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Self-belief is the key to success

If you believe you can achieve something, you will, but if you believe you cannot, you simply won’t, says Chitra Jha

education Updated: Apr 21, 2010 09:47 IST
Chitra Jha
Chitra Jha
Hindustan Times

You must have heard the story of a deaf frog that climbed out of a well because he couldn’t hear others telling him that it couldn’t be done. The other day someone told me a story about a young boy who fell asleep in his mathematics class. He woke up as the bell rang and saw two problems written on the blackboard.

Assuming that it was the homework for the day he noted them down and laboured over them through the night. After great difficulty he managed to solve one of the two problems. The following day, when he showed his homework to the teacher, she was stunned because the problem the boy had cracked was unsolvable.

So, how could the boy solve an unsolvable problem? Simple. He didn’t know that it was unsolvable. He thought that if he didn’t solve at least one of the two problems he would be punished. If he had known that the problem couldn’t be solved, he wouldn’t have solved it. Similarly, when we tell ourselves (or others tell us) that this can’t be done… that is impossible… you can’t do it… it’s not your cup of tea… etc; we believe that to be the truth. It is a vicious cycle. It is up to us whether we choose to empower or limit beliefs. Our choices alone determine our destiny.

Our beliefs act as the compass and a map, and guide us towards attaining our goals. If we believe we can, we can; if we believe we can’t, we can’t. It is as simple as that.

Our beliefs are the inner source of our outer behaviour. If one were to make a conscious effort to change one’s beliefs, one’s life can change. But that can happen only when one takes full responsibility for one’s beliefs. When one thinks that one’s success is not dependent upon anyone or anything outside of one’s beliefs, one starts paying more attention to them.

Awareness of our inherent beliefs is not a one-time thing; it is a full-time commitment to remain alert to our inner dialogue. It is a 24x7 awareness of one’s state of mind — a constant monitoring of one’s thoughts. It is through this process that one can change one’s limiting beliefs into empowering statements.

Our beliefs are a form of energy. Limiting beliefs require as much energy as empowering beliefs do; but in our current societal environment everyone places more focus on what can’t be done, what is impossible, what is wrong with us, etc. Some feel that by constantly reminding a person of his shortcomings, one can help him improve himself.

But that is not how it works. A constant reminder of one’s weaknesses only strengthens the belief that something is not right. And with time it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s time one changed the system and made beliefs work in one’s favour.

Problems and challenging situations help us become aware of our beliefs and change them.

These help us disengage ourselves from any self-defeating thought patterns.

Remember, no one can help you without your full cooperation. Your empowerment lies in your own beliefs.

The author is a life-skills coach, time-line therapist, and new consciousness writer. Contact:

First Published: Apr 20, 2010 12:14 IST