Why is it, that our minds so easily wander to the dark side, accepting negative or worst-case scenarios instead of being hopeful? Henry Ford stated, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are right.” Our ability to control our outcomes is with us all the time, but so many times, we choose to believe that things are out of our control.
Years ago, when I closed my consulting firm, in advance of the house of cards collapsing in the financial sector, I did so, with confidence, that I would have no trouble finding work with another company. Why would I not believe this? I had provided services to some of the largest financial institutions in the world, had a stellar reputation, and had many impressive qualifications gained through my many years as an auditor and transformation specialist.
What I did not anticipate were six, long months of scouring job bulletins, speaking with recruiters, sending out resumes, and the loser letters, or non-responses that I would or would not receive. Yes, I coined the term, loser letter. You know the one, it starts…. “Thank you for your interest in….. We regret to inform you, that after reviewing your qualifications…..” and the thought that would enter my mind following this, to finish the sentence was, because you’re a loser. Pretty harsh, right?
I joked, when I would tell my family and friends, “I got my loser letter today from ABC Company,” brushing off my disappointment and frustration. Now, did I really believe this? Did I really believe that I was a loser? I’m a highly confident person. How could this be?
Whether we care to believe it or not, when we entertain thoughts, allowing them to hang out in our heads- they become beliefs. So, the answer is, yes. Even a person with high self-esteem, can choose to entertain thoughts that seem to go against their character- and these become an unconscious belief. The actual verbalization of the term, loser letter, was a manifestation of my unconscious belief about myself, derived by how I believed others were seeing me- not good enough- or a loser.
Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are right. This statement by Henry Ford is so profound in truth to our ability to succeed in everything we do.
When we think we can, we are accepting belief in ourselves, and our actions will naturally follow our mind. If I believe that I can get out of the chair and walk across the room, I will get up and walk across the room. My thoughts precede my actions. This is rather simplified, but if I don’t think I can, I will likely not try, and my actions will not follow to challenge my accepted beliefs. Think about the miraculous people, who with determination after a serious injury, have done something they were told they could not do.
How many times have you become so caught up in the details of how you can, that you didn’t even try? This stems from disbelief; that until you have everything figured out, it can't happen. Let me illustrate how absurd this thinking is.
When I finally received an offer for an interview, knowing that if I could just get in front of these people, I’d get the job, I gave it my all. My actions followed my belief- my knowing. I had a belief that I could secure the position- and I did. --And even if I hadn't, that still should not have affected my belief that I could secure a job. Belief is a choice.
Why would we go on an interview if we don’t believe that we will get the job? Why would we look our best, present ourselves with confidence, and tell the employer why we are the best person for the job, if we don’t believe it? -- Because our thoughts precede our actions. With each resume, with each interview, our actions are following a belief.
Why do we allow disappointment at just one opportunity to become who we are? Why do we choose the dark side of our thoughts? It is, indeed, a choice in perspective.
I now know that what I saw, at the time, were not loser letters, opportunity letters . Each rejection is an opportunity to try again, for something better. I understand it’s hard to see that when you are there, but that is the point of this article. When I used the term, loser letter, I was allowing in, entertaining a negative belief, that led me into thinking I can’t. I was attracting more negative because my actions needed to follow my thinking.
Our self-worth is not dependent upon what others think or our job status. Our ability to succeed is wholly dependent on what we think and believe, as successful actions will follow. Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before he finally succeeded. His perseverance was his action following a belief that he could succeed. “If you believe the doubts in your mind, you won’t achieve the dreams in your heart,” Marinella Reka.
When we go to turn on a light, we don’t think about how the electricity gets to the switch. We just flip the switch and the room lights. Our thinking is the control switch over the outcomes of our life. Stop pre-judging if the light will come on or not, just flip the switch. Believe that you can and your creativity will be enabled. When you enable your mind to think you can, and then figure out the necessary actions and details, you will accept the belief that there is nothing that you can’t do- and you are in control.
“If you really want something, you will find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse,” Jim Rohn. It’s time to start exercising control over your choice to think you can, or think you can’t. Your opportunities await.
Jolene Church is a mindfulness practitioner, success coach, and motivational speaker with the National Speakers Association. Her latest book, Thinking 101: Fundamentals of a Successful Mindset, helps people break down conditioned barriers in our thinking that inhibits our success. www.SuccessfulThinkingMindset.com
Jolene holds Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership and is a certified master success coach. Jolene's writing is continually inspired by the challenges that her clients are facing. She finds constant inspiration in the world around her and is profoundly honored to be living her purpose helping others turn impossible into possible.