“You have powers you never dreamed of. You can do things you never thought you could do. there are no limitations in what you can do except the limitations of your own mind.”
Darwin P. Kingsley
In Marianne Williamson’s best-selling self-help book, A Return to Love, she said:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.”
An author, self-help guru, and spiritual advisor to Oprah, Williamson hit home with these words. Most of us have a hidden fear that we are powerful beyond measure. Because we are.
If you haven’t yet shown your best self, it could be because you’re afraid of what you are capable of. Or it could be that you have forgotten how powerful you can be.
Here are five powerful traits that you possess that you do not realize you have them. Or you had forgotten they are within you all along. Once you have an understanding of these 5 traits, you can start honing its powers.
One powerful trait within you that you need to be aware of is:
“You have all of the resources and abilities you need to accomplish anything you want in life.”
Internal and external behaviors that are required to achieve a particular reaction are referred to as resources. Simply put – you already have it in you to become a success. Even though you might not be consciously aware of it.
There is no such thing as an unresourceful person. A person is only unresourceful because they have an unresourceful state of mind. This means that if you can tap into your endless reservoir of resources, you’ll be able to achieve whatever goals you set for yourself.
If you lack confidence, try changing your state of mind by changing your body posture, breathing and your internal dialogue (the “conversation” you have with yourself inside your head).
You will find that you will feel better emotionally and a boost in your level of confidence.
If your desire is to learn how to play the saxophone, this does not mean that you are already a saxophone player. It just means that the mental structures, the reasoning prowess, the experiences and the emotions within you are equipped and you are ever ready to master this musical instrument.
And it’s just a matter of picking up the instrument and investing some time on it. Think leather-clad Carrie-Anne Moss in the Matrix learning how to fly a helicopter.
In fact, a group of trainees from the US army learned to fly a Sikorsky S-76B helicopter in as little as 45 minutes.
One effective way to excel in what you have set out to achieve is to identify a role model. You just need to find someone who has already excelled in what you are aspiring to achieve. This role model could be alive, no longer alive or it could even be a fictional or non-fictional character.
It could be one or both of your parents, your friend, teacher or coach. It could even be Bruce Lee, Martin Luther King Jr, or even the Marvel comic superhero, Captain America.
When you have identified your role model(s), you can then analyze and consider what resources do they have and use to become successful.
I’m sure you’ve heard of (or read books by) Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel as a child. Under the pen name Dr. Seuss, he wrote many of the most popular children’s books of all time. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from him:
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the one who’ll decide where you’ll go. Oh, the places you’ll go.”
This quote is a blunt reminder to us all that our minds are responsible for creating the results in our life. The human mind is powerful beyond imagination and it can help you create the results and outcomes that you desire.
With the right focus, you can use the power of your mind to make all your dreams become a reality.
Emotional mastery is another area where this powerful trait will prove useful. Every action, behavior, emotion, and response begin with a thought. When you are aware that your thoughts indirectly influence your results, you will realize that you are responsible for all your actions and emotions.
For example, it is easy to point a finger at others for making you furious or even forcing you to do something. But when you effectively govern your responses and behaviors, you will realize that no one can actually “make” you angry. You will only become angry when you “allow” that someone to make you feel angry.
All of your actions and emotions are first filtered by your nervous system; therefore no one can really make you do anything. Unless someone with a loaded gun pointing at your head asked you to do cartwheels. Then you would probably be doing cartwheels.
Still, your actions are governed by the act of survival because you felt that the gun to your head is a threat which could result in imminent death. So, you mind would be telling you doing cartwheels is the wisest choice available at that moment.
Can you remember the time when you learned to walk? Perhaps it was a long time ago. If you observe a child when he or she is just starting to learn how to walk, you will realize that a child has no sense for failure.
The child would stand up, take a couple of steps, fall and repeat the process. The child does this over and over again until he or she is able to walk successfully. That was probably the same way you mastered ‘the art of walking’ as a child.
However, later in life this concept starts to develop and it often holds us back from achieving the goals we have set before us. Mistakes are part of life. However, if you regard mistakes as failures, it will cloud your judgements and severely hinder your learning.
If you can recall, long before this concept of failure and success appeared in your life, every failure was merely a feedback. Treat your mistakes as a feedback and an opportunity to perform better the next time. This will allow you to create even greater success in your life.
