Self-help gurus recognize the powerful impact visualization can have on a person’s achievements. If we want to accomplish something we must see ourselves doing it or we won’t even try. One’s 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 a man of enterprise. He saw challenges as opportunities and was the original do-it-yourselfer. His spirit infected me to the point that, even today, I assume that, until I’m proven otherwise, 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. And since 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 a somersault.
Although, if I were to try flinging my body around there could be tragic consequences, there is still the possibility that after a training regimen with a skilled coach, I might actually have another somersault in me. That attitude of potential is empowering, and helps me to accomplish more practical goals.
In the eighties we sang the Sunday school song, “I Am a Promise,” and beautifully illustrated this attitude by singing, “I am a great big bundle of potentiality.” If you see yourself as a person full of untapped potential, you are more apt to attempt to handle challenges, to expand your horizons, and learn new things. You tend to be more optimistic about life in general.
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.
When we tell a child, “You could grow up to be President,” we are not telling them that they are currently 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.
If I see myself as capable, as valuable, as worthy of respect, then my actions will reflect that self-image. As the Sunday school song says, “I am a promise to be anything God wants me to be,” and it’s true at any age. I believe while we’re still on this earth God has something for us to learn or to do. As long as we live we’ve still got potential. Your potential may be undeveloped and you may need some new knowledge or skills, but these can be acquired with effort…if you try.
Look into the mirror and see that potential, keep that promise.
Christ gives me the strength to face anything. Philippians 4:13 (CEV)