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Posts Tagged ‘Belief in self’

While studying India as a college student, I was so inspired by the principles by which Gandhi lived his life that I decided to emulate them as much as possible. So much so, that many months prior to the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq I called one of my best friends and asked, “If I don a white robe, walk down to Washington DC, and sit in front of the White House in protest, will you join me?” The long, hesitating pause was all I needed to know. And it was soul-crushing.
 

Something tells me that prior to taking a stand against British colonialism, Gandhi did not call his best friend.
 

Needless to say, I tried to live my life with a humility I believe Gandhi possessed. I never wanted the spotlight, or to be the #1 guy, or the CEO, or the leader. In fact, I often say, “I don’t want to be the leader, but I will make the best damn #2 guy you will ever have.”
 

Then, about 7 years ago, I joined Toastmasters. (Toastmasters is a phenomenal organization that develops your public speaking and leadership.)
 

True to form, at first I simply listened and admired the amazing speakers in my club. Then I started taking roles to support the group and be in service to them. Then, when asked, I took on leadership roles in the organization – but never the role of president. Over the course of time, I also began speaking.
 

At each meeting, the club would vote for best speaker. I won best speaker awards and best impromptu speaker many, many times. Apparently, I was good at this.
 

However, I never voted for myself when the club voted for best speaker. Keeping with what I thought were Gandhi-like principles, I would always vote for someone else, even if I spoke during that particular meeting.
 

Then it dawned on me.
 

If I don’t vote for myself, if I don’t believe in myself, why should anyone else? It was a HUGE shift and lesson. It was very hard for me to do, but I did finally vote for myself. That act turned out to be an extremely important piece of my personal growth and confidence.
 

A few weeks ago I returned to Toastmasters after a 2-year hiatus. At that particular meeting I was asked to speak on an impromptu topic, which I happily did. I truly enjoy speaking and inspiring others when I can. There were 3 other people that spoke on impromptu topics that night. Falling back into my old ways, I voted for someone else rather than myself.
 

In an unusual twist of fate, as if the Universe wanted to hammer home the message, I was asked to help count the votes to see who the club thought was the best speaker that night.
 
 
 

I lost by one vote.
 

Message heard loud and clear.
 
 
 
If I am not for myself, who will be for me.

– Hillel
 

We each hold a magnificence and inspiration inside ourselves. All too often though, we allow it to die on the vine of doubt, approval or humility. But this is absurd! Who we are, and what we have to say, is divinely inspired. Our souls are gifts meant to be shared with the world. As unusual as this might sound, each time we withhold what is inside we are actually being selfish.
 

Interestingly, the rest of Hillel’s wisdom states –
 

If I am not for myself, who will be for me. But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?
 

I cannot think of better words to encourage belief in yourself . . . sprinkled with the humility of Gandhi. Perhaps this was the wisdom Gandhi listened to when he donned his white robe and began his walk.
 

READ HOW THIS APPLIES TO YOUR BUSINESS here.

 

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Here in the U.S., we all just suffered from another bout of lottery fever as the Powerball Lottery climbed to an astronomical prize of over half a billion dollars. If you are reading this, chances are you knew someone who bought a ticket. I certainly did, and I began to dream about what I would do with all that money.

 
lottery 3

Not surprisingly, I did not win. The odds of winning are 175,000,000 to 1. To put that in perspective, you literally have a better chance of being struck by lightning or being eaten by a shark than you do of winning the lottery.

 

I always believed that if I could just win the lottery, I would be able to do what I want in life. In fact, I think that is what powers lottery fever – the belief that money is the answer to our dreams, when in fact that is terribly wrong.

 

The truth is, I don’t need money to fulfill my dreams in life. And I bet that is true for most people.

 

The dreams and desires we have do not rely on money, but rather in a belief in ourselves and the courage to take that first step to do what we have always wanted, even if it goes against conventional wisdom.

 

That is the true secret of those we admire with successful, fulfilling lives. They took the risk, sometimes against great odds, and believed in themselves and their dream. They followed their belief, their heart and their passion.

 

And rarely do those people meet with failure. They either succeed in fulfilling their dream, or they feel satisfied that at least they tried. The worst thing we can do in life is go to our grave knowing we didn’t even try.

 

So if you really want to feel like you won the lottery in life, stop waiting for your numbers to come up and simply take that first step you need to take to fulfill the dream you have held in your heart all your life

 

A great deal of talent is lost to the world for want of a little courage. Every day sends to their graves obscure men whose timidity prevented them from making a first effort.

– Sydney Smith

 
Thankfully, life is not a lottery where all we can do is hope to win against great odds. Life is a culmination of our actions. It is a story that is inspired by our dreams and can be made real simply by believing the story we tell ourselves and having the courage to act upon it. Once that first step is taken the path reveals itself. And step by small step the life you desire miraculously appears.

 
This awesome video celebrates your courage, a belief in yourself and that magnificent first step!!
 

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