Almost everyone knows who invented the light bulb. But it didn’t come easy for Thomas Edison. He experimented with a wide variety of materials for the filament of the bulb that didn’t work.
Edison probably knows that every failure of his is just feedback. Although he made many unsuccessful attempts, it opens up the possibilities to make the necessary changes that led him to his desired outcome. Hence, his famous quote:
“I have not failed. I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”
In his book Edison and the Rise of Innovation, Leonard DeGraaf said:
“One of the things that makes Edison stand out as an innovator was, he was very good at reducing the risk of innovation—he’s not an inventor that depends on just one thing. He knows that if one idea or one product doesn’t do well, he has others…that can make up for it.”
So, the next time you attempt something and did not succeed, just remember that failure is temporary. It just a stepping stone on the way to success. And keep working at it until you achieve the results that you want.
When you reflect on your life thus far, think about the events in your life. Does life happen TO you? Or does life happen FOR you?
If life happens to you, it means that you are weighed down by all the event in your life that are awful, unpleasant and catastrophic. But when life happens for you, you can accept the fact that every positive or negative event in your life gives shape to the person you are now. I like how author Byron Katie frames this:
“Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it…. It’s just easier if you do.”
You are the one who give meaning to the events in your life. This ties in with the fourth power trait within you that you might have forgotten about:
“Your frame of mind dictates your level of success”
So, what exactly is a frame of mind? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defined it as a “mental attitude or outlook”. Hence, simply put, it’s merely your point of view.
Take control of your frame of mind, and you will have complete power over your life and your level of achievement. In order to be functional, we as humans put everything into a mental framework.
A mental framework is just like a pair of glasses. Each time you change your glasses, you project a different image. Round frames exude a vintage look while black chunky frames are for making a bold statement.
So, each time you put a frame around an event in your life, it takes on a different meaning. In other words, how you frame an experience in your mind determines the meaning you assign to it. Just like how changing a pair of spectacles changes the way you look; you have the power to re-frame every situation in your life.
The frames (in your mind) influence how you see the world, yourself, others, and how you interpret your life.
Your ability to reframe gives you greater control over your thoughts, broadens your possibilities and expand your opportunities. Control over your thoughts means control over your behavior which in turn helps yield a better outcome. What do you see from the illustration below?
An elderly woman and a young lady are blended into one picture in this illusion. There is no right or wrong way to see this image. It all depends on your frame of mind.
Wikipedia defines flexibility as “a personality trait that describes the extent to which a person can cope with changes in circumstances and think about problems and tasks in novel, creative ways.”
In life, change is the only constant. This means that at any given moment, circumstances beyond your control might disrupt your plans and goals. If you are a person with a flexible behavior, it means that you are able to adjust and cope with change while adopting a positive attitude.
So, what do you do when things don’t go your way? How do you deal with changes that are beyond your control due to external factors? Are you flexible enough to adapt to life’s moments and be ready to change?
Deep within you exists this powerful trait of success called behavioral flexibility. It is the idea that the individual who is the most flexible and versatile will have the most influence is at the foundation of behavioral flexibility. When you harness this mindset, you will be able to generate greater results in all aspects of your life.
When you adopt a flexible state of mind, you will be ever ready for any unforeseen circumstances. You’ll always be able to get yourself out of a jam and have a few backup plans in place. And being able to embrace change and work your plans around it can expand your opportunities immensely.
Another area where flexibility of behavior comes in handy is in communication. This is where you exercise the ability to change how you communicate depending on the needs of the situation at a particular time. Being flexible in communication puts you in control of any situation and gives you the power to influence people around you.
According to Dr. Michael O’Connor, the author of People Smart in Business, combining flexibility with versatility makes you highly adaptable. Flexibility makes up your attitude because it is your willingness to adapt. Versatility is all about your aptitude, because it is about how well you can adapt to any given situation.
When you have both flexibility and versatility, you will have the relevant behavioral flexibility to take control of any situation.
In closing, I would like to leave you with the second part of that famous Marianne Williamson quote in the opening passages of this post:
“We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.”
Go out there and make an impact. Use these 5 forgotten but powerful traits within you. And make a dent in the universe.