From the self-help gurus of the past to today’s “life coaches”, most experts recognize the powerful impact visualization can have on a person’s achievements. If we want to accomplish anything, we first have to be able to see ourselves doing it. Self-image can be a propelling force or a limiting boundary. This is true in every area of a person’s life.
My father was the original do-it-yourselfer. If a thing needed doing, from remodeling our home to transforming a little girl’s swing into a mighty steed with the addition of a roughly-carved wooden horse head, he gave it his best shot. His spirit infected me to the point that, even today, until I’m proven otherwise, I assume I can do almost anything. I joke about this with my friends, saying that I can still do anything I’ve ever done, until the day that I can’t. Therefore, because the last time I tried to do a somersault I succeeded, I can still do one. Even though the last time was more than 30 years ago, until I try again and fail, I’m still a woman with the potential of doing somersaults. If I were to put my theory into practice, the results would be comical or tragic, but there is still the merest possibility that if I were to begin training with a skilled coach, I might eventually have another somersault in me. That attitude of potential is empowering, and helps me to accomplish my more practical goals.
That old Sunday school song, “I Am a Promise”, beautifully illustrates this attitude with the words, “I am a great big bundle of potentiality”. If you see yourself as a person full of untapped potential you are more apt to tackle new challenges, to expand your horizons, and learn new things. In fact, studies show that you tend to be more optimistic about life in general.
When we tell a child, “You could grow up to be President”, we are not telling them they are fully capable of performing the duties of that high office. We are trying to establish in them a pattern of imagining themselves achieving great things. Then, we teach them the skills and knowledge to attempt some of those things.
Some people see the glass half empty, some see it half full, and some can’t see beyond the smears and flaws in the glass. These latter folks are those with self-limiting self-images. If I see myself as capable, as valuable, as worthy of respect, then my actions will reflect that self-image.
I am a promise to be anything God wants me to be. That is true for Christians of any age. Your potential may be undeveloped or you may need some new knowledge or skills, but these can be acquired.
Look into the mirror and see that potential, keep that promise.
13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
February 20, 2012]