When was the last time you did something for the first time? Did that ‘something’ involve going against the grain?
Many times, we embark upon an adventurous journey of say entrepreneurship, personal development, some education, dating a girl, or trying to get married to someone of whom our families disapprove.
The end result for most people is that they quit before they even really get started. That’s usually because they’ve been ‘attacked’ by the opposition –friends and family –who have never done something similar to what they’re embarking on, but always seem to have the most dogmatic opinion as to why “it won’t work!”
What do you do in order to stick it out and maintain your stand? They say “if you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything” –you’ll bow to opposition; you’ll fall flat on your face and give up!
There is a cycle that has to be rightly in place for you to last in that business, to continue growing personally, to stick it through when academics get tough, to keep dating that alienated girlfriend, to keep giving your all to something even when the expected results haven’t started pouring in yet.
That’s the ‘Cycle of Belief’. It has to start with what you believe in –what exactly you stand for and are willing to die for –and end with same.
Let’s take a look at how this cycle goes:
This is your ‘why’, – your reason for doing what you’re doing. It has to be true to you.
You believe that that business is a profitable one, and will work out for you if you work it; you believe getting that degree will land you a lucrative job in the end, you believe your girlfriend is a good-natured person and won’t turn into a witch when you marry her, just like your family says she would.
Your belief is the foundation. It’s why you’ll stick to it through thick and thin. It’s the foundation on which many religions are founded and many movements started no matter the level of opposition they face, from little family members all the way to the gates of hell! It is what will keep you standing for one thing rather than falling for anything else.
You then start thinking about that thing that you believe. It consumes your mind. You’re always thinking about how to serve your customers/clients better, how to do better at school, what personal development activities to engage in like attending conferences, reading books, etc, how to better your relationships and marriage.
What you believe is what you’ll think about/around. That’s why it’s very important to watch what you feed your mind, whom you associate with, and what kind of environment you live in. All these form your belief system, which translates to your thought pattern.
Out of the abundance of your thoughts, your mouth speaks words. The words you speak will easily tell your level of belief. If you’re still like “Oh I don’t know, I guess I’ll just give it a try for two years and see how much I make”, then your belief isn’t strong enough. You need to revisit your conviction and see where you stand. If you’re not convicted, don’t even get started until you’re sure you are. And the words you speak to friends, competitors, opposition, and other stakeholders of your venture will tell you for sure where you stand.
Your beliefs inform your thoughts, which are then manifested through your words. Check your words from time to time to see where you stand, and adjust your beliefs or convictions accordingly.
From thinking and speaking about how to serve your clients better, for example, the next step is to go ahead and do so; same thing with doing better at school, taking steps to personally grow, and doing sweet things to invest into your relationship with that special someone.
Your actions flow from your thoughts and words, so if your mind is filled with negative thoughts; like those that your friends and family, who have never tried what you’re trying, are telling you about the failure rates; then you’ll act accordingly, because “garbage in, garbage out”.
It’s important to be clear about what you believe in, think on those things, speak them, and then begin to act on them!
When that is the case –when you have good and firm beliefs, think on them and begin to act accordingly –with time, you’ll begin to see the fruits of your actions. Say you start doing something as little as smiling to every customer that walks into your shop and asking about their day, every day, you’ll begin to realize, after a couple of months, that you have some repeat customers. People want to come back! They like how they’re being treated here, unlike under the bridge in Ikeja where they get yelled at by the elderly merchant for trying to haggle for a price below her expectations. It’s that simple!
Good actions, good results. Bad actions, bad results. But remember to factor in time and be patient for the results to come.
Back to Beliefs
…and the cycle continues. The (good) results you get reinforce your beliefs in what you’re doing and then causes you to think of even better ways of doing it, which then leads to better words coming from your mouth about it, better actions being taken, and finally better results. And you guessed right –even stronger beliefs! It’s a cycle!
If you stand by that special someone that everyone dislikes, because you believe in them, you begin to think about them just as you believe, and it shows up in the kind of things you say to and about them. This then leads to you taking the right actions –doing both the sweet little things as well as the big mountain-moving things for them. The result you eventually get is that they begin to love you more, responding to you more affectionately. Not surprisingly, others (who opposed you before) will begin to see this result and slowly change their beliefs about the person, which will then reinforce yours… and the cycle continues.
So, when was the last time you did something for the first time? Something scary, something everyone opposed. Are you doing something like that now? Are you about to throw in the towel? Before you do so, ask yourself why you’re really doing what you’re doing, and what you really believe about that venture. What’s the outcome you know it can produce if you stick to it?
Find out what you believe, be sure about it and then stand for it. Your whole lifestyle will flow from there and very soon, you’ll be standing so firmly for that one thing that you cannot be swayed by many little things.