The author of this highly rated article is Paul du Toit, CSP.
Author, Mindset Shifter, Certified Speaking Professional
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Dog breeders will tell you that the first month of a puppy’s life is crucial in moulding the dog’s character. If the animal is brought up in a normal environment, the animal will develop normally – whatever normal is. If the dog is abused, it will learn defensive behaviour such as cowering. This behaviour will remain with the animal for the rest of its life – at the slightest suggestion of being threatened, the dog will cower.
Humans learn their behaviour much the same way and have a similar resistance to change. Children that are taught accountable behaviour mature earlier and become leaders. Those suffering abuse of any form often bear the scars of their treatment deep into their adulthood. Belief systems are often formed early on in life, based on information that may be true, questionable or completely false.
Do we therefore not owe it to ourselves to question the beliefs that we hold, examine the sources of these beliefs and question their validity? Anyone can look past their formative conditioning at any time and ask themselves “Am I really what I believe I am, or can I realistically become what it is I want to be?”
People seem to require proof before they will believe something, but once proven, the formation of belief is instantaneous. This can be extremely dangerous, as often the proof has little bearing on potential, it simply reflects current ability. We all know that excellence in practically any field takes time, often years to develop, and ongoing training to maintain.
Is it so difficult then to provide proof for yourself that you can achieve the things that are important to you that have so far seemed out of reach? I have such a dream. I dream of writing a series of books on the subjects I am passionate about. This is one of the many reasons I write a fortnightly newsletter, to prove to myself that I can write. Once I have that in my head, the next step is to prove to myself that I can write well, then really well, then exceptionally…and so on. You get the picture.
And here’s something I’d like you to chew on. You may also have “proof” of something you’re really not that good at, which you really tried to do for a long time, and the evidence seems to accurately indicate that it’s not your thing. Well, fine! That time was not wasted either, for it taught you the habit of persistence. And persistence is the hallmark of all success in life.