Hi friends, Welcome to the Pointing Toward Hope podcast. I am your host Wendy Bertagnolli. This podcast is filled with positivity for anyone seeking to find more hope and joy in daily life. The goal is to reach as many people as we can to help them to overcome and find joy even in the midst of extremely hard adversity. Thanks for listening. Be sure to subscribe and leave a review so that we can help as many people as possible. If you or someone you know has a trial that you have been able to get through or are working through with the help of our Savior, please contact me so we can get you on the podcast. This is episode 41.
Believe in yourself
“ Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Take control of your destiny! Believe in yourself! Those are two of the most powerful statements I think I have ever read. I am going to tell you something now that I think you will find most profound. You know yourself better than anyone else! You are the only one that has spent every waking second of your life with . . . YOU! Who could possibly know you better, with the exception of God?
Why then do we tend to doubt ourselves so much? I believe the reason we do so much self-doubting has to do with many factors. It could be the way that your parents raised you. Maybe you came from a very emotionally or physically abusive home. It is possible that you suffered many tragic losses throughout your life. Maybe you have had to endure a physical debilitation or disease, or mental illness.
Regardless of the circumstance, we are all capable of change. We all have the ability within us to take control of our lives. It is true that sometimes we cannot control the circumstances that happen to us, however we definitely can control the attitude with which we choose to face these experiences. I know that there will be many that will want to argue this point, but the fact is we “drive our own cars”!
Sometimes I think it might benefit us if we could take a step back from our life and view it from a different perspective. We are so good at looking at another person’s life and providing a solution to all of their problems. If we could use this same objectiveness in our own lives, we could solve a lot of crisis before they arise.
Have you ever felt restless? Like you were supposed to be doing something else with your life, or something is missing? I like to think of this restless feeling as God’s way of helping us to realize that we still have room to grow (and I don’t mean in height or weight!). Another way to view this feeling is to look at it as “growing pains”. Remember when you were a child and you would get stomach aches the first week of a new school year? Or maybe you just started a new job and you had those anxious butterflies in the pit of your stomach . . . Yes, I would have to say those are “growing pains”.
A few years ago I was able to attend a convention, the keynote speaker happened to be Sharlene Wells Hawkes, Miss America 1985. She discussed a technique that I feel is imperative to making your life what you want it to be. It is relatively simple and really does not take a lot of effort . . . once you get used to it!
I am sure that many of you have heard of the “comfort zone”. This is a place that we make for ourselves that is easy to be. We rarely take steps out of this safe place because it is hard or maybe a little scary. We stay in the same routine day after day and never do anything that feels uncomfortable, thus we have created our “comfort zone”.
But there is a very interesting fact about our comfort zones and that is that they never stay the same. It is either growing or shrinking! Sharlene goes on to discuss that the only way we can make our comfort zone grow instead of shrink is to consistently take steps outside of it. This means doing things that are hard or maybe even a little scary. But each time you do this your comfort zone will grow.
Rest assured I am not telling you that you need to do anything that is risky or dangerous. I am talking about setting small goals for yourself on a daily or weekly basis that you may find a little difficult. These might include: Getting up a little earlier each day so you can get more accomplished. Or parking your car a little further out than normal so you can get a little more exercise. Maybe you could try choosing carrots instead of cookies if you are trying to lose weight. Each time that you take a small step outside of your comfort zone an amazing thing happens . . . It grows! And it also gets a little easier to take that next step.
Unfortunately, the opposite is true when we choose to remain inside our safe little place and don’t take small chances on a regular basis. It is not easy. And very often, in fact more often than not, our chances will be accompanied by failure. But as Sharlene would say, “Failure doesn’t keep you from success, it leads you to it. . . if you are willing to learn.”
