14. Believe

Cloud_BoucherAh, that elusive goal. You dream of the day when you attain it, imagining what life will be like when you do.

Then you stop yourself dead in your tracks, reining yourself in because the thought of actually obtaining your dream is too big, too far-fetched, too far off to imagine. BUT – YOU CAN if you believe.

Like Dorothy whose adventures in OZ offered a mirror of self-imposed complexity and the unwillingness to look inside for the answers (and the truth), YOU possess the ability to achieve the seemingly impossible. That achievement begins with believing.

What does it mean to believe – in yourself and in your goal?

Contrary to what you might expect, believing is not about blindly plunging forward in hot pursuit of a mysterious something out there. No. To believe is to trust – in yourself and in the process of learning and adapting.

Belief requires that you BE – ever present to shifts in your attention, effort, direction, emotions, thoughts and accomplishments. Belief means seeing that you are ON the path and gently bringing yourself back when you wander off.

How do you know you are ON the path? Simply put you are on the path when you do NOT struggle.

That is not to say that your life will proceed without storms or the occasional fallen branch blocking your way. Those things happen to EVERYONE.

It’s what you do when the unexpected happens that matters.

If you BELIEVE, a disruption is simply a disruption – a chance to re-assess, catch your breath, open your eyes to the possibility of a wider, easier path than the one you are on. To the non-believer, a disruption is cause for alarm, an excuse to abandon self and goal, the catalyst for a flurry of mind-less effort that leaves you winded and wounded.

IF you are attending to yourself, staying clear of story-land and struggle, you are well on your way to believing and achieving. How will you remind yourself to gently come back to you?

3 thoughts on “14. Believe

  1. How does one ACTUALLY believe and take action


    1. Hi Nancy,

      Thank you for responding. I’m curious about your question. Do you have something specific you are trying to accomplish that gets thwarted because of a lack of belief? Or is your belief getting in the way of your doing, i.e., taking action to obtain your goal?

      Let me use something simple and unemotional as an example of how to combine belief and action. Say you are taking a yoga class and would like to learn to do tree pose but you have trouble standing on one leg. If you don’t believe you can learn the pose chances are extraordinarily high that you won’t try. If you tell yourself, “I can’t”, you’re essentially telling yourself that you don’t believe you have the ability to accomplish your goal. In this case, chances are any efforts you do make will be half-hearted and will most likely fail because you are in essence getting in your own way by thinking aka believing that you can’t. As the old adage goes – “if you tell yourself you can’t, you won’t.”

      On the other hand, if you believe that it IS possible for you to learn, it becomes easier to allow yourself to move in the direction of your goal even though it may take time to achieve the result. Believing allows you to break your goal into small doable steps, accomplishing each of those one by one until your ultimate goal – in this case tree pose – is attained.

      Some of the steps you might take in service of learning tree pose would include bringing your hands overhead into the tree position while standing on both feet. You might then shift your weight onto one leg more heavily than the other. Next you might try one foot on the floor and the other foot standing on the one that’s on the floor. Each small step brings you closer and closer to the ultimate goal.

      As I write this, my daughter is sitting with me. We have been working on a huge project for over one year. Our goal is to make 1000 origami cranes. It’s a huge project. If we didn’t believe we could accomplish it we certainly wouldn’t keep plugging along. But we do believe we can eventually reach 1000 cranes so we continue to make them one at a time. So far we have 418 cranes finished and some are already mounted on a canvas for display. Our friend, Miyoko, has already completed her 1000. Did our project go as quickly as hers? No. But that doesn’t hinder us from moving on.

      Writing a book called “How to Do Anything Better” is another example from my own life. I used to tell myself that there was no way I could find time to write a book even though I had ideas and wanted to write. I started writing others many times but always I came back to not believing I could truly accomplish the task. This time, I decided to simply believe and to allow myself to do just one little bit in service of writing a book — one page, one blog at a time — until someday I have a book.

      Is this helpful? If you have something more specific you need assistance with, please let me know.



      1. I thought I might make things a bit simpler. If you think about it, every action is accompanied by an underlying belief. Sometime the belief is unconscious. The trick is to create a CONSCIOUS belief that supports the action you are taking or wanting to take. Like the Little Engine that could, “I think I can, I think I can.” becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

        Repeat your desired belief over and over until it becomes part of you. In other words, teach your system your new belief by following the steps of how to do anything better.


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