“To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are.”- Muhammad Ali
I’m pretty sure we all have a general idea of who the man in the picture is. To be honest, I’m quite intrigued by the life of Muhammad Ali and I often find myself watching some of his fights on youtube or him bouncing around out of the ring delivering poetic speeches that were interesting to his audience; even if it was just one person in an interview or hoards of people at a press conference. I think what intrigues me (and safe to say, a large number of us reading this) the most about this man was his high level of confidence and belief in himself. Like, he literally thought he was a god. As with any other human being, I’m sure he must have faced some periods in his life where he failed (and he did lose a number of fights) but his constant unshakeable belief in himself and his abilities kept him going…and winning! The more he talked to himself as the best and referred to himself as the best, the more he became the best.
I’ve learned that the mind is so so powerful; and belief in oneself, which stems from the human mind, can either make or break you as an individual. Your belief in yourself and your capabilities can either create an amazing life for you or destroy one full of potential. It is pretty easy to sit down and look at the next man and say “oh he has it easy” or “oh, he is well connected and so life is clearly easier for him”. Well, one of the things I’ve come to understand about life for which we must always be consciously grateful is that some people would always have it easier than us and some, tougher. And that’s okay. So wherever you find yourself in life, be sure to use what you have.
So ask yourself today, this morning. What keeps you from believing in yourself and your abilities? Most of us are even unaware of our capabilities because we’ve never ever tried to get close to any form of challenge or task that makes us think bigger than we have ever done and it’s pretty easy to get comfortable with life and just do ordinary expected things. Sometimes we’re so quick to look around us and heave a huge sigh of “oh well, this is my world and my environment, it can’t get any better than this…let me just manage” but something within us is burning to be released to the world, to be shown to the world, that perhaps the world needs just because of what we can do. Sometimes, we might feel that the circumstances or the environment is not conducive enough to be the best we can be. But guess what? It is your belief in yourself and the decisions you take based on it, that shape your life and your destiny…not your conditions or external factors.
I love that quote at the top because it says to be a champion you have to believe that you are the best and if you’re not then pretend you are. Well, if you continue to do that, you most certainly will become the best or pretty close to it. Why? Because when you constantly affirm to yourself that you believe in yourself and you are the best, you will begin to work in that manner and conquer fears and challenges as well. As they say “fake it till you make it”.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve picked up a few tips that help me believe in myself more when fears and doubts of my capabilities are tempted to creep in and I’ll share just some of them briefly:
1. Count your wins; it’s easy to feel bad about a present task or challenge that you feel you cannot overcome or a goal that you feel you may never be able to achieve. But quite often, look back and remind yourself of the times you overcame even when it seemed like it was going to be tough at the beginning. Count those wins and not the mistakes or losses.
2. Positive Affirmations; To some people, words of positive affirmation seem weird especially when spoken out loud to yourself, but guess what? try saying “I can do this!” “I am smart” “I am intelligent” or “I can pull through this” “I am strong” to yourself out loud when about to undertake a task or goal and see how it makes you feel. It really does help
3. Don’t dwell; on past mistakes, on losses, on the things that went wrong, or that time you believed in yourself but didn’t get it right…Mistakes are all a part of it and are amazing learning opportunities so choose to see your “mistakes” as that. Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up by repeating words of negative affirmations like “oh I’m so dumb/ stupid” “I knew it would never work” “what was i thinking?”. Because how inspired can you get by beating yourself up?
4. Resist from comparing yourself to another person; because we are all blessed in our own ways and have individual strengths and weaknesses. The more you compare yourself to someone who has a particular strength that may not be yours, the more your belief in yourself reduces. Meanwhile, what may be your strength may be that person’s weakness…but how would you know when you’re squarely focused on that person’s strength and your weaknesses. Know your strengths and harness them. Dig deep and realise those amazing capabilities lying within you.
5. All things; because I can do all things through Him he gives me strength. Phil 4:13 (and my bible don’t lie)
And for those of us, who feel as though we do believe greatly in ourselves but “it” is just too much, too great and too…impossible, remember that “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” (Yup, Muhammad Ali said that one)
You’re never too old to go after those dreams and make them a reality. Have the confidence in you and then be tough enough to follow through.
Because if you don’t believe in yourself…how can anyone else?
Picture Source: Time