Some of the most successful people I know did not realize their dreams by mere happenstance. It takes effort, it takes desire, and it takes a willingness to learn from our failures. When we choose to let our failures defeat us and we shrink back into our comfortable place it becomes harder and harder to venture out again and our comfort zone gets smaller and smaller. The fact is, that we have all been given special gifts that are ours to develop if we choose. We can use these gifts, not only to improve the quality or our own lives, but also to help others around us. However, we can only do this if we learn to develop these gifts by taking consistent steps outside or our comfort zone and believing in ourselves.
I once heard someone say that in order to be a winner you have to ACT like a winner. I honestly believe this to be true. Our actions speak louder than our words, we can voice what we intend to do but until you take action there is no meaning behind the words. When we are doers our emotions will follow suit. It is hard and scary to attempt something new that is uncomfortable and no doubt our emotions and thoughts tell us that we won’t succeed, that we shouldn’t attempt the unknown. But, it is only in attempting or taking action that we find out what our abilities are and how good we can feel when we achieve a dream.
If you are anything like me, and I believe you are, you are probably saying to yourself right now, “How do I find out what my gifts are?” Or maybe you are thinking, “I don’t have any gifts.” Finding out what your gifts are is much simpler than you may think. Start by making a list of things that you are good at. Maybe you enjoy reading or listening to music. Who knows, you might just have a gift for writing poetry or music.
Second, start listening to, and accepting compliments. This is a great way to discover hidden talents. For example, people consistently comment on how great your hair always looks or what a snappy dresser you are. You might have a real talent in the cosmetology industry or maybe your gift lies in retail sales.
Has anyone ever told you what a great listener you are, or that you are very caring and sensitive? This could lead one to believe that you may be great in a field of social work or another related field. My point is, that sometimes we spend so much time complaining about the gifts that we don’t have that we lose sight of those gifts that are uniquely ours. There is not another person in this world like you , so why not celebrate that fact by being all that God intended you to be and by doing that, we not only help ourselves but, we help others along the way.
Finally, don’t be afraid to dream big. We are the culmination of our dreams put into action. If we stop dreaming we stop living. Don’t let anyone tell you can’t. If you can dream it you can achieve it!
I remember when I was a little girl and my mother gave me a necklace. On the chain was a heart-shaped locket made of glass that had a mustard seed inside. It was accompanied by a little metal plate with this inscription on it: . . .if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there”, and it will move. –Matthew 17:20
At 5’3” the shortest player in NBA history, Tyrone “Mugsy” Bogues, believed in himself against all odds. He said, “You can do anything you want to do in life, if you have a fierce belief in yourself, a strong will, a big heart, and some role models to inspire you.”
Don’t ever give up on yourself. If you have faith, belief in yourself, the patience to persevere, and most importantly, a positive attitude, you can make your dreams a reality.
Climb ‘Til Your Dreams Come True
By Helen Steiner Rice
Often your tasks will be many, And more than you think you can do . . .
Often the road will be rugged And the hills insurmountable, too . . .
But always remember, the hills ahead Are never as steep as they seem,
And with faith in your heart start upward And climb ‘til you reach your dream,
For nothing in life that is worthy Is ever too hard to achieve
If you have faith to try it And you have the faith to believe . . .
For faith is a force that is greater than knowledge or power or skill
And many defeats turn to triumph if you trust in God’s wisdom and will . . .
For faith is a mover of mountains, there’s nothing that God cannot do,
So start out today with faith in your heart And climb ‘til your dreams come true!”
Assignment: Make a list of the things that you feel that you are good at, or that you have a desire to become good at. Then write down some small goals or steps that you can take outside of your comfort zone to achieve those goals. Record your steps. Start with the small things and soon you will be leaping out of your comfort zone and growing consistently.
Remember, you are doing this for you! Don’t let anyone keep you from your dreams or tell you that you aren’t good enough. Believe that you can be all that God wants you to be and you will become better and stronger than you ever believed possible! Go now, and start expanding your comfort zone!
Thanks for reading! I hope you are enjoying it.