The mind is an amazing mechanism, but it sure can fool you. Left unchecked, it can convince you of all sorts of things. When the body is injured, the mind can convince you you’re just fine. When you hear something that goes bump in the night, the mind can convince you that there’s trouble where there isn’t any. And when our spirit is low, sometimes the mind can convince you that this is where our spirit belongs.
Think about it for a moment. Surely there have been times in your life when everything you touched seemed to work out for the best. During those times, you sailed along without a care in the world. The mind was there for the ride, and it did its part too. The mind gave you hope and optimism, and you believed that whatever came next was going to follow the same pattern of success.
Of course, no life is without defeat, and sometimes those defeats bring about pain and worry. The mind is part of that too, and hope and optimism are replaced with doubt and pessimism. Worst of all, the mind convinces you to no longer believe in yourself.
Who says the mind is always right? Do we really have to wait around until life presents us with a string of successes to convince our minds to let us believe in ourselves once again? We are far more believable to others when we believe in ourselves. So who says we can’t fool the mind to believe?
Watch a method actor perform and you’ll see what I mean by fooling the mind. Method acting is a group of techniques that actors use to create in themselves the thoughts and feelings of their characters. The result is that they can develop lifelike performances. For example, when an actor cries on stage and produces real tears, often those tears are not coming from the lines that are being recited. The tears are coming from that actor’s ability to take his or her mind to another moment when the tears were real.
Much like that actor, when we are struggling to believe in ourselves, we too can take our mind to another moment in time when we did believe. Whether it’s selling a new client, selling a prospective employer, or perhaps just selling ourselves, I can guarantee you that taking your mind to a place of accomplishment can only increase your chances of success.
I’d like to introduce you to a quote by Robert Schuller; I keep this in my office and I have it in a visible place so I can glance at it from time to time. It’s a quote my son wears on a chain around his neck and it’s a quote I’d like share with you:
“What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”
So often we become obsessed with the words we choose thinking these words will get others to believe us. If you take yourself to a place you’ve been when you knew you could not fail, the words will follow… but that’s not all. Your mind will be more than happy to surround those words with a more credible and positive vocal pitch, pace, tone, facial expressions, and other nonverbal behaviors. When you behave in that way, it can ignite a passion and a confidence that will be clearly visible to others.
It gives me goose bumps to think of the victories that will follow.