The Power Of Belief
Last week we looked at the three superpowers of a True Believer. Refer to https://www.candicewalker.com/blog/blog-10. Taylor Swift is one person I really admire and she definitely embodies belief (has been writing life stories since she was a teen), conviction (she has moved from country to pop to icon status) and commitment (she continually refreshes her concerts and woos audiences globally).
This week has really tested my belief. I have had two very close friends enter stage 4 and whilst being a cancer patient myself, I realize the immediacy of mortality; it struck me what others around me must feel. I have been fuelled with such conviction and commitment that it is easy to underestimate the impact that a brain tumor can have on the community. It is only when someone close to you is suffering that the feeling of overwhelm and fear surfaces. It is why Belief is so powerful in helping ourselves and importantly others get through life with momentum. I know that I couldn't get through if I didn't have the belief that there will be a cure of this insidious disease (if not for me, then for my loved ones).
It is no surprise that one of the three superpowers of a True Believer is belief. Belief is where we have vision without proof. Belief, even without the evidence, gives us certainty, confidence in the existence of something. Those with strong belief are unshakeable and unwavering in their opinion. When our belief is weak we are more likely to be full of doubt, distrust, fear and uncertainty. Without belief the other superpowers of conviction and commitment lie dormant.
There are three domains to belief:
In 1963 Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his powerful I Have a Dream speech to over 250,000 people. It is a speech that still inspires today.
The speech is significant in demonstrating the power to create a better reality through the idea of a dream – a belief in a better tomorrow. Many who heard King’s vision and his dream would never become a reality. But during this time African Americans achieved more progress toward racial equality than in the previous 350 years.
My dream is that there will be a cure for anyone who suffers from cancer. My purpose is to provide psychosocial support to those with cancer and to their associated loved ones. To move those with zero belief to being True Believers in the redemptive powers of understanding & compassion.
Never underestimate the power of one person’s vision – of hope, freedom, justice, peace, or any vision – to affect change. The impact from one person’s belief set can have a profound influence on one or many. Deciding what is truly important – a belief in a better tomorrow – is how we create our vision. Having a vision is your ability to use your imagination to think about a better future.
What is your plan for a better future? What’s important in the future for you?
Write that down now.
When we have a strong vision we have certainty and belief – without a shadow of doubt – that we will get there. But sadly, with every belief and vision comes a constant stream of doubt. Part of belief is to manage the doubt that can insert itself between a vision and our current reality.
Over the past week my belief has certainly waivered yet is my ability to manage this doubt that keeps me sane.
We can’t stop thoughts entering our mind, but it is what we do with our thoughts that matter. By listening to negative self-talk we sabotage our success, health and relationships. It is particularly damaging when our thoughts are not in line with reality and we buy into irrational feelings that don't serve us. But sometimes our negative thoughts are in line with our current reality and that can also prevent us from moving forward.
Even when we know what we want, stress – often caused by doubt – can overwhelm us and ‘freeze” our ability to achieve. As we push through our fear a new mental state can emerge bringing with it greater conviction and hope. It’s not self-belief that’s essential to success; it’s having the courage to act in the face of self-doubt until self-belief turns up. Self-belief is a by-product of taking action and action is what takes us to our new reality. And what bridges the gap between our vision and our new reality is hope.
For many years I have protected myself by living in a bubble. It is my ‘safe’ place. No matter what is happening around me, I can retreat and the world looks good. Now there are some downsides to this (as vulnerability is the source of our greatest strength) but by and large it provides a survival mechanism.
Delusion is a belief held with conviction regardless to the strong evidence to the contrary. In most cases you will hear about delusion in the context of when someone believes they are a rock star and in fact have never sung a note in public. But there is a type of delusion that is not an illness but rather is positive and this is positive delusion.
Positive delusion or the ‘bubble’ allows us to remain in a positive state in our own mind – contrary to what is the reality around us. This is the key to maintaining the vision. This positive delusion, where we hold the dream alive, bridges the gap until the reality shows up. Visualisation – where we feel the desired outcome in advance, combined with positive delusion, helping to fast track the outcomes we want. With positive narratives we are creating positive narratives to hold us until success shows up.
When the inevitable doubt arrives, what helps us to focus back on our belief is our ability to feel our vision in advance. This quality of feeling it in advance provides us with the resilience and trust we need to manage fear and doubt as we go in relentless pursuit of what we want.
Are you looking sideways? As we move towards our vision there can be a number of distractions. The trick is to know when to look sideways and benefit and when not to. Getting that right has a big impact on how effective and resilient you are.
It doesn't mean we don't wish. It just means we need to take the next step, to decide and to take action to make our wishes a reality – to take responsibility. We decide to get the things done that matter – the things we really desire. When you think or say “I wish”, or “I hope” or “I’m dreaming of the day”, just remind yourself that few wishes, hopes or dreams come true without action. Instead say, “I have decided” or “I will”. Then there is little risk we will get stuck in fantasyland. Remember those who wish wait longer than those who decide. Live the wish – don't wait!
And although belief is the first step towards making those wishes come true, belief is also essential for driving you to the finish line. Without belief we cant get moving, as belief is what gives the next superpower of conviction, its get and go stamina! We will delve into this next week.
What we can achieve with those who believe, has no limits!
In next week’s blog, we will look at the next Superpower of the True Believers.
Love & Peace