In the book, “The Power of Positive Thinking,” by Norman Vincent Peale, he shares a story of a pole vaulter. On this particular day, he was up for a scholarship. That meant that if he made the vault, like he had made it before, he was going to get an athletic scholarship to college. We can only imagine the pressure he put upon himself.
Have you ever noticed, that when pressures are on us, is when doubt-thoughts rise to the forefront of our thinking? This young man stood there, looked at the bar, and then looked at his pole. He knew, inside of himself, that he did not have what it would take to make it over the bar. I’d like to share with you some of the things his coach said to him. These are time-tested bits of wisdom that we can use to go over a barrier that may be in front of us in life.
He said to the young man: “I want you to throw your heart over the bar. In your imagination, I want you not to see anything below the bar. In your imagination and eyesight, only see the things ABOVE the bar.”
There are so many times in our lives when we are looking at the ground and all the things BELOW the “bar.” Then, we look up for a brief moment and think that the bar looks so high. We say to ourselves, “I’ll never get over that. I wish I could, but I can’t.”
Give yourself a gift – visualize everything ABOVE the bar and nothing below, we will have the lifting power of Life inside of us to throw us up and over any obstacle. It will work every time, because we are more than flesh and bone. We have the strength and courage to go anywhere we want to go. Remember – If you can conceive it, and you can believe it, you can achieve it.
If we wish to keep a comfortable, peaceful, place in mind, we must distance ourselves from negative distractions. If we want to reach our goals and dreams, we must maintain our vision “above the bar” we have set. Focus only on what we want. Place our primary attention on what supports our goals and visions, and they will be ours.
There was a time, when I was driving with someone who was complaining about something going on in his life, and I said, “WOW! Did you see that hillside back there with all the flowers?”
“What hillside? What flowers?”
So I turned around and pulled to the side of the road, we got out of the car and enjoyed in amazement, the vivid tapestry of color, textures, and fragrances. “That hillside,” I said. Now he was almost overcome with joy, wonder and appreciation. Give yourself a gift – focus on what you want in life, not what you don’t.
I offer you five additional gifts to give to yourself.
1. Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding. If another picture enters your mind, set it aside and re-focus on what you desire.
2. Whenever an opposing thought comes into your mind concerning your own personal power, deliberately voice a positive thought to cancel it out. Create affirmations that support your abilities. “I can do this.” “I am stronger than any challenge.” “I am committed to my success.” are just a few.
3. Don’t be awestruck by other people. The amazing traits you see in them exist in you too. If you see those traits in others, they are calling you to bring them out and express them in your life.
4. Utilize a good friend or counselor, or coach, with whom you can discuss your life and be a witness to your successes. Find a trustworthy friend or professional to validate your amazing power.
5. Go out of your way to speak optimistically about everything in your life. Speak optimistically about your health, relationships, job, your future, everything. Make this a new habit. The paybacks will be enormous!
Some of what has been suggested here is counter-cultural. A person who consistently speaks optimistically may be deemed “odd” by others. Airy-fairy. An optimistic individual may be breaking with a family system of doubt and pessimism. Some may want you to be “realistic,” meaning you should focus on the negative.
Stay the course. Keep heading in the direction that supports what you want in life. You’ll encounter the winds of resistance, no doubt. However, you can do this. Take control of your life and give yourself the gift of realizing your goals and visions. Focus on them and only them.