Preconceived NotionsAuthor: Catherine Pulsifer
Think of young children just starting to learn how to walk. Children have no preconceived notion that they cannot walk on their first few attempts. Imagine what would happen if we said to a child, "Don't try to walk, you will fall". Sounds silly doesn't it?
When you watch a young child as they attempt to walk it is amazing. They usually start by hanging on to something, and then with the encouragement of the people around they start by letting go and taking that first step. What usually happens is that they fall down after only a couple of steps. But, then they get back up and start all over again. This process can go on for days and weeks, in some cases a month. But the child does achieve the art of walking no matter how long it takes.
Follow The Same Formula
Imagine if we followed the same formula in our life. Sounds a bit simplistic but if we had the attitude of a young child, if we had the determination to take that first step. We know what our end goal is, just like a child - they know what they want is to walk. What would happen if we just didn't give up, no matter how many times we fall down; what if we tried things a different way. Imagine the possibilities.
Start By Hanging On
The child knows what they want to do. They get up and hang on. The same applies to us - if we wrote down our goals that is a start. And, then we start taking action. Rather than just thinking about it, we actually start taking action. Even if that action is just a baby step, at least we are starting.
Encouragement Of Others
The child keeps trying with the help of encouraging parents. We need to surround ourselves with encouraging people; people who will cheer us on even when we fall down or run into challenges or roadblocks. People who do not have the preconceived notion that it cannot be done! It is amazing the impact of a positive word. Or just having that person who you know that you can bounce ideas and they won't judge you - can make a big difference. And, sometimes we reach a point where we ourselves lose our confidence, having that encouraging person around can help build us back up again.
It Takes Time
Just like that child starting to learn how to walk, we also are just starting and we can't expect success overnight. It takes work and determination for us to achieve our goal. It could take months and sometimes years for us to achieve what we are working towards. But if we persevered in the same manner a young child perseveres we could also succeed. You rarely hear of overnight successes. And if you were to research successful people you would find it took time and it was not without setbacks. If it were easy and could be done overnight then everyone would be doing it!
Now As Adults
As adults, though, we often send ourselves failure messages due to our preconceived notions. We don't take advantage of opportunities because we're afraid we won't succeed. Or the opportunity seems overwhelming to us because we are looking at everything rather than breaking it down into a plan. When we think of our goals, if we try and achieve it all at once it is overwhelming. But if we break it down with action steps and start taking one step at a time then it becomes more achievable.
People who say, "I'd do it but I don't have the time", or "I don't have the money", are only making excuses. What they really don't have is determination.
One of the issues that come into play in almost everyone's life is the conscious or unconscious conditioning that we are subject to on a daily or monthly basis. Some of this conditioning that is on a subconscious level is the words we hear from other important people in our lives. Some of these words may sound like this, "Just go back to work, you do not have the education to get a different job. We need the money, so where do you think we can find it if you go back to school?" Not only our thoughts can stop us but if we listen to the thoughts of other people it can stop us dead in our tracks. That is why we need to surround ourselves with people who are mentors to us, who can provide encouragement and support.
Don't Do This
We can subject our dearest friends or family to negative thoughts that condition them not to attempt new things without giving it any thought. Instead of looking for way or solutions to change a situation, we are often guilty of seeing only problems for ourselves first. Keep this is mind when other people come to you for encouragement. Don't shoot their goals down when you first hear about them. Remember that we all have opinions and preconceived ideas about things. But that doesn't mean it can't be done.
One thing a lot of us find difficult is to put ourselves into someone else's shoes that are longing to make more out of their life because to do so may jeopardize our own comfort, or our own sense of well-being. Be supportive offer your thoughts in a positive manner.
Just Keep Moving
Get on your bike and ride - so what if you fall off - get up and do it again and again. Life is to be lived not for just what we know how to do right now but for what we can do.
Reflect on the following words of wisdom from Charles F. Kettering: "It's amazing what ordinary people can do if they set out without preconceived notions."
Ketterings words are so true. When you think of anything great, it is not that the person was great before they started. They are ordinary people, like you and me, they became great once they achieved their goals.
Kettering points out that it is amazing what can happen if we approach any opportunity with an open mind. If we can look at it and not judge it. If we can break it down and have actionable steps to take we would amaze ourselves! Be extra-ordinary set your goals and start taking baby steps towards them.
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
"If you raise your children to feel that they can accomplish any goal or task they decide upon, you will have succeeded as a parent and you will have given your children the greatest of all blessings." Brian Tracy
"No matter what your goal is, you can't let the fear of failure, the fear of embarrassment, or the fear of success be the reason that you don't try." Alex Fitel
"Life's ups and downs provide windows of opportunity to determine your values and goals. Think of using all obstacles as stepping stones to build the life you want." Marsha Sinetar
"Successful people demonstrate their resilience through their dedication to making progress every day, even if that progress is marginal." Jonathan Mills
"Success at anything requires two vital ingredients: enthusiasm and perseverance. Both can be helped by the broad view that looks beyond temporary difficulties and disappointments to a great goal." Norman Vincent Peale
"When you face discouragement, you can do one of two things, and the one you choose will color your perspective. You can look at others to place the blame, or you can look at yourself to discover your opportunities. The choice is yours." John C. Maxwell
"Any of us who have ever been thirsty for encouragement should appreciate the value in offering uplifting words to the people in our lives. Sometimes a person just needs a little inspiration or a different thought to get them propelled in the right direction." Tondeleya Allen
Read more Inspirational Thoughts
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