What do you believe about your life now? What do you believe about your potential now? If you reflect upon the number of recent tasks, projects, or goals you've begun, how many did you complete? How many from that list did you begin and then set aside, thinking there was not enough time, resources, support, or too many barriers to overcome?
If you have a record of not completing projects or tasks, do you place the responsibility upon yourself, or is it always a matter of external conditions, be it people or something else? These are important questions to consider while you begin to contemplate what it means to accomplish what's important and meaningful in your life. This is especially true for goals. If you have set goals for yourself, it means there is some outcome you hope to achieve, something or some condition you aspire to complete, often resulting in a change within your life.
As you continue your reflection, about task or goal completion, consider something even more important: What did you believe about yourself, and your capability, at the time you established your tasks, projects, and goals? Did you stop to think about whether or not you were capable of achieving what you had planned? Or did you simply establish something you thought would be possible, and begin with a sense of hope? That's usually how goals are formed, perhaps even with a sense of optimism.
The excitement of starting something new may last for a short time period, until the hard work sets in, and it becomes necessary to maintain that initial momentum or excitement. If you didn't have a supportive belief system established, the momentum may quickly fade, and the project or goal may stall. That's when the task switches from being enjoyable, to becoming a monumental chore, and the negative self-talk begins.
What's the missing element? It's the beliefs you hold. If you start out believing you can accomplish anything you decide to do, then maintaining momentum will not be as difficult. The premise is simple: You become what you believe. I'll share with you some ideas for improving your belief system, so that you are better able to start, and work towards completing, your projects and goals.
Why Do Beliefs Matter?
Beliefs matter because you always have thoughts in your mind, and you can choose what your self-talk consists of each day. Now if you have become accustomed to hearing negative self-talk, it will take some practice to change this habit. For example, if you are always criticizing yourself for past mistakes, reminding yourself of past failures, and continually pointing out flaws, then trying to establish positive beliefs is going to be challenging at first. Your working conditions may also reinforce a negative attitude, especially if you have a manager who is always focused on what they perceive to be your flaws, and never noticing your strengths or contributions to the organization.
Yet you are in control of your thoughts, and this is something you can learn to change in time. It is a practiced habit, and like all habits, it can be corrected. It's a matter of finding a new setpoint, or learning to tune out whatever might be harmful to your well-being, and stopping to think about those thoughts that help to lift you up. Everyone has flaws, and everyone has areas of development. However, this does not need to be your focal point at all times. A positive frame of reference is how you become a better person, and how you work on your areas of development. It all has to do with the development of a positive or supportive self-belief system.
Developing a Positive Self-Belief System
There are strategies I've developed over time, and shared with my students, that I recommend for you as well. These methods will help you learn to better tune into those thoughts that support you, and your efforts to develop new goals, projects, and tasks, and sustain those efforts, even during times when the work becomes challenging. I use the acronym BELIEF.
Become Your Own Sponsor: You must rely upon yourself to be supportive, even when there are times that you feel challenged by your goals, life, work, or anything else that comes along. If you begin to think negative thoughts, then you are going to view your entire life in this manner, and you are not going to be able to respond in a way that is beneficial to you. You think and act best when you self-supportive.
Elevate Yourself: As you learn to become self-supportive, you can elevate yourself by believing in yourself, despite natural doubts and questions. There is no perfect person, and you should never accept that you are expected to be perfect. Who you are is exactly who you are supposed to be, someone who is learning and growing every day. You have a capacity to continue to grow.
Like Who You Are: It is important to your well-being that you like the person you see in the mirror. Your entire disposition will change if you make a conscious decision that who you are is perfectly acceptable, even if you decide there are flaws. The imperfections you hold make you perfect. When you like yourself, you are stating that you also believe in yourself. The two go hand-in-hand. You can like yourself without having to ask for anyone's permission. This is your decision, and yours alone.
Intend to Remain Positive: There are going to be days in which you feel down, challenged, and not at your peak. This is all part of life. What you can do is intend to retain your positive disposition, for the sake of maintaining your self-resilience and determination to do your best no matter what conditions may be. This does not mean you are wearing a happy face, rather it means your outlook is hopeful and you are going to find a way to still believe in the best outlook. You will find it easier to get through those challenging days, when you have a positive disposition.
Engage in Beliefs that Challenge You: You may be holding onto existing beliefs that do not serve you well now, as you are thinking about aspects of your life that have not occurred in the manner you hoped it would. If so, this is the time to engage those beliefs, to determine not why they were developed, but to ascertain if you still need to hold onto them. Now that you are thinking about a new method of developing beliefs, it is time to begin to set aside prior beliefs, especially those that do not serve you well. It will take practice, but those old beliefs are likely keeping you stuck in the past.
Forge New Positive Beliefs: If you need help feeling better about yourself, now is the time to forge your new beliefs. You can do this by relating these beliefs to the new goals you've established. For example, if you have a goal related to your well-being, then decide what it will take to reach or attain that goal. Consider potential obstacles or barriers along the way. Then write down beliefs you will need to support the goal as well. Now practice stating those beliefs. You will now be prepared to work on your goal, and have supportive beliefs to guide you.
It's All a Matter of Focus
What you choose to focus upon matters for your well-being. If you have a negative idea, it can be cultivated into a worrisome state of mind. You can also begin with an affirmative idea, allowing it to continue until you feel good. You have an ability to think and feel better. This is the formula for beliefs as well. It's all about thinking and what you focus upon. You are the sum of what you are thinking about in this moment, which means you are the sum of what you believe about yourself. You can train yourself to think the best about yourself, which in turn means you believe the best about yourself. If you want to make changes to your life, start a new goal, or accomplish something you have dreamed of doing, develop a positive disposition and supportive belief system. What you believe about yourself, you will become through the actions you take. You control your life, through the power of your thoughts.
About Dr. Johnson
Dr. Bruce A. Johnson has been working in the field of higher education and distance learning since 2005, with roles which included Chief Academic Officer, Faculty Development Manager, Core Faculty, and Faculty Development Specialist. Presently Dr. J serves as Core Faculty for an online university, teaching courses in the Performance Improvement Leadership specialization, while also mentoring doctoral students, and serving on doctoral committees. Prior to 2005, he worked in Corporate America as a Manager of Training and Development.
Dr. Bruce A. Johnson is an inspirational author, writer, and educator. Dr. J's life's mission to teach, mentor, write, and inspire others. He earned a PhD in Postsecondary and Adult Education, a Certificate in Training and Performance Improvement (TPI), a Master's in Adult Education, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA).
As a scholar practitioner, Dr. J was published in a scholarly journal and he has been a featured presenter at an international distance learning conference. He has published three books related to higher education, including two about online teaching. Dr. J has also published over 230 online articles about adult learning, higher education, distance learning, online teaching, and career development.
Dr. J offers the following transformative resources:
• Brand New: Dr J's Mindset Photo PDF Book: 100 of his best motivational quotes. This will help you tune up your mindset and stay focused on discovering your personal best at any time of the day, whether you open it up at the start of the day to establish your well-being, or at the end of a very busy day and you need to unwind.
• Also New: Mindset Tune-Up Inspirational Card Deck. Start your morning or transform your day with words of encouragement. These are more than affirmations; these cards are personal self-empowerment statements.
Dr. J also offers the following resources:
• Transform Online Teaching: Expert Strategies and Essential Resources Every Educator Needs
• Getting Down to Business: A Handbook for Adjunct Faculty Who Teach Business
Please Visit: Dr. J's Resources Page
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