The key to awakening and unleashing the seeds of greatness within you begins with cultivating inner-strength and empowering beliefs about yourself. As Robin Sharma puts it, “Get your mindset, heartset and character up to exceptional and your life cannot help but become exceptional.” This is good news because each of us can learn to cultivate personal change initiatives that can be practiced on purpose. We can intentionally engage our talent, knowledge and skills toward the dreams and goals we desire to manifest in our lives. Our challenge is taking back and maintaining our power in a world where we are inundated with a barrage of social messages, many of which argue it is our circumstances that define who we become instead of our innate-power to choose who we become.
In Eastern and Western cultures, there have always been people throughout history who believed we have the power to transform how we think and thus the power to transform our lives. And in spite of new findings in both positive psychology and neuroscience which back up what was already known, many people are conditioned to believe that the power to change their lives exists outside of themselves. Thus, many smart and talented folks underestimate their ability to create new possibilities in their lives.
If you find yourself wondering if there is more to life than your present state, this article is for you. Perhaps you’re just getting to know me, so it’s important that I make it clear to you that I’m on mission to help people dismiss the BS beliefs that have chained them to a lifestyle that is not a reflection of their potential and highest aspirations.
One of the most powerful ways for me to be a supportive companion to you and others on this personal journey of exploration, discovery and empowerment is by providing details of my story which you can read about here and here, and share the success stories of people who developed inner-strength and a belief in their power to transform their lives which empowered them to rise above daunting circumstances and create sustainable success.
One of the individuals who has been able to do this is Chris Gardner. In his book, Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be Chris builds on his personal story highlighted in his book Pursuit of Happyness by sharing with readers many of the personal practices that empowered him to go from being homeless to building a successful career with Dean Witter Reynolds before becoming the owner and CEO of his multi-million business, Gardner Rich LLC with offices in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.
Your Beliefs Matter
Chris Gardener did not have a perfect childhood. He never knew his father. He lived with his beloved mother, Bettye Jean Triplett when he wasn’t in foster care. Despite not knowing his father and living in foster homes, he believed in his power to define his future. Gardner acknowledges his gratitude to his mother providing him with a strong spiritual foundation and belief in his power to chart another path and attain whatever goals he set for himself.
My friend, this belief instilled in Gardner by his mother served as an anchor which kept him afloat in the midst of the many storms he faced as a child and adult. This belief in his ability to choose how he would respond to his circumstances versus allowing his circumstances define who he would become empowered him to transform the trajectory of his life when it seemed to those who knew him that the odds against him were too great for him to succeed and perhaps he should just settle for his lot in life.
The Adversity Advantage
When you’re faced with challenges what are the beliefs that govern your perception and response to them? Many of us are often too hard on ourselves during moments of difficulty. Although we would quickly show our children, a family member or friend compassion during a difficulty, somehow we fail to show ourselves the same level of compassion. Wouldn’t you agree?
Two of the most important lessons I’ve learned during times of difficulty are, first, coming out of a difficult experience better, stronger and wiser requires that I initiate a deep dive to tap into a greater measure of the innate strength of my spirit and, second, practicing radical self-love enables me to be compassionate towards myself so that I don’t make the experience any more challenging than it has to be. It’s enough that I’m striving to overcome an external challenge, I don’t need to create internal barriers that inhibit my progress in the situation. Right?
Mastering the meanings we attach to difficult experiences determine if we’re open to receiving the gift from each of these experiences. Napoleon Hill wrote, “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it a seed of an equal or greater benefit.” Many years before I first read this quote, I knew this intuitively as a result of overcoming the unexpected deaths of my mom and son. There deaths and other adversities that I’d overcome pushed me to initiate a deep dive into a greater measure of the innate strength in my spirit and develop my faith in God and in myself. I know from experience that the gift of realizing that I was stronger than I’d imagined myself to be prior to these experiences helped me to develop my stick-to-itiveness, character, and the self-leadership habits which helped me to overcome daunting odds and build an award-winning leadership career in the hospitality industry for 20 years.
