March 6, 2019
My wife, Melissa, recently directed a high school and middle school production of Disney's Newsies. It was amazing! A standing ovation, cheering fans, proud parents and autographs for grammar school kids all pointed to the fact that the show was a roaring success. As I reflected on the outcome of this great adventure that had begun a couple of months before, I was reminded of the most important element that was required in this show being such a success. The element that made it all possible was “belief.” A belief was birthed in Melissa's heart as she began to dream about the possibility of thirty-plus teenagers standing on a stage singing, dancing and acting for more than two hours. She believed that it was possible. Possible for the leads to sing on key. Possible for the musicians to play the songs in a way that kept the musical going. Possible that people who had never acted before could not only pull it off but do a great job. If for one minute, she had not believed that it was possible, the entire production could have fallen apart before it ever made it to the stage. But, because of her belief, the students believed! The school administration believed. The parents believed. Even I believed! Belief is contagious.
The enemy of belief is doubt. Doubt is powerful and sneaky. Doubt creeps in on you in the quiet moments when you wonder if you've bitten off more than you can chew, if you're smart enough, or if you have the skills needed for the job. There is a quote attributed to Henry Ford, the great car maker, that says, “If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." (https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/henry_ford_122817) I have discovered this statement to be absolutely true.
In preparation for the show, my wife faced a great hurtle. The facility that she was using was originally going to be available on Sunday night to start getting things set up. Unfortunately, an unexpected situation occurred and the facility set up was delayed until 4 PM on Monday. This put everything behind a full day on the week of the production! Or did it? A new level of belief kicked in, and instead of the set taking three to four hours to construct, it was done in one hour. Everyone was stunned that it was up and ready for the actors to start tech rehearsal.
If you desire to have transformation take place in your family, marriage, work, or yourself, it must begin with a high level of belief that it can and will happen. Here is an exercise that you can implement into your life to establish belief:
Belief starts by trusting that God has got everything under control and that you do have to be in control of everything.
On a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being "not at all" and 10 being "completely," how much do you need to be in control?
Belief begins with believing that you can only control what is within your control, and that will must release others to control what is within their control. Belief and trust walk hand-in-hand. The more you believe, the more you have to trust others to be a part of the successful outcome. That is why it is so important to surround yourself with people who also have the ability to believe and trust. In the case of my wife's show, she believed that the actors would learn their music and lines, she believed that the musicians would play the right notes, she believed that the people serving the food would show up, she believed that the lights, sound, and video would work at the right time. My wife believed that the advertising done by the marketing person would produce a crowd of people who would show up to see the show. If she had tried to control all of these different things because she did not believe and trust, the show would have been a fiasco, and she would have lost her mind. Instead, belief freed her up to control what she is best at, and that is bringing out the best in others.
On a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being "never" and 10 being "all of the time," how often do you focus only on the problem, what won't work, or what is keeping you from what you want to accomplish?
I have discovered that most of us are really good at identifying the problem. I have seen people get so focused on the problem that they simply abandon their hopes and dreams because the problem begins to own their beliefs. Finding problems is easy. It typically takes no great skill. On the other hand, finding a solution or multiple solutions is where the real work begins. Part of believing is being convinced that every problem has at least one solution. Belief-mindedness is solution-mindedness, and solution-mindedness is bathed in resourcefulness. Most of the time, when there is a problem, the root is resources. (Should this say "the root is lack of resources?)
We can't pay the bills because we don't have enough money. We don't have enough money because my boss is not paying me enough. My boss is not paying me enough because she is going on luxurious vacations and eating up the company profits. She's going on luxurious vacations because she is a bad person. I can't pay my bills because my boss is a bad person who doesn't care what happens to me. If I had a good boss, I could pay my bills.
Belief drives us to be resourcefulness. Being convinced that you have it within your the ability to find a solution is a superpower that if correctly utilized, can move mountains. Imagine the freedom that comes from believing that you can make the money you need to pay your bills. You are now ready to look for different ways to make this can happen. You are no longer stuck in your situation as a victim, controlled by someone else. Your belief takes ownership for finding the solution. Belief sees roadblocks as directional signs, guiding you in the direction of resourcefulness.
Belief requires that you remove thinking that hinders you from finding resources. Problems are easy to find. We must stop letting the problem determine our lives. Resourceful solutions move you toward seeing what is truly possible.
If you believe your marriage is bad, it is. If you believe you're stuck in your job, you are. If you believe that your child is going to struggle, they will. (Not sure what this means. All people struggle.)
What you believe becomes your story. Page after page of your story is based on what you believe. It is almost as if you have conformed to patterns that produce the results that you believe will be produced. To change these well-rooted patterns is very unlikely unless you truly change what you believe. You have been brainwashed, in a sense, to a set of beliefs that now control you more than you control them.
So, how do you create a belief system that is solution-based and empowering?
First, It begins with admitting that the way that you think might not be the best for you. You might be your own worst enemy. You might be sabotaging yourself. You might be attracting the behavior from others that you hate. Second, recognize that, if this is true, you must have a desire to change your thinking and the story that is playing over and over in your head. Finally, you can begin to re-establish what you believe by focusing on solutions and resourcefulness instead of problems and scarcity.
If you believe your marriage is good, it can be fulfilling. If you believe that your job is a stepping stone to your future, you will be climbing. If you believe your child is going to thrive, watch out for the joy ahead!
Yes, I know, simply believing something doesn't make it so. But it does is cause you to see the world through a different lens where finding solutions and resources become a normal part of your life.
When Melissa first believed that she could produce the musical “Newsies” with high school and middle school students, she released into motion a series of actions that required incredible faith and resourcefulness. Her belief manifested into a reality. In the same way, what you believe today will manifest into a reality. Make it a good one!
If you are uncertain about your job, your marriage, your children, or even yourself, and you want to explore what it could look like to foster a new belief system that will help create the future you desire, contact Jay Austin through his website at JayAustinCoaching.com.