place and have grown apathetic, telling ourselves, “This will do”, an ultimately more mentally defeating place. But we can change this; it is within each of us.

Think of anyone you know who has faced down adversity and achieved greatness; Einstein (Asperger’s, OCD) Gandhi,(British Rule) Michael J. Fox,(Parkinson’s), Sun Tzu (Conquering Hordes), or let’s say Jay Leno, (NBC). All did not only know they could do it, they believed it. They embraced the vision in their head, the energy, and the focus that pointed them to their universe.

Where did it come from? What is their magical formula? Where did they buy the pixie dust to sprinkle on their heads to take them from knowing to believing? Many books on the topic, I have read most of them. Many movies, I have watched them also. We may begin to believe that it is simply a script, a fantasy created to make us feel good for those fleeting minutes that we are engaged with the source. Deep down we believe these stories are about others, not us. Our accomplishments seem pale by comparison and we discount them. We know that these people are just like us, but we don’t believe it could ever be us.

So again I ask, where does belief come from? The concept of belief is usually equated to religion. If we look to religion to help us define this we see that belief is more of a mental process or spiritual affirmation as opposed to an observable, quantifiable truth. Our mental process and spiritual affirmations are also influenced by past experience and perceived reality. With this realization perhaps we are getting a little closer to where our belief in ourselves comes from, whether positive or negative. Typically when we think of belief we look up, but what we need to do is look in. Looking in is often easier said than done. Looking in requires quiet contemplation, a recollection of past success, and an exploration of current opportunity and strengths. We may find that we have been caught in the trap of reflecting only on that which is negative from our past or present. Or perhaps we allow others to influence our beliefs of the world and our belief in ourselves. Even if this belief is nurturing and positive, it will not make a difference until WE believe it.

“We can not value our accomplishments, or believe in our potential, until we value and believe in ourselves”
James D. Tippett

I knew I could put a new window in my house, but until I did it I did not believe it. I knew I could make the sale, but until I did, I did not believe it. In these scenario’s you found a belief in yourself through the accomplishment of a task. I knew I could find true love, but until I did, I did not believe it. I knew I was OK, but until I saw me, I did not believe it, with these scenarios the meaning is less quantifiable. What is true love? What is OK? Until you realize that these elements are defined by you and only you, you will wrestle with your belief in yourself. Belief is when you look in the mirror and smile. Belief is when you just know things will be OK, when you nurture your soul, when you believe you are right; Belief comes from the very roots of the soul, from the deepest crevice of your heart and the whole of your brain. It cannot be read about, it can not be touched or held or put on a shelf. Your belief in yourself comes from within, from your conversations with yourself. If these conversations are negative, you will have negative beliefs, when they are positive the world will open to you. That is where belief comes from!

Jim Tippett – jdt@imokyourenot.com