Would I have learned how strong my spirit and faith is without the adversity I’ve faced? I’m not sure. Nor do I believe that one can only learn key life lessons through suffering and hard times. If that was the case, all of the people that live on the streets in your community would have learned the lesson and would have move beyond being homeless. I know for sure that an empowering perspective on any situation creates space for new possibilities to emerge.
So as you read the following list of personal traits that Gardner highlights were key to him being able to rise above homelessness and become a multi-millionaire, consider how you can embody the fullness of these traits right now in your life. Don’t think that this is just another list. It is no accident that you are reading this post. So often, people read articles like this one, get a quick boost for the moment and never tap into the power of the knowledge conveyed in them by actually applying the information on a consistent basis in their lives. I challenge you to put forth the effort to identify how you can develop some if not all of these personal traits.
Nine Keys to Being the Best You Can Be
1. Think Like an Entrepreneur: You do not have to be an entrepreneur to think like one. Employees who take ownership of their professional success understand the importance of contributing what is deemed most relevant to the success of a business. They make it their business to do so, day in and day out, without having a need to be told to do so. They also realize that their professional reputation is their personal brand and the importance of maintaining an ethical and trustworthy reputation.
2. Move Mountains: In addition to mountain moving faith, the power of focus enables you to develop and execute successful strategies to achieve your professional and personal goals and objectives. Attention is energy. The greater its intensity, the greater your capacity to maintain the laser-like focus necessary to dismiss distractions that would delay or prevent your success.
3. Unify Your Efforts: Scattered efforts produce scattered results. When you are able to focus on purpose and concentrate your energies towards that which is deemed priorities related to your goals and objectives, you will increase your effectiveness and level of success.
4. The Calvary Ain’t Coming: You have to take responsibility for the success you want in life. See challenges as opportunities to discover how capable you are. Failure is not permanent. It serves only as feedback which is always useful in strategizing a campaign to achieve specific goals. Yes, you will need and be able to receive the support of others, however, at the end of day, your life is your responsibility. Don’t allow anyone’s inability to see what you’re capable of deter you from believing and pursuing your dreams. Gardner writes, “Victory against the odds had everything to do with ending the reliance on a Calvary coming to rescue him.”
5. Identify Your Personal B.S: Gardner asserts that we have to call ourselves on our own BS. He says, “We give too much credence to chance and not enough to choice. The millions of people who defy statistics and succeed in life not in spite of the odds but because of them.”
6. With Action Comes Traction: Gardner writes, “Find whatever it is within your current situation you can control and start there. Whenever you own your choices, good or bad you empower yourself. The habits of thinking take longer to change then behavior. The key is to start and allow the initiation of action to create momentum- this is not an opinion, it’s the law of physics.”
7. Baby Steps Count, too!: Gardner says, “Remind yourself- no matter how slow your progress baby steps count. What matter is that you are headed in the right direction. Sense of purpose keeps you moving forward and helps guide you when choosing which step to take next.”
8. Maintain Oceanic Persistence: Gardner points out, “the ocean is relentless, always moving with the power and purpose nature has given it – the tide inching forward with every wave. The dynamics of our situation changes once we become purposeful and directed.”
9. Face Your Fears: Gardner writes, “Fear is the most common obstacle that stands in our way or holds us back from our highest self and aspirations. No one, except us can make the fear we feel disintegrate. We have to take it upon ourselves to develop the skills necessary to manage our fears in a way that works personally for us. The means to doing so is unique as our DNA.”
The journey of becoming the best that you can be is a call to step up and own your power in every aspect of your life. The choices that you make today are defining the future you will experience. Becoming clear about the lifestyle experiences you truly desire, cultivating empowering beliefs about yourself and demonstrating the willingness to develop effective personal leadership habits that increase your capacity to make these experiences your reality are sure fire signs that you are committed to unleashing a greater measure of your potential to become the best you can be.
Bonus Video: Unbroken
Bonus Video: Unbroken
Did you like this article? Please share it.
Share your comments below.
Empowering Your Success
Author Bio: Jackie Capers Brown is the CEO of Braveheart Training Group. She is an author, motivational speaker and Mentor to Game Changers. Feeling stuck? Move forward empowered by the My DRIVE Advantage™ Strategy. Start to manifest new possibilities in your life. Wake up feeling good about yourself and life. Read Jackie’s latest book,