Positive Path Recommended Reading

Build Your Own Belief
By Sarah Cornally

When I was a child my mother had a horse riding accident. It was a stormy afternoon and becoming dark. She was riding down the creek bank when lightning struck the ground next to the horse. It reared up and fell on top of her. Her pelvis was crushed. The doctors said she would never walk again. She decided she would, no matter what! Every day she would get into the pool and swim as long as she could. She struggled for 2 years. Gradually things got better and finally to the doctors amazement she could walk, ski and even ride again. She built belief even when the experts said it was not possible.

When I worked in rehabilitation I noticed there were people who believed in their ability to get well and others who didn't. So often it was people's mindsets that made the difference to what results they achieved. I have seen that theme repeat itself in all walks of life.

How do we build belief in the face of all the evidence to the contrary? It begins with a strong sense of ourselves. This is who I am, I know my value and strength. It is not a proud and boastful state rather a quiet knowing that gives us inner strength. Some of us are fortunate to have had people around us who helped build that sense of self, others need to find ways to do that for themselves.

Take a notebook and write down a description of you from all aspects of your life; your qualities, features, skills, capabilities, your strengths and weaknesses. It's helpful if you do it without being critical of yourself, rather as a matter of fact description. Imagine someone, who loves you and knows you well, being asked to give an honest appraisal of you and your qualities in an objective and truthful way, what would they say. Imagine others who know you well, what would they say. Gather lots of different perspectives. If you discover things that you don't like you can either choose to change them or choose to acknowledge them.

The next step is to observe how this is true, notice what value it has for yourself and others that you are this way. Remember we are all different and that difference is the value we have to offer.

Finally write out how this is important to the people in your life and what a difference you can make by sharing what you have to offer. If you have difficulty, ask some of your friends to give you some ideas.

If we don't have a strong belief in ourselves we give power to the things that create resistance or obstruction and feel overpowered by them. Equally, if people criticise us for qualities we possess and have made peace with them, we don't have to defend ourselves.

Building a strong sense of your own identity, value and significance gives you the essential foundation to be able to pursue things that matter to you. With inner conviction obstacles just become things to overcome, difficulties become challenges to conquer, other people's opinions and doubts are theirs and not yours, you are on your way to building your own belief and achieving things you once did not think possible.

About the author: Sarah Cornally trained as an Occupational Therapist. With 17 years experience she specialised in Occupational Rehabilitation & Injury Prevention. For 20 years she has consulted to government, industry & commerce on how to achieve outcomes through people. Her clients include the Who's Who of business. She has presented on many leadership programs including St James Ethics Centre's Sir Vincent Fairfax leadership awards program. Her business, Leading People, advises and coaches leaders on how to shape people's performance to turn their visions into reality. She is National President of the National Speakers Association of Australia (2000-2002). Visit http://www.sarahcornally.com for more information. 


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