The Power of Belief

Imagine walking along a white, sandy beach. It is mid-afternoon; a slight breeze blows while you gaze at the sparkling waves. As you stroll along, you notice two young boys playing at the edge of the water. As it recedes, the kids give chase, only to find another wave crashing down at their feet. One boy yells with excitement, letting out a playful laugh as he runs towards the sand, the water chasing after him. The other boy freezes, clutches his arms to his chest and lets out a terrible cry. He too runs, but out of utter terror at what has transpired, heading straight for his mother’s embrace of support and safety.

My question for you is this: did the ocean cause those reactions?

The answer is, no, it did not. The ocean merely acted as it has countless times before, splashing these children in the same way at the exact same time and place. The difference in their reaction was the interpretation of events that transpired.

This reality is equally true for everyone in your Corporate Family, including you. Each individual has core beliefs about themselves, others, and the world around them—many of which have been shaped since childhood. People who believe that the world is a generally safe place, that there’s not much that can scare them, or that they’re a survivor, will tend to react very differently to an event than others who believe that the world is unfriendly and that, no matter what they do, they’ll never succeed.

The great news is that perceptions of “reality” can change with intentional effort. We don’t have to stay trapped in past fears or negative ways of thinking. As a leader, you have the ability to transform your thoughts and reactions to your experiences. You can choose to change your beliefs to more positive, productive ways of perceiving and reacting to colleagues, clients, and the world in general. In other words, you can decide to face the “waves” rather than running from them, deciding to believe that you’ve got the power to deal with anything that life sends your direction. Doing so takes effort, but this will yield great results in every aspect of your life